Thursday, March 26, 2015

NYSOFA: New York's Lead Agency for Aging Services Programs

The New York State Office for the Aging -- commonly known as NYSOFA -- is designated as New York’s lead

Corinda Crossdale (center) is the Director of the New York State Office for the Aging. She's pictured with Mary Ann Cook, CEO of Lifespan, and Laura Cameron, Executive Director of the Association on Aging in NY.

agency for coordinating and and administering Federal, State, and local programs and services for older New Yorkers, a population that's critical to New York's economic well-being.

Baby boomers and senior citizens bring in around $3.3 billion in income annually. That’s considerably more than the $1.65 billion generated by the 25 to 44 demographic. That's why it makes sense to provide long term services and supports that will keep New York's older adults and their wealth in New York.

While the Association on Aging in NY is the nonprofit professional association advocating for the 59 mostly county-based Area Agencies on Aging, NYSOFA is the state's agency for administering federal Older Americans Act programs and services, state-funded programs, and grant-related initiatives. The agency was established following passage of the Older Americans Act in 1965.

NYSOFA is based in Albany and collaborates with public and private organizations and agencies in order to better serve older New Yorkers. In addition, NYSOFA is involved in facilitating and guiding policy development to improve the quality of life of older New Yorkers, and assure the delivery of high-quality services in communities across the State to help older adults remain as independent as possible for as long as possible.

For more information on the New York State Office for the Aging, click here. 

At the 2013 ACUU conference, NYSOFA's  Greg Olsen (center) prepared before the General Session with Mark Kissinger, NYS Dir. Long Term Services and Support, and Roger Bearden, Gov. Cuomo's Special Counsel on the Olmstead Plan.
There is a local office for the aging in every area of NYS, most of them cover one county, although some cover a portion (two Indian reservations), and some cover multiple counties (New York City has one office that covers all 5 boroughs).

The dedicated people who work at the local offices for aging have the training, experience and local knowledge to help older adults and their caregivers access a variety of services and benefits.

The local offices for  aging are mostly county-based so that they can help residents understand the myriad of community-based support services that can help them maintain their independence.

A local office for aging can assist local residents in applying for and receiving benefits such as heating assistance and purchasing food, understanding health insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid) and gaining access to legal services and supports for planning in advance (health care proxy, powers of attorney, wills, housing issues).

The locally based offices for aging are the connection to congregate and home-delivered meals, nutrition counseling, employment and volunteer opportunities, senior centers, transportation, in-home supports as well as support to family, friends, and neighbors who may be providing assistance to older adults and much more.

For a Directory of local offices for the aging in New York, click here.
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