Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Older New Yorkers are a resource to our state in so many ways. They have made valuable contributions to our social fabric, have helped to build New York into the "Empire State," contribute millions of hours each year volunteering to make their communities a better place to live and are an important part of the state's economy. As the population grows older, we want and need to support older New Yorkers and their families to live their lives with dignity and independence, and we dedicate ourselves to protecting their health, safety and independence.
New York State offers a wide array of programs and services for our growing population of elders and for the family, friends and neighbors who help them remain independent. The New York State Office for the Aging, in partnership with 59 county office for the aging and the many service providers, help to guide elders, their families and caregivers to opportunities that enhance their lives. Our office is also charged with advocating for our elders at every level of government and throughout our local communities. We are committed to conveying their views, protecting their rights and ensuring that their needs are addressed.
NYSOFA administers programs and services that help older adults maintain their independence with programs such as personal care, home and congregate meals, transportation assistance, caregiver assistance and health promotion and prevention programs. We also administer programs that help older New Yorkers navigate the long term care system, understand their Medicare benefits and other important benefits and assist them by providing objective information that enables informed choices to be made. We administer programs that help to identify fraud and abuse in the health care system, work with nursing home residents and administrators to solve problems and advocate strongly for opportunities for older adults to volunteer and be more civically engaged and to live healthier lifestyles.
NYSOFA is also at the forefront of innovation. We receive a variety of federal and state grants to design and enhance programs that better serve our older adult population. These include expanding caregiver and respite opportunities that support caregivers, working in partnerships to reduce preventable hospital readmissions through creative care transitions approaches, targeting older adults at risk of nursing home placement and spending down to Medicaid and serving them using private, state and federal funds more flexibly, implementing evidence-based interventions to help older adults manage their chronic conditions and working collaboratively in communities to assist older adults pertaining to issues around their ability to drive.
Finally, NYSOFA and our community partners strive to assist communities in planning for the growth of the older population by providing resources and tools to assist in making communities more livable for older adults and persons of all ages. This strategy is a grassroots strategy that empowers community members to understand their communities better and develop inclusive, sustainable planning precesses that meet the wants and needs of the community at large.
The information available through this web site is designed to give visitors the practical information they need to access services and programs in their communities as well as those resources available statewide. I hope you find this information useful and beneficial. And remember, we are only a free phone call away. Our Senior Citizen Help Line can be reached during normal business hours at 1-800-342-9871.
Greg Olsen, MSW