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Office for the Aging

August 15, 2021 - 8:02am
posted by Press Release in Office for the Aging, news, batavia.

Anyone 60  years or older and income-eligible can receive a Famers Market coupon booklet from the Office for the Aging.

The booklets are available at 2 BAnk St., Batavia, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Income guidelines:

  • One person in the household, $1,986 monthly
  • Two people, $2,686 monthly
  • Three people, $3,386 monthly
August 13, 2021 - 6:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Office for the Aging, news.

Press release:

  • Grab bar and railing installation
  • Minor plumbing repairs
  • Window and door repairs
  • Smoke & CO detector installation
  • Other non-emergency home repairs

No charge for labor for residents 60+. Some material costs may apply. Donations towards labor costs are gratefully accepted and are put back into the program.

All work done with COVID-19 screening and safe work practices in place.

Call 585-815-7979 for more information

The Handyman Program is operated as a partnership between PathStone Corporation and the Genesee County Office for the Aging.

Funded by:  Muriel H. Marshall Fund

July 23, 2021 - 9:06am

As a result of three committee meetings this week, Genesee County legislators have much to vote upon when they meet as a full board next Wednesday.

Resolutions passed at Monday’s Human Services and Public Service meetings and Wednesday’s Ways & Means meeting that were not previously reported upon by The Batavian include the following:

  • $1.4 million for COVID-19 testing in schools

The New York State Department of Health has awarded the Genesee County Health Department funding in the amount of $1,415,984 for COVID-19 school testing activities and to purchase personal protective equipment for all public and private school pupils from Universal Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Public Health Director Paul Pettit said the money can also be used for testing supplies and telehealth services for both students and faculty. Distribution of funds will be based on the population at each school, he added. The grant does not cover vaccination.

  • ARP funds to help spruce up OFA

This resolution calls for using $64,416 of more than $233,000 awarded through the American Rescue Plan for a capital project at the Genesee County Office for the Aging on Bank Street.

The project consists of reconfiguring and adding office space, carpeting and painting, replacing the dishwasher and garbage disposal, and adding other furnishings, equipment and subscriptions to enhance the client experience, OFA Director Diana Fox said.

The Human Services Committee also approved using some of the ARP money to fund two new positions at the OFA – a part-time program assistant and full-time financial clerk typist, both through Dec. 31, 2024 – and expand a part-time program assistant position from 15 hours biweekly to 19.5 hours biweekly, also through Dec. 31, 2024.

Two part-time vacant nutrition program meal site assistant positions were eliminated.

  • Radio system contract with L3 Harris is extended

The Public Service Committee recommended approval of an extension of the public safety radio system maintenance services contract with L3 Harris Technologies Inc., through Dec. 31, 2026, at a cost of $188,567 per year.

The agreement was set to expire on Dec. 31 of this year, but since the county will be adding a new tower site on Molasses Hill Road in Alexander, it was determined to extend it at this time.

Another resolution to accept $205,530 in grant funding from the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communication was approved. The money will be used to offset a portion of the 2021 Communications budget, according to Emergency Communication Director Steve Sharpe.

  • SROs to continue at Byron-Bergen, Pavilion

School Resource Officers will remain at Byron-Bergen and Pavilion central school districts for at least another year, with B-B opting for a September through August 2022 schedule at a cost of $102,813.81 and Pavilion going with a July through June 2022 schedule at a cost of $119,021.07.

Sheriff William Sheron said the difference in cost is due to one SRO having a single health insurance plan instead of a family plan. The cost to the schools include the hourly rate for a deputy sheriff, fringe benefits and insurances.

Public Service also approved a resolution to expend $10,757 from the K9 Donations Reserve Account to help in the recovery of K9 Rayzor, who recently suffered a leg injury and is need of physical therapy and medications before returning to service.

K9 Frankie also has had physical issues, but currently is fully functional, said Sheron, who thanked the public for donations to the fund, which has been depleted.

  • More funding for Justice for Children Advocacy Center

A grant from the state Office of Children and Family Services’ to fund the Justice for Children Advocacy Center has been renewed, with this year’s amount of $190,143 representing a $2,000 increase from last year.

Funds from this grant will enable the program to provide services for children and families affected by abuse in the Batavia, Warsaw and Albion areas, JCAC Coordinator Theresa Roth said.

  • ARPA funds to aid Genesee County Airport

Thirty-two thousand dollars in funding from the American Recovery Plan Act to offset expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be coming to the Genesee County Airport.

Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said the money will be used to help pay down the debt service on the terminal and main hangar. Hens noted that the county is expected to receive about $100,000 in this type of funding by the end of the year, and all will be used in the same manner.

June 30, 2021 - 2:22pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Office for the Aging has added a new program to its many services for adults 60 years of age and older. The new "Got Groceries?" program is a free grocery-shopping service.

Diana Fox, director of the Office for the Aging, said, “After completing a pilot phase, we are pleased to open this program up to both volunteers and individuals who are in need of the service.”

The office is looking for volunteers who are age 55 and older to do the shopping and deliver the groceries to individuals' homes within Genesee County. The commitment can be as little as two shopping trips a month or more often if the volunteer is willing and the need exists.

Those interested in receiving the service must be 60 years of age and older with the ability to pay for the groceries and unable to do own shopping or place orders via internet.

The office is kicking this off with an Open House on Wednesday, July 14 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. outdoors on the patio of the Senior Center, 2 Bank St., Batavia. Interested parties are invited to stop by anytime for information on volunteering or receiving this service for themselves or a loved one.

No reservations are needed. Those attending may enter a drawing for a $50 gift card, which will be drawn at 12:15 p.m.

If unable to join us for the Open House, please call ask marshall at (585) 815-7979 or email:   [email protected] for more information.

Seed funding for this program was provided by the Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging at Rochester Area Community Foundation with ongoing support from the NY State Office for the Aging, NY Connects, Administration for Community Living, Corporation for National and Community Service and the generous support of the Genesee County Legislature.

June 15, 2021 - 11:53am

Press release:

Office for the Aging with be distributing Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program coupons again this year! This is expected to begin after July 1st, but not before then.

In an effort to keep socially distant, all the distributions will be held outdoors wherever possible. Please bring your own pen to sign for the booklet.

We will be circulating flyers around the county, announcing the distribution locations. There will also be announcements on WBTA, ads in the local newspaper, Pennysavers and online media outlets.

Don’t forget to check the Office for the Aging on the Genesee County website and Office for the Aging’s Facebook page. For additional information, please call our office at (585) 343-1611.

May 6, 2021 - 4:16pm
posted by Press Release in Office for the Aging, news, GetSetUp.

Press release:

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) today announced a partnership with The Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY) and GetSetUp to offer 50,000 classes, featuring more than 300 different course options developed by and for older adults.

The GetSetUp curriculum and community are designed to combat social isolation and promote independence through live, interactive classes and online connectivity with a community of more than 650,000 older adult learners from more than 160 countries around the globe.

Additionally, all guides and instructors are retired educators/professionals/technologists, promoting economic empowerment, healthy lifestyles, and a purpose driven life.

Instructors are trained to help older adults learn by doing, not just watching, and all learners are encouraged to become creators by leading their own interest groups.

GetSetUp classes are organized into four broad categories:

  • Digital Divide/Connectivity (orientation to Zoom and how to use various devices)
  • Physical Health (i.e. Tai Chi/Yoga/Healthy Cooking)
  • Mental Health (i.e. Dementia/Coping with Stress/Meditation), and
  • Social Health (i.e. Book Club/Gardening/Pets/Travel/Brain Games)

The GetSetUp platform offers more than 40 classes each weekday, and more than ten classes each weekend. They recently launched “GetSetUp TV” for hesitant older adults to get a flavor of the GetSetUp platform without having to fully participate. Classes are rotated regularly to offer the widest variety of programming for older adults in the four main categories.

Technology solutions have grown dramatically over the past year and platforms such as GetSetUp will be part of the new normal. Connecting older adults to an online forum of their peers empowers engagement, continual learning, and even access to employment opportunities outside of the traditional brick and mortar approach.

Director of the New York State Office for the Aging Greg Olsen said: “Social isolation was a public health problem prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic clearly made it worse. This partnership will expand our ability to reduce isolation, depression, and anxiety by significantly expanding virtual programming into the homes of isolated older adults to keep them connected.

"Furthermore, this partnership will allow us to build more programming and classes, taught by older adults, providing them with an economic opportunity to earn money through their skills. We are thrilled to partner with The Association on Aging in New York and GetSetUp to launch this project.”

Executive Director of the Association on Aging in New York Rebecca Preve said, “The Association on Aging in New York is thrilled to partner with GetSetUp, to bring interactive programming to older residents in their homes and communities. This opportunity will alleviate social isolation while providing enriched educational programs to thousands of older New Yorkers.

"As we continue to support older residents, programs like GetSetUp are vitally important to remain connected and engaged. We are grateful to GetSetUp, NYSOFA, and the 59 AAA’s that work every day to make New York a leader in aging services.”

 Cofounder of GetSetUp Lawrence Kosick said, “We are thrilled to partner with NYOSFA and The Association on Aging in New York to provide the state’s older adult population with a scalable way to support lifelong learning, health, and mental well-being.

"We could not be more excited to welcome New York’s older adults to the GetSetUp community, which has recorded more than four million minutes of learning and connection in the last three months, and half a million connections between learners. The power of the platform will continue to be amplified as the community of instructors and learners expands, and this partnership is another huge step in the right direction for our older adult population.”

About the New York State Office for the Aging and Health Across All Policies/Age-Friendly New York

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) continuously works to help the state’s 4.3 million older adults be as independent as possible for as long as possible through advocacy, development, and delivery of person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs, and services that support and empower older adults and their families, in partnership with the network of public and private organizations that serve them.

New York is nationally recognized for being the first age-friendly state in the nation. Using the state’s Prevention Agenda as the overarching framework, in 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched a Health Across All Policiesapproach, where public and private partners work together to positively impact population health by marrying health care, preventive health, and community design, in concert with addressing social determinants of health, to improve the lives of all New Yorkers, young and old.

Stay connected—download the NYSOFA mobile app for iOS or Android; visit the NYSOFA Facebook page; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter and NYSAging on Instagram; or visit aging.ny.gov.

About the Association on Aging in New York

The Association on Aging in New York supports and advocates for New York’s mostly county-based Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and works collaboratively with a network of organizations that exist to promote independence, preserve dignity, and provide support for residents of New York State as they age. For more information, follow us on Facebook, visit www.agingny.org or call 518-449-7080. 

About GetSetUp

GetSetUp is an online community of people who want to learn new skills, connect with others, and unlock new life experiences. Their safe, social, and interactive learning environment has been specifically designed for older adults. Classes are taught by older adults and kept small to ensure everyone can actively participate. The platform helps older adults stay mentally and physically fit, creates economic opportunities through jobs and reskilling, and provides a community where people find meaning and purpose by helping each other and forming new connections. Founded in 2019, GetSetUp is headquartered in California. Learn more at https://www.getsetup.io/.

April 28, 2021 - 2:00pm

Press release:

Greg Olsen, director of the New York State Office for the Aging, urges all New Yorkers to take the CV19 CheckUp, a free, anonymous, personalized, online tool that evaluates an individual’s risks associated with COVID-19 based on their circumstances.

CV19 CheckUp assesses each person’s unique situation and presents options to help reduce risk and enhance quality of life. It provides recommendations and resources to help reduce an individual’s pandemic risks.

CV19 CheckUp uses artificial intelligence to analyze data provided by each person who completes an anonymous online questionnaire. It is designed for those who are considered high risk, including older adults, individuals who are low income, members of ethnic and racial minority groups, and the LGBTQ community.

The tool’s algorithms are driven by science and medicine, using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

CV19 CheckUp is free and anonymous. It does not require a name, email address, or identifier of any type.

Upon completion of the questionnaire, CV19 CheckUp immediately delivers a personalized report, presenting options for reducing risk and enhancing quality of life during the pandemic.

According to Director Olsen, “The time for reminding the public about the risks of getting COVID-19 is now, while people are still getting their vaccination and as COVID fatigue sets in. We must continue to ensure that older New Yorkers understand there’s still a risk of getting sick. This is especially true as CV19 CheckUp data shows those age 75 and older dangerously underestimate their personal risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.”  

Olsen continued, “Even though vaccinations increase each week, it is critical that all New Yorkers continue to follow safety protocols. Now is not the time to let our guard down, but to continue to practice safe behaviors. New York State continues to move forward with reopening, but some lower-risk individuals have begun to relax. Many people have stopped social distancing and practicing safe pandemic behaviors, which threaten the health and well-being of those who are at higher risk.”

The CV19 CheckUp is generating helpful information that is educating individuals about their risk of contracting COVID-19 based on their behavior. To date, more than 67,000 people have completed the CV19 CheckUp survey.

Director Olsen said, “The results generated so far by the CV19 CheckUp show that most adults (77 percent) underestimate the lethal threat risk they pose to older adults, and half of them underestimate the risk to themselves of contracting COVID-19. The good news revealed by the CheckUp is that after learning about the risks to themselves and their loved ones, more than half (58 percent) of respondents say they would modify their behaviors to keep older friends and loves ones safe.

“This tool can also help reduce hesitancy about getting vaccinated. Researchers believe educating individuals about their pandemic risk will motivate them to get vaccinated. When people understand the lethal threat they pose to their relatives and friends, getting the vaccine becomes more appealing. In addition, with this new knowledge, individuals are more likely to reach out to others and urge them to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Through the CV19 CheckUp, governments and health organizations receive data facilitating the development of methods to help target high risk populations. The data is completely anonymous, and findings may be used to gain insights on:

  • What people know and believe about the pandemic;
  • Compliance levels with recommended safety protocols;
  • Behaviors by location, race, ethnicity, economic status, etc.;
  • Unmet needs for health care, social services and financial support.

To learn more, about the CV19 CheckUp, please visit newyork.cv19checkup.org.

April 2, 2021 - 2:02pm
posted by Press Release in Seniors, news, Office for the Aging, government benefits.

Press release:

New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), in collaboration with state agencies and other partners, has created a series of videos on how to complete and submit applications for benefits for older New Yorkers and other eligible individuals.

Many New Yorkers are eligible for a variety of federal, state and local benefits that can put cash in their pockets, help pay for prescriptions, food and heat, have their taxes reduced, and help pay for their care.

These benefits are paid for with tax dollars by the same individuals who need them, however, many are either unaware of these benefits, reluctant to apply for them, or need assistance in understanding and filling out applications.

“We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to apply for these benefits by showing them how to fill out certain applications and get them approved,” said Greg Olsen, NYSOFA acting director. “and instead of people having to go to the experts, we decided to bring the experts to them.”

The initial videos in the series are available on the NYSOFA website (page link) and its social media pages, including YouTube. Additional video tutorials will be added on an ongoing basis.

Here is a list of the videos and applications they cover:  

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -- application for food assistance;
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) -- assistance with paying for heat or air conditioning;
  • Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) -- assistance to afford prescription drugs;
  • Senior Citizen Homeowners Exemption (SCHE) and Disabled Homeowners Exemption (DRE) – assistance with housing costs by freezing rent;
  • NY School Tax Relief (STAR) Program -- local property tax reduction;
  • Medicare Part-B - assistance in paying for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services
  • Medicare Savings Program (MSP) -- assistance in paying for Medicare premiums. In some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may also pay Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments if you meet certain conditions;
  • Weatherization Assistance Program -- assistance with making homes more energy efficient to reduce energy costs;
  • EmPower NY -- assistance to reduce monthly energy costs;
  • Extra Help -- assistance in  paying for Medicare prescription drug program costs, like premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.

About the New York State Office for the Aging
The mission of the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) is to help older New Yorkers be as independent as possible for as long as possible through advocacy, development and delivery of person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs, and services that support and empower older adults and their families, in partnership with the network of public and private organizations that serve them. Stay connected to the New York State Office for the Aging—download the NYSOFA mobile app for iOS or Android; visit the NYSOFA Facebook; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter; or visit www.aging.ny.gov.

March 2, 2021 - 5:37pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Office for the Aging.

While they won’t receive a “master’s degree in Aging,” the men and women who complete the Aging in Mastery Program through the Genesee County Office for the Aging will walk away with knowledge of the behaviors that promote healthy living and a greater sense of well-being.

That’s the word from Jill Yasses, aging services specialist at the OFA, which is conducting – in conjunction with the National Council on Aging Inc. -- virtual and, hopefully soon, in-person classes for adults 55 and older.

“The goal of the Aging in Mastery Program is for participants to lead a healthy and happy life by focusing on key aspects of health, finances, relationships, personal growth and community engagement,” Yasses said.

The 10-class core curriculum covers a different topic in each session, she said.

Topics are Navigating Longer Lives, Healthy Relationships, Exercise and You, Sleep, Healthy Eating and Hydration, Financial Fitness, Medication Management, Advance Planning, Falls Prevention, and Community Engagement.

“Most of the classes include a guest speaker who is familiar with the topic being discussed,” Yasses said. “This program is interactive so the participants are very involved in the conversations, and there is no charge for the program.”

On Monday, the Genesee County Legislature Human Services Committee voted in favor of the OFA contracting with the Population Health Collaborative in Buffalo to deliver $4,000 in grant funding for the program.

Genesee County OFA Director Diana Fox reported that all expenses will be paid through this service agreement extension at no cost to the county.

Yasses said a virtual class just finished and another one is being set up.

“This class is normally offered in person but due to COVID we did a pilot program to see how a virtual program would be,” she said, adding that she already has started a list for those interested in taking the next class (date to be determined).

She said the goal is to offer an in-person class once COVID-19 is under control, but a third virtual class is a possibility.

“The virtual class is very beneficial to those who have difficulty leaving the home due to lack of transportation, a disability or even a caregiver who cannot leave their loved one alone,” she explained.

Class size is usually 10 to 15 people, but could be increased depending upon the interest level, Yasses said.

For more information or to sign up for a class, call her at (585) 343-1611. Click here to access the ADP website.

February 5, 2021 - 3:49pm
posted by Press Release in news, Office for the Aging, scams, Medicare, crime.

Press release from the Genesee County Office of the Aging:

Callers claiming to be from Medicare have been targeting seniors in our local area.

Please be aware:

  • Medicare will NEVER call and ask for your Medicare number.
  • If you get a call from someone promising free items, if you give them your Medicare number (can include back brace, glucose monitor, pain relievers for arthritis) -- DO NOT DO IT. This is a scam, even if they tell you it is not.
  • Refuse any offer, money, or gifts for free medical care.
  • If you see any charges on your Explanation of Benefits from Medicare, or from your Medicare Advantage provider that you do not understand, call the office from where it was billed to question the charge.
  • Most importantly – guard your card like it is a credit card. If you did not initiate the call, do not give out any information.

If you feel you may have been a victim of Medicare fraud, please call the NYS Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-800-333-4374.

February 4, 2021 - 3:12pm
posted by Press Release in Office for the Aging, news, COVID-19.

Press release:

Due to COVID-19, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide tax preparation program had to make significant changes for everyone’s safety. Ultimately, it has resulted in a much smaller program this year. 

At this time, all available appointments are full. It is hoped that additional appointments can be added, but again, the demand will likely exceed the offering.  Should more appointments become available, we will send out a press release.  

Individuals seeking free tax services may visit the AARP.org website to locate other Tax-Aide program locations nearby in Erie and Monroe counties. 

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide also offers taxpayers several options to prepare their own returns. Available options include self-preparation using free software, and facilitated self-preparation involving assistance or coaching from Tax-Aide IRS-certified Counselors. Self-preparation options are available by visiting this website.

Others may qualify for free-filing of federal returns by visiting http://www.irs.gov.  

For those without computer access, the Office for the Aging staff is able to provide additional tax preparation resources and can be reached at (585) 343-1611.  

We are fortunate to have a way to safely operate this program, even at reduced capacity. The program will continue to do all it can to serve the community.  

This AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program is made possible through the dedication of AARP Foundation/RSVP AmeriCorps Seniors Volunteers, in partnership with the Genesee County Office for the Aging.

January 25, 2021 - 4:35pm

Press release:

Genesee and Orleans counties continue to work diligently to distribute the limited supply of vaccine received in their continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were hoping to receive 2,500 doses of the vaccine between Genesee and Orleans counties but were made aware that is not going to occur because of the statewide shortage,” said Paul Pettit, director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

“We realize that those who hoped to schedule appointments this week are going to be very upset as well and we are disappointed to have to give them this news.”

The state(wide) allocations were the same as the week before (250,000), the county health departments (Genesee and Orleans) are only receiving 300 doses total between the two this week, which will be utilized for 1B essential workers per the state’s directive.

Those over age 65 should continue to seek vaccine from their providers, pharmacies and the state sites. Appointments for vaccine are currently online ONLY.

Last week the county-run clinics were able administer approximately 1,050 doses.

“At GCC on Friday alone, we were able to administer approximately 550 doses of the vaccine in a seamless fashion. On average, people got theirshots and were able to leave the testing sites within 20 minutes,” said Matt Landers, Genesee County manager.

“As a result of our experience inoperating the COVID19 testing sites, our workforce and community volunteers have been able to replicate this into a smooth operation at the vaccination siteswhen vaccine supplies are readily available.”

We ask those who are 65 and older, part of Priority Group 1B, to continue to check the clinic schedules and as requested by the state, to use the pharmacy links. Pharmacies and other sites that are part of the “retail network” are workingto provide vaccine to the 65 and older population as they receive vaccine.

How the pharmacies set up their appointments are determined by the pharmacies and the state. The local Health Departments or OFAs do not have insight on how pharmacy clinics are run.

Keep checking the site links as many of the pharmacies may not have received vaccine.

If you do not have a computer/internet access, please contact your Office for the Aging for assistance. For Genesee County call (585) 813-2457 between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and for Orleans County call (585) 589-3191 between 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and they will assist you as best as they can.

Please check the following links:

For clinic schedules when vaccine is available and information about vaccination clinics:

http://bit.ly/39bfElNGOHealthVaccine, please note the registration links are subject to change and will be updated.

For the NYS-run vaccine clinics: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

Clinics are only open when there is vaccine available. You currently can only register for an appointment online.

Each provider is responsible for their own registration and set-up, the Health Departments are only responsible for the clinics they sponsor. Please do not call the host sites for the County Vaccination Clinics...they are only providing the space and cannot assist with registration or questions.

You must return to the provider where you initially got your first shot, for your second shot. You must also get the same vaccine brand as your first shot. The appointment is to be made for you while you are there for your first shot.

December 24, 2020 - 12:52pm

Submitted photos and press release:

The Genesee County Office for the Aging’s Home Delivered Meals program offers a nutritionally balanced, hot meal at lunchtime, up to five days per week. The meals are delivered with a smile by dedicated RSVP volunteers and Office for the Aging staff.

Each person receives ongoing case management, an important piece of the program, which supports their health and independence in the community.   

This week, due to the generosity of a local couple’s bequest, a local dentist and his wife, and individuals employed by Genesee County government, the older adults participating in the program were treated to a holiday gift bag.

The Office for the Aging has seen tremendous growth in the program; a 55-percent increase since the beginning of the pandemic. The support of the local community has been tremendous and necessary to meet the demand.

During this season of giving, the office wishes to thank everyone involved in making this program one that the community can depend on.   

If you wish to support the Home Delivered Meals program by volunteering or donating, please call (585) 343-1611 or email [email protected].

More volunteers are particularly needed to deliver meals in the City of Batavia at this time.

Financial donations to the Genesee Senior Foundation Inc., a nonprofit affiliated with the Office for the Aging, are always appreciated.

December 1, 2020 - 12:31pm

The Human Services and Ways & Means committees of the Genesee County Legislature on Monday recommended the appointments of several persons to the Mental Health Community Services Board and the Office for the Aging Advisory Council.

Batavians James Owen and MaryElla Loos were reappointed to the mental health board, with their terms expiring on Dec. 31, 2024.

Three persons were appointed to assume three vacant positions on the same board.

They are Dr. Mary Obear of Corfu (through Aug. 14, 2022), Kathleen Antonelli of Batavia (through Dec. 31, 2021) and Diana Fox of Holley (through Dec. 31, 2022).

Fox is the current director of the Office for the Aging.

Each will receive a $40 stipend per meeting.

Margaret Weissend, RN, director of rural branch operations for Kaleida Health, was reappointed to a voluntary seat on the Office for the Aging Advisory Council for a three-year term, effective Jan. 1.

In a separate matter, Legislator Gary Maha commended Matt Worth on his retirement after nearly 34 years as a City of Batavia employee, the last six as public works director.

“I worked very closely (with Matt) on a number of issues here with the county – such as the water agreement and sales tax agreement – and as a member of the Genesee County Water Resources Agency. He is a wealth of information.”

Worth’s last official day is Jan. 15.

November 3, 2020 - 10:31am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Office for the Aging.

In 10 short years, all baby boomers will be 65 years of age or older. That bit of information about Americans born between the years of 1946 and 1964 is much more than a mere statistic to Diana Fox, director of the Genesee County Office for the Aging.

It represents the fact that the demographics of the county are showing an increasingly aging population – and it presents new challenges for the agency as it continues to provide a variety of services for seniors.

Fox, during a departmental review Monday at the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee meeting, said she and her staff are considering the best ways to meet the needs of residents in the 65-and-over age group, which is expected to exceed 15,000 – about a fourth of the county’s population -- in 2030.

In her seven-page report, Fox said the OFA’s priorities include: the need for home care workers; funding for home-delivered meals; navigating the health insurance system; and dealing with rising health care costs; assessing senior citizens’ housing requirements; and exploring the impact of opioids (prescription medication) on older adults.

“Even with COVID, the numbers continue to rise,” concerning caregivers who need help and request for meals, Fox said, reporting that the median age in Genesee County is 43.3, with many of those in that age group falling into the “caregiver” category (also known as the “Sandwich Generation”).

Fox said the OFA coordinated the delivery of more than 30,000 meals to residents’ homes this year (frozen, sandwich and emergency meals), but “getting food out to people will (continue to) be a challenge … so we are investigating other opportunities.”

She said some communities partner with restaurants to deliver meals, but it has to be worthwhile for restaurant owners for it to be successful.

“Housing is a need,” she said, noting that older adults have to consider whether a ranch home would be better than an up-and-down dwelling.

“It’s important that we continue to work on building our county to be more livable, as well as creating more home and community-based supports and options, ranging from housing to in-home care to keeping older adults in our county so they may live out meaningful lives in settings with services that meet their needs,” she wrote.

Along those lines, Fox said that home care aide availability is “critically low nationwide,” and while the OFA has access to state “Unmet Needs” funding, it’s “not going to solve the overall problem of those who truly need in-home aides to help with personal care.”

Fox said the OFA offers wellness and recreation programs to address social isolation issues and services that include review of health insurance options and eligibility for benefits, but more support is needed as premiums and prescription drug costs increase and chronic health conditions worsen.

She said the OFA is “partnering with the community” (with agencies such as Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and the Department of Social Services) to identify the various problems stemming from the use of opioids such as oxycodone.

On a positive note, she said that her department has not been informed of a 20-percent cut in state aid, which seems to be affecting most programs and municipalities, but she is concerned by several potential retirements of OFA staff members in the next few years.

The Genesee County Office for the Aging proposed budget for 2021 shows total appropriation of $2,070,640, with $1,580,316 in revenue and $490,324 in support from the county. With a staff of 21.8 full-time equivalent, salaries and fringe benefits make up about 64 percent of the budget.

October 30, 2020 - 3:07pm

Press release:

The Home Energy Assistance Program -- HEAP -- opens Monday, Nov. 2, for all new applicants.

Each year, Genesee County Office for the Aging assists older adults and persons with disabilities with HEAP applications.

This year, it is strongly recommended that you apply online at myBenefits.ny.gov. If you do not have a computer or lack to skills to apply online, you may pick up a blank application in the front entryway of our building.

If you need assistance or have questions about filling out the application, please call 343-1611 for a phone appointment. Once you have completed your application, you can either drop off or mail it in to our location, 2 Bank St. in Downtown Batavia.

Please remember to include all necessary documentation and identification for all household members.

October 22, 2020 - 2:58pm
posted by Press Release in Medicaid, Office for the Aging, Announcements.

From the Office for the Aging:

Open Enrollment for those on Medicare is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year. The NY Connects/Genesee County Office for the Aging continues to be an unbiased resource that has information on all plans available for Genesee County residents.

Even during COVID-19, we are still here to assist you with your choices. Please call us at 343-1611; Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

September 16, 2020 - 1:16pm
posted by Press Release in HEAP 2021, Office for the Aging, COVID-19, news.

From the GC Office for the Aging:

Each year, Office for the Aging assists older adults with their applications for HEAP -- Home Energy Assistance Program.

If you received your preprinted application in the mail for the 2020-2021 season, please send it to Office for the Aging at 2 Bank St., Batavia, NY 14020.

It is important to include all current income information and year-to-date interest and dividends earned on any accounts.

If you have specific questions about your application, please call (585) 343-1611 for assistance.

Due to COVID-19, we are not able to meet with walk-ins.

July 30, 2020 - 2:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in Office for the Aging, news, Seniors, farmers market.

From the Genesee County Office for the Aging:

There is now a waiting list for the Senior Farmers’ Market Coupons.

Please call 343-1611 to be placed on the list. You will be informed of the date and location of when we will be handing them out.

If you have mobility concerns, you may send another person on your behalf. Please provide this person with a note. 

You must be on the list to receive a booklet of coupons.  

First come, first served.

Walk-ins at Office for the Aging on Bank Street in Batavia will not be accepted.

April 13, 2020 - 1:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in Office for the Aging, news, Meals on Wheels.

Press release:

For any Genesee County resident 60 years of age and older in need of food, please call NY Connects/Office for the Aging at (585) 343-1611, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. for assistance.

Office for the Aging not only offers home-delivered meals for those who qualify, but also helps individuals connect with other resources.

NY Connects/Office for the Aging staff continues to work with community partners to identify resources in every community in Genesee County.

“We are aware that some older adults who normally would not need our assistance, are finding that in this situation, they are part of the 'vulnerable' population and really need to stay indoors for their safety," said Diana Fox, director of the Office for the Aging. "We hope they will reach out to us so that we can help during this unusual time.”

Dorian Ely, services administrator at Office for the Aging added, “We have seen an increase in demand, but we have excellent partnerships with ARC, The Salvation Army, and FoodLink. In addition, we have received assistance from Star Growers, Harrington’s Produce, and Ferrell Gas. With these resources and others, we have been able to increase our normal capacity.”

If you or your organization has resources to share with the elderly in our county, please let Office for the Aging know by calling (585) 343-1611 or email [email protected]

If you wish to make a donation to the Meals on Wheels program, please send to Genesee Senior Foundation, 2 Bank St., Batavia, NY 14020.

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