BY BARRY WARNER
Rockland County government offers programs for the elderly through its Office for the Aging which are designed to help seniors maintain maximum independence in the home and provide employment and volunteer activities in the community.
Director June F. Molof explained, “There are more than 59,000 people in Rockland County over the age of 60. The special needs of this population are the primary concerns of this office. According to The University of Michigan statistics, if you work, attend school or volunteer, you may live an average of 7.5 years longer, with a better quality of life. Because of in-migration, many seniors are returning to Rockland to be back with their families. The information and referral assistance provided by this agency are critical to the functioning of seniors. The ‘Taxi Voucher Program’ enables Rockland residents 60 and older needed transportation to and from their medical appointments in the County. Those eligible receive a coupon booklet, which provides $7 each way per ride, however, riders must pay the difference if the fare exceeds the value of the coupon. The ‘Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program’ (EISEP) provides case-management and non-medical in-home services to income eligible seniors 60 and over who are not receiving Medicaid. The mission is to keep individuals in their homes and save New York State money. Home-care agencies furnish shopping, housekeeping chores and personal care. The ‘Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program’ (HIICAP) presents information concerning Medicare, health insurance issues, private health insurance and related health benefits. These services are available to all seniors regardless of income.”
Assistant Director Donna M. Scanlon said, “The free ‘Caregiver Respite Program’ affords a weeklong stay of six nights and seven days in a licensed adult home, senior residence or nursing home for eligible seniors. There are no income qualifications and it enables caregivers to take a break from their responsibilities. A room, meals and personal assistance are provided. The ‘Senior Employment program’ supplies training and employment opportunities for low-income people age 55 and over. It teaches new skills and enhances old ones and provides a transition to working in the private sector. The ‘Chore Service’ offers free, simple household repairs for senior citizens 60 years and older plus people with disabilities. Repairs include fixing leaking faucets and toilets, installing grab bars and replacing electrical switches. There is a charge for materials. The ‘Senior Care Helpline’ at 845-364-3444 presents a preliminary telephone evaluation of long-term care needs. Referrals are made to appropriate service programs ranging from delivery of meals to nursing home placement.”
The 28th Annual Senior Awareness Day ‘Safety First’ is free and open to the public. All seniors are invited to participate at Rockland Community College on May 22, 2013. Registration, free continental breakfast and exhibits will begin at 8am in the Eugene Levy Fieldhouse. Workshops are scheduled from 9:45-10:45 a.m. A special presentation by the Emergency Operations Center ‘Safety First’ will take place from 11-11:45 a.m. in the Cultural Arts Center. The day will conclude with an awards ceremony to present ‘Senior of the Year’ and ‘Outstanding Contribution Made by a Senior.’
For additional information: 845-364-2110 or http://www.rocklandgov.com/departments/aging.