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Albany County DFA Opens Satellite Office for the Underserved

In an effort to improve outreach efforts to rural low income older adults, the Albany County Department for the Aging (ACDFA) has established a satellite Office for the Aging in the hill town areas of Albany County. These localities include East Berne, Berne, Knox, Westerlo and Altamont.

The satellite office is located at the Berne Senior Center at 1360 Helderberg Trail and it opened in June 2012. A New York Connects trained staff member hosts regular office hours at the senior center on the second Saturday of each month, offering information and assistance to older residents of the county.

Each month the ACDFA staff member plans new presentations, including guest speakers or experts on a variety of topics. Very often, those who attend receive relevant outreach materials. Approximately 35-40 older adults attend this event each month and it is growing in popularity.

Outreach topics and discussions during 2012 and 2013 have included:

Overview An overview of ACDFA's Services and Programs and the distribution of ACDFA's Senior Handbook;

Transportation Albany County Access transportation and CDTA STAR Bus Intake process and procedures;

Medicare Saving Program For low income older adults, Medicare Savings Programs and Extra Help were presented. Applications were distributed and 15 completed applications were transmitted to the Department of Social Services for processing;

Legal A Senior Legal Aid Program brochure was distributed. A discussion ensued regarding the importance of having a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy, and how to obtain these documents so they are available when necessary;

HEAP Eligibility was discussed and applications distributed;

Caregiver Program Mary Moller from Catholic Charities Caregiver Program provided a presentation regarding the Caregiver Respite Program;

Adult Day Programs Adult Day Programs and the differences between a Social Adult Day Program and a Medical Model Adult Day Program were discussed as well as the benefits these programs provide for caregivers and care receivers;

Emergency Preparedness The importance of Emergency Preparedness was discussed including the following topics: Evaluating your risks, planning for emergencies, preparing and responding to emergencies, emergency forms and instructions, and emergency plans and supplies. ACDFA reviewed the importance of making sure medications and supplies have not expired and practicing the emergency plan; and

Falls Prevention Linda Miller from the Community Caregivers provided a presentation on Falls Prevention.

For additional information on the ACDFA satellite office, contact Commissioner Judy Coyne of the ACDFA at (518) 447-7177 or judy.coyne@albanycounty.com.