Area seniors relishing region's transformation

Aug 21, 2015

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul celebrated National Senior Citizens Day with a visit to some of the area’s older residents.

Hochul stopped in at the Cheektowaga Senior Center Friday where she talked with some lifelong Western New Yorkers. She says visiting them is a reminder that they gave their blood, sweat, and tears to the community.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul visits members of the Cheektowaga Senior Citizens Center
Credit Avery Schneider / WBFO News

“They were here during the tough times, the 50s, 60s, 70s, when Buffalo’s decline was really expedited. And now they’re here to witness a transformation,” Hochul said.

Hochul says the loss of confidence in Western New York has been turned around entirely. She says listening to seniors talk about their restored pride in the area is refreshing.

"We're coming alive again," said lifelong Cheektowaga resident Russ Dixon.

Dixon said he always thought there would be a turnaround in Buffalo.

"Sooner or later people are going to get smart," said Dixon. "They're doing it slowly, but we're heading in the right direction.

The lieutenant governor highlighted some of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s initiatives aimed at increasing training to home healthcare aides.

Seniors participate in 'Chair Yoga' at the Cheektowaga Senior Citizens Center.
Credit Avery Schneider / WBFO News

“Part of it is training for those individuals. We want to up the level of training for them, but also respite for caregivers. This is a big initiative of the governor’s in the budget. Many times it’s a family member who’s assigned the responsibility of taking care of a senior family member, and they need a break,” she added.

Hochul says the governor is also working to streamline the state’s Medicaid system and make it more efficient. She says many seniors and disabled members of the community rely on it.