Senior Citizens' Help Line
Receiving over 15,000 calls annually, the Senior Citizens' Help Line was established in 1974 to provide statewide toll-free access to anyone seeking information about programs and services for the elderly in New York State. In order to improve and enhance the core mission of the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) to assist older New Yorkers to be as independent as possible for as long as possible, NYSOFA identified the need to establish a central point for older New Yorkers to contact for information regarding relevant programs and services that meet their specific needs. It was determined that in this role as a central point of contact, NYSOFA should establish a toll-free telephone help line, accessible within and from outside the state to provide quick and easy answers to the diverse questions and issues faced by older New Yorkers and, as necessary, referrals to other offices or agencies.
The Help Line supplements and complements the information and assistance services provided by the local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA). In addition, legislators, aging network professionals, and others in the field of aging can contact NYSOFA staff by utilizing the Help Line. The Help Line is currently staffed by representatives who may be reached Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. If all representatives are busy, callers hear a recorded message advising them leave a message and staff will return the call, and during non-business hours callers are advised to call during regular office hours.
To make the Help Line accessible to limited English Proficient (LEP) callers, free telephonic Language Line interpreter services may be accessed to assist callers statewide. Help Line staff also provide copies of the "New York State's Senior Citizen Resource Guide" to seniors, legislators, and local agencies. The Guide is a comprehensive, concise, and easy-to-read resource of programs, services, and contact information available for New York's seniors.