No Wrong Door/NY Connects Offers Assistance, Information For Aging Services

Hello, Friends. My name is Judy and I am here to introduce you to a program in Chautauqua County that is available to everyone regardless of age, income or disability.

The program is called No Wrong Door/NY Connects. This program offers unbiased assistance, referrals and information regarding long term services and supports that are available in Chautauqua County and there is absolutely no charge to the consumer for our services. Each county in New York now has its own NY Connects staff located in the local Office for the Aging, and each county also has a No Wrong Door person located within the area Independent Living Center. I am located at Southwestern Independent Living Center at 843 N. Main St., Jamestown, and I travel throughout the entire county to assist my consumers. If more convenient, a consumer(s) can come to my office by appointment, meet me at one of my outreach stations throughout the county, or I can come to your home if you have transportation issues. You can contact me at 661-3010 and you can contact your local NY Connects staff at 753-4582 in the Mayville area, 363-4582 in the Dunkirk area and 661-7582 in the Jamestown area. There is also a statewide 800 number, 800-342-9871, as well as a NY Connects website that has a search feature and more information for you to browse through!

The entire idea of the No Wrong Door/NY Connects program is to allow people to live their lives in the manner they wish to live, with the help and services they want in their life. With this in mind, each week I will introduce you to a few different services that have similar offerings, such as skilled nursing facilities, of which there are several within the county. The next week I may write about organizations that deal with children and their specific needs. The next week may be about service organizations that deal specifically with veterans. One week I may write about social service programs and how to apply for the programs if you qualify for them. All organizations and businesses that I share with you will be within Chautauqua County. There are so many offerings in this county and I want ensure that you are aware of all of them — I encourage you to clip the articles for future reference!

This week one of the programs I would like to introduce you to is a program that Governor Cuomo has recently put into effect — that is the “Cooling Assistance” program. This program went into effect May 1, 2018, and is administered through the HEAP program. As we are all aware, it can get a bit humid and hot here in Chautauqua County. At times, the heat and humidity cause a great deal of stress for individuals with health conditions. This program allows a person to buy and install an air conditioner (not to exceed $800 for purchase and installation) or a fan for your residence. You are allowed one or the other, but not both. There are guidelines and they are as follows:

¯ you must be a US Citizen or qualified alien resident with a documented medical condition that is aggravated by the heat,

¯ you must meet the income guidelines.

¯ you receive SNAP benefits, Temporary Assistance, Code A SSI,

¯ you currently do not have a working air conditioner or the one you do have is five years old or older, and

¯ you must not have received a HEAP funded air conditioner within the past ten years.

I encourage you to call your local HEAP office and see if you qualify for this program. You may call the Department of Social Services in Jamestown at 753-4385, the Dunkirk office at 363-3538, or the Mayville office at 753-4000 to get more information on this program. I would also like to encourage you to visit the website mybenefits.ny.gov to see what other programs you may be eligible for.

Since we are talking about summer, let’s visit a bit about having the responsibility of an aging family member in your home and all of the summer activities you or your children may be involved in. I realize at times it may be difficult for you to take mother, father, grandma, grandpa, aunt or uncle out to some events due to the heat, the length of the activity, etc. Due to this, some families forego the occasional outing and stay at home to care for their beloved elder. Well, there are adult day programs in Chautauqua County that may be able to assist in situations such as this! Each program offers various activities the person can get involved with, as well as offering nutritious breakfasts and noon meals! Transportation is available with some of the programs and others require that you bring your senior family member to the facility. They have outings, games, crafts, easy chairs – everything you can think of to have a fulfilling day! You are able, in most programs, to set the days you would like, such as Monday through Friday, or maybe just two days per week. Some programs have set rates and others have sliding scale rates.

Here are a few of the offerings in Chautauqua County for this type of service:

The first facility I would like to mention is Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers. This organization provides daily activities Monday through Friday, with transportation to and from available for your convenience, if needed. This program offers a wide array of activities — indoors and outdoors — throughout the day, excursions into the community, breakfast and lunch and lots of camaraderie. Chautauqua Adult Day Center also has a Spanish program available for those who would be more comfortable in a Spanish-speaking environment. Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers have four locations for your convenience — two in Jamestown, one in Westfield and one in Dunkirk. You can get more information on this program by visiting their website at www.seniordayprograms.com or by calling 665-4899.

The Tanglewood Group also offers a few different services of this nature! The first one I would like to visit with you about is Tanglewood’s Day and Respite Services. If you are a primary caregiver of a senior, you may be finding it hard to find time for yourself and things you need to do. Or, if you are a senior, sometimes you just want some time away from the family to socialize with your peers — this is where this program is beneficial! This program is held at the Tanglewood facility and those who come receive the same care and attention that their residents receive. Tanglewood Manor, Frewsburg Rest Home and Memory Garden all offer this short-term, daily respite service. Tanglewood also offers a program called Comfort Today. This program is for those who are not ready for a full-time change but would really like a chance to just get out and enjoy time with old and new friends. This program offers coffee with friends, breakfast and lunch, exercise opportunities, games and recreation, salon and spa services and ensures your safety and well being by having trained staff supervising and monitoring each activity and visitor! To get more information about the Day and Respite Program and the Comfort Today program, call 338-0500.

Another offering by Tanglewood that we will visit about today is a program called Friend for a Day. This service is offered for those days when you just need a little help or time away. Friend for a Day offers friendship and assistance with everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, meal preparation, laundry and household chores, games and recreation, conversation and coffee / tea as well as assisting the elder with appointments or errands. You can get more information on this program by calling 483-2876.

I would like to mention that Tanglewood is hosting “Concerts in the Park” during the months of June, July and August! These concerts are held, rain or shine, in the beautiful park located behind Tanglewood Manor — if it does rain, the concerts are held indoors. These concerts present a great opportunity for you and your loved ones to come out and have some fun together, or a time where you can go and just get away from things for a bit! The schedule for the concerts is as follows:

¯ July 19 at 7 p.m. — Kokomo Time Band

¯ July 26 at 2 p.m. — Steve Strickland Duo

¯ Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. — Old Dawg Bluegrass.

¯ Aug. 16 at 2 p.m. — Happy Days

Everyone is invited to these concerts.

As mentioned before, I will have information on different services for the residents of Chautauqua County each week. If you are needing assistance, information on services available in the area, or a referral to a service, please call NY Connects — they are there to assist this community! If you are a service provider or business and would like to have your information shared in this column, please call me, Judy Wroda, at 450-3960.

Your local NY Connects staff can be contacted by calling 753-4582 for the Mayville area, 363-4582 for the Dunkirk area and 661-7582 for the Jamestown area, or you can call the state-wide 800 number which is 1-800-342-9871. If you would like, you can contact myself at 661-3010 or 450-3960. Thank you and I look forward to visiting with you all again next week.

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