Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Aging-NY Executive Director, Laura Cameron, is Henrietta Rabe Humanitarian
Plus the "state-of-the-state of aging services" at Legislative Conference

Albany, NY, (2/4/2014) -- In recognition of her inspiration, guidance and significant contribution to the field of aging, Laura Cameron, Executive Director of the Association on Aging in New York received the Henrietta Rabe Humanitarian Award at a joint Legislative Conference of the NYS Coalition for the Aging (NYSCA), Council of Senior Centers and Services (CSCS) and Aging-NY at the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany.

Henrietta Rabe began senior programming and training for people who worked with the elderly in community-based settings before there were Offices for the Aging. The training Henrietta started was called Training and New Trends or more commonly known as TNT, which was the statewide training for professionals in the aging field before there was an ACUU (Aging Concerns Unite Us) conference. She worked for the NYS Department of Education - a real pioneer.

"Each year, the Henrietta Rabe Award recipient is chosen by a Committee that selects a professional who truly advances the field of aging, and Laura has done something truly remarkable," said Anne Marie Cook, CEO of Lifespan of Rochester and President of NYSCA. "Laura has created partnerships to work in collaboration so that we can be stronger together. Laura also started the ACUU (Aging Concerns Unite Us) conference, and has been instrumental in many initiatives, including forming a group of aging advocates to appeal to the SAGE Commission to keep NYSOFA an independent agency."

Laura has been the Executive Director of the Association on Aging in NY since 1992. The Association (or Aging-NY as it's sometimes called) represents New York's 59 mostly county-based offices for aging.

Laura Cameron, Executive Director of the Association on Aging in NY, received the Henrietta Rabe Humanitarian Award from the NYS Coalition for the Aging for her work advocating for community-based services for older New Yorkers so they can #ageinplace. (With Igal Jellinek, CSCS of NYC, Corinda Crossdale, NYS Office for Aging Director and Ann Marie Cook, CEO of Lifespan.
 She has carried the torch for Henrietta, especially where training is concerned. The ACUU conference has grown into a professional development event that attracts 400-plus aging professionals from the New York State Office for the Aging, NYS Coalition for the Aging, Council of Senior Centers and Services of NYC, AARP, NYS Adult Day Services Association, Albany Guardian Society, among others, to Albany every year in June for professional development. (Click here for more information on #ACUU2014.)

"I am so honored to be recognized by NYSCA and the Council of Senior Centers and Services of NYC with the Henrietta Rabe Humanitarian Award," Laura said. "I share this award with the many people I’ve worked with over the years. When I reflect on my two decades as Executive Director of the Association on Aging in NY, I realize that for me aging advocacy isn’t a job or even a career – it’s a mission. It’s a mission that has become a passion for a cause that’s near and dear to the hearts – and minds – of everyone in the room."

In recent months, Laura has been working with CSCS-NYC, NYSCA and Lifespan of Rochester on a joint position statement on the 2014-15 budget. Aging services and programs are straining from the weight of flat funding and the growth in the 60-plus population in New York State.

"Laura is recognized statewide as a committed advocate for older New Yorkers. Her combination of  intelligence, dedication and compassion matched with her many years of experience makes her a valuable professional working on behalf of older adults," said Igal Jellinek, Executive Director, Council of Senior Centers and Services (CSCS) of NYC.

Legislative Conference: A Blueprint for Transforming Aging in NY

The Blueprint for the Quality of Life for Older New Yorkers conference, where Laura was honored, was sponsored by the NYS Coalition for the Aging and the Council of Senior Centers and Services of NYC. Senator Jeff Klein, Independent Democratic Conference Leader and Majority Coalition Leader; and Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Chair of the Aging Committee addressed the audience of aging services advocates.

In the first workshop of the day, Shaun Flynn of AARP, Bobbie Sackman of CSCS-NYC and Laura Cameron of Aging-NY reported on the "state of the state's aging services."

Senator Jeff Klein, D-Bronx/Westchester and Independent Democratic Conference Leader and Majority Coalition Leader, spoke at the conference.

Laura shared the joint position statement on the budget, indicating that Aging-NY, NYSCA, CSCS-NYC and Lifespan have joined together to ask lawmakers to enhance NY Connects (an information referral source for long term services and supports) in the amount of $10 million and provide an additional $26 million for the Community Services for the Elderly program to address unmet need in New York State which includes the 7,000 already waiting for services at the local office for aging. These services include transportation, in-home care, home delivered meals and social adult day services in local communities. CSE funding is flexible so that the 59 area agencies on aging and community based agencies can address their individual community needs.

Bobbie Sackman, from the Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City, asked: "Where is the age-equality in the Gov.'s proposed budget?" and reported on the statewide impact of flat funding coupled with a growing senior population.

Shaun reported on the caregiver crisis. In New York, family and friends contribute 2.68 billion hours of nonmedical care to about 4 million frail low income New Yorkers, care valued at $32 billion annually, according to a 2011 AARP report, Valuing the Invaluable. But even with that informal care thousands of older New Yorkers, who are frail, low income and at risk of spending down to Medicaid, are on a waiting list for aging services that could help them remain independent.

Over the summer of 2013, CSCS and the NY State Respite and Caregiving Coalition, with AARP, co-sponsored 12 caregiver listening sessions across the state to hear directly from caregivers and service providers on the challenges of caring for older New Yorkers so they can remain independent. The listening tour resulted in the "Crisis in Caregiving" report. Click here for the report.

Elizabeth Loewy, Chair of the Elder Abuse Legislative Subcommittee for the NYS DA's Association, reported on Bill S.6221/A.7892A that would formalize the reporting and disclosing of elder abuse by banking institutions to Adult Protective Services and law enforcement. Loewy was part of the prosecution of Anthony Marshall, who was convicted of tricking his late mother out of millions and changing her will while the New York City socialite was incompetent and suffering from Alzheimer's in her final years.

The conference was attended by 70-plus professionals in the aging field and took place in the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany.

About Aging-NY

The Association on Aging in New York Area represents the state’s local offices for the aging, which were established under the federal Older Americans Act to respond to the needs of Americans age 60 and over. The Association provides professional development and education that includes the annual Aging Concerns Unite Us (ACUU) conference, webinars, regional caregiver forums and a fall Leadership Institute. The Association works to strengthen and expand long term services and supports to individuals so they may age in place in the community. A core philosophy is to work in collaboration with other agencies, which is accomplished through the Aging Alliance, a coalition of organizations representing older New Yorkers. For more information, go to http://www.agingny.org


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