In the last issue of the Gazette there was an article about area transit, “The Best Kept Secret in Ulster County.” Well, here’s another: the Ulster County Office for the Aging (UCOFA). The Older Americans Act of 1965 resulted in a comprehensive federal, state and local network to advocate on behalf of older citizens. What this means for you (if you’re over 60) or for your aging loved ones, is that the UCOFA is here to help county residents be as independent as possible through a variety of programs which support and empower the elderly and their families. A brief description of some of the available services/programs follows. All are for those who are 60 or older:
Case Management—a comprehensive program that assesses the needs of the elderly and develops a care plan to address those needs.
Home Delivered Meals—meal delivery Monday to Friday for homebound elderly who have no one to provide meals.
Senior Dining Program—three dining sites are located throughout the county for lunch and socialization.
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)—provides funding to help pay heating bills for low-income individuals.
Weatherization Referral and Packaging Program (WRAP) —offers a variety of services and resources to low income, vulnerable elderly to assist them in maintaining an affordable, energy-efficient home.
Senior Care-A-Van—provides, on a scheduled basis, health screening and health education for rural County seniors.
Subsidized Home Care—local providers offer services in the homes of people with temporary or chronic needs who cannot perform day-to-day tasks.
Legal Services—legal counseling on civil matters is available to County residents.
Financial Counseling and Tax Preparation—no-cost tax counseling for elderly or disabled.
Additionally, co-sponsored programs such as Senior Games and Live, Laugh Learn are offered, as well as an annual hearing for public input. For a complete overview of services and programs visit www.co.ulster.ny.us/aging, or call the UCOFA at (845) 340-3456.