WBFO Older Adults News Desk

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

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.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Nursing homes are speaking out against New York state’s Medicaid re-calculation they say will cost them millions of dollars in funding.

 

Nursing home officials and advocates, as well as their state lawmakers, gathered at Garden Gate nursing home in Cheektowaga Wednesday to urge the New York State Department of Health to reconsider the recent change to the Medicaid reimbursement model.

 


Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Carri Milch of Williamsville considers herself part of the Woodstock Generation. She listened to plenty of music while attending concerts and dances as a young person in the 1960s and ’70s.

 

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Some were in their 90s. The oldest was 104. Many needed the assistance of a walker or a wheelchair. 

 

That didn’t stop residents of Blocher Homes from making sure their voices were heard in a protest Monday over the proposed sale and closing of their Williamsville assisted living facility.


Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Vernadine Hinton has lived at Piotr Stadnitski Gardens, a 100-unit affordable senior housing complex on Buffalo’s East Side, for 15 years. She said she’s seen the apartment building when “it really wasn’t too much.”

Now she has new windows to keep the heat in and a bigger stove for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

A college campus is the new place for Erie County senior citizens looking to get care and socialization while avoiding going into a nursing home, as Catholic Health officially unveiled its new day facility at Villa Maria College in Cheektowaga Wednesday.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

When it comes to taking care of an aging loved one, health experts warn it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. That’s why Erie County is once again offering Powerful Tools for Caregivers classes.

Absolut Care

Less than a week after announcing the facility’s closing, Absolut Care is moving residents out of its Orchard Park nursing home.

A few thousand people walked around Canalside for suicide awareness earlier this month as part of the annual Out of the Darkness Walk. Two weeks ago, Niagara Falls was illuminated in yellow, the color for suicide prevention.

 

Amongst all the outreach happening in Buffalo and throughout the country this month for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, suicide prevention experts say it’s important not to forget about one group in particular: the elderly. 

 

Jacquie Prenatt

Buffalo’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s returns this weekend, as thousands are expected to walk around the Outer Harbor in the name of fighting the cognitive disease.

 

Absolut Care

Absolut Care will close its Orchard Park nursing home amid filing for bankruptcy. 

Sandy White

In Buffalo, a local architect has received a national recognition for over a half century of contributions to the profession of architecture. His story has roots in the civil rights movement.

Jay Moran/WBFO

The remaining Baby Boomers are on the verge of retiring out of the region's workforce. It's a development that could have devastating consequences. "One of the key issues, if you want to grow your economy, you've got to grow your workforce," said economist John Slenker, who sees hopeful signs that this area is once again attracting younger people.


Erie County Department of Senior Services

From mental health issues to fiscal benefits, it's usually better for seniors to stay in their homes instead of going to nursing facilities.  A program called EISEP looks to help by paying a modest wage to individuals who can assist seniors with certain in-home needs.

aarp.org

It may be illegal for job interviewers to ask about an applicant's age, but the practice is surprisingly common. According to Randy Hoak, Associate State Director for AARP New York, 44 percent  of "older workers looking for jobs" report being asked age-related questions in job interviews.  Few, however, file formal complaints over the practice.


Jay Moran/WBFO

For Deborah Waldrop, years of helping families cope with terminal illnesses have reinforced her commitment to her work.  The professor at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work sees advance directives as more than a "check of the box" in making final arrangements. "The end of life is a time when there's still growth and change happening."


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