WBFO Older Adults News Desk

The WBFO Older Adults News Desk is funded by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York

Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hinted he would try to limit local Medicaid spending during his State of the State Address earlier this month, saying county governments were all too eager to spend more because the state was paying for any increases. On Tuesday, Cuomo revealed how he intends to deter overspending: a 3% Medicaid spending cap.

 


Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his tenth State of the State address Wednesday in Albany. WBFO reporters took in-depth look at what the governor and others are saying about some key challenges the state faces at the start of a new decade.

Thomas O'Neil-White

The amount of Baby Boomers already in or entering retirement age continues to grow in Western New York, which makes providing programs for them imperative.

WBFO file photo

Issues impacting older adults — including lowering prescription drug prices, tax relief for caregivers and large Medicaid cuts — will be some of the major issues during New York state’s 2020 legislative session. 

 


WBFO News

The Broadway Market is more than just a place for you to buy a butter lamb for Easter Sunday. For older adults in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, the City of Buffalo Senior Drop In Center inside the market provides them with a familial atmosphere.

Staying healthy is one of our greatest personal challenges. We're bombarded with marketing for medications and dietary supplements. And it can be very confusing, especially for the elderly. WBFO's older adults news desk reached out to Dr. Jerrold Winter for some context. He's a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University at Buffalo and the author of several books on drugs and supplements.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Meals on Wheels provides older adults with nutritious meals and some socialization all year around, but those services are especially crucial during the holiday season and winter months when seniors living alone may feel particularly isolated and lonely. Here WBFO gives a behind-the-scenes look at Meals on Wheels deliveries during the holidays.

Marian Hetherly / WBFO News

Fewer kids in the United States are clowning around, and that leaves a lot of the work of child's play to older adults in Buffalo and beyond.

Of the 21 clowns depicted on their website, the Buffalo Clown Alley features only 2 that clearly are not older adults. At 88 years old, Lorraine Bauer is far more typical.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

For the second time in four days, the French government has offered a Western New Yorker who served in World War II its highest honor, the Légion d'Honneur. This time, it was a Lackawanna native who served as an Army Nurse in 1944 and 1945.

Canopy of Neighbors

Thomas Hayduk wasn’t sure what he was going to do upon being released from the hospital.

 

Following a serious car accident in 2016, the 72-year-old Buffalo resident could no longer drive and was, as he puts it, in need of socialization.

 

Now a car comes right to Hayduk’s home and drives him to places like the local community center for low-impact pool exercises. He also gets taken out for coffee, lunch and movies with other older adults.

“It’s been golden,” he said. 

 

Hayduk is one of approximately 200 Buffalo seniors enrolled in Canopy of Neighbors. The nonprofit deploys volunteers to drive older adults to doctor’s appointments, the grocery store and even social outings with other adults enrolled in the program. Volunteers may even help put away groceries or fix the television.

 


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A 95-year-old Olean man who served in World War II has received France's highest honor for military and civil merits. A representative of the French government presented Charles "Charlie" Brown with the Légion d'Honneur during a ceremony Friday afternoon in Olean.

The University at Buffalo Law School is documenting the struggles of local home care workers and recommending solutions. 

 

The UB Community Justice Clinic on Tuesday released a policy report titled “Homecare Industry in Crisis,” in which law students interviewed 14 people who have worked for home care agencies throughout Erie County over the last year. 

Center for Elder Law and Justice

The Center for Elder Law and Justice helps older adults navigate the legal side of elder abuse, like getting an order of protection or recovering stolen funds. Now the Buffalo nonprofit legal services agency will help elder abuse victims with their emotional, social and health needs, too.

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Anyone who’s ever watched television has probably heard this: Ask your doctor if taking this medication is right for you.

The University at Buffalo wants older adults to start asking their doctors if stopping certain medications is right for them.

 


Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Erie County officials received the influenza vaccine Wednesday in an effort to encourage residents to do the same.

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Williamsville residents say turning the Blocher Homes assisted living facility into mixed-income housing will not only displace 50 seniors, but also congest traffic, eliminate green space and decline property values. 

 


Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Dr. Bruce Troen doesn’t want to just increase senior citizens’ life spans. He also wants to increase what he calls their “health spans.”

 

“It’s not about the years in your life, but it’s really the life in your years,” he said.

 

Troen and the University at Buffalo’s Center for Successful Aging will be in a better position to do just that thanks to a recent five-year, $750,000 grant from the National Institute on Aging. UB will match the funds for a total of $1.5 million.

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Maryanne Portugues, 69, knows all too well about scams targeting older adults.

 

“The first time I ever got a call was years ago telling me that my Social Security benefits were going to stop,” she told WBFO. “After I started thinking and realized what I was getting upset over, (I thought), they don’t do this.”

 

Portugues and others at the Belle Senior Center on Buffalo’s West Side received a free seminar on how to protect themselves from scams Thursday. It was part of AT&T’s “Digital You and Cyber Aware” public education campaign, in collaboration with state Sen. Tim Kennedy and the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York.

 

AARP

The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York has announced grants of $100,000 each to three New York counties to support the development of Age-Friendly Centers of Excellence.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Mary Ann Basile, 72, cast her ballot at the Harlem Road Community Center in Amherst Friday afternoon, four days before Election Day. 

 

“I just thought it would be more convenient to come today than on Tuesday,” she said. “It’s too crowded on Tuesday. It’s nice to be able to come at your own convenience.”

 

Basile and other senior citizens took advantage of the convenience of New York state’s early voting more than any other age group in Erie County.

 

WNED | WBFO's Making Buffalo Home

Older refugees in Buffalo face challenges that younger refugees circumvent. Although services are prolific for this community, they are not always as accessible due to certain barriers. Those barriers make it sometimes impossible for them to utilize the available resources.


WBFO file photo

Republicans in the Erie County Legislature want answers about Ruthie’s Law.

The Republican minority caucus sent a letter to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz on Tuesday, demanding he explain why nursing homes aren’t following the law and what his administration is doing to enforce it.

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Construction is starting on more affordable housing for seniors on the East Side of Buffalo. 

 

City and state officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for Westminster Commons, an upcoming 84-unit, low-income senior housing complex on Monroe Street. The new facility will be connected to the existing Westminster Settlement House, which will be converted into a health facility for both Westminster Commons residents and other community members.

 

Erie County

Ruthie’s Law was meant to hold nursing homes more accountable. Proposed by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and passed by the county Legislature just a few months later, it mandates facilities report abuse-related incidents to the county twice a year, as well as submit proof they’re disclosing their ratings to prospective clients.

 

Now, more than two years after it was signed into law, it’s difficult to say what, if any, impact it’s had.


Erie County offers a wide range of programs and services for older adults. And today seniors, their family members, caregivers or anyone interested, can weigh in on the offerings or learn more about what's available.

U.S. Senate

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has unveiled new bipartisan legislation to help protect older adults and long-term care patients from abuse by improving health care worker hiring practices.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

A vacant parking lot has officially been transformed into affordable housing for older adults as part of the Gates Circle redevelopment. 

 

People Inc., as well as the state and city officials who helped fund the $11.6 million project, unveiled Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

With many Buffalo seniors worried about the impact of the new property re-assessment program on their taxes, the Common Council is moving to cover the entire city with a new tax break.

Western New York Independent Living

A New York state judge has thrown out a decision by the Department of Health that could have left groups like Western New York Independent Living in Buffalo without Medicaid funds to help elderly and disabled New Yorkers to live at home. 

Mike Desmond

The end of life is part of the human condition. It's hard on families and difficult to navigate. Speakers in Calvary Episcopal Church's Common Ground series yesterday say the key is planning, particularly on the part of the dying individual.


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