Office For The Aging

Special Events Programs & Services

Steve Newcomb
Office for the Aging


 435 East Henrietta Rd., 3rd Floor, Faith-East
Rochester, NY 14620
 Phone: (585) 753-6280
 Fax: (585) 753-6455
[email protected]



If you are 60 and over or a family caregiver contact NY Connects/ Lifespan at (585) 325-2800 or (585) 244-8400 for assistance.

See Monroe County webpage for more details.

Celebrating Older Americans Month: Powered by Connection

Established in 1963, Older Americans Month (OAM) is celebrated every May. Led by a federal agency, the Administration for Community Living (ACL), OAM is a time to recognize older Americans' contributions, highlight aging trends, and reaffirm commitments to serving the older adults in our communities.

This year’s theme, "Powered by Connection," focuses on the profound impact that meaningful connections have on the well-being and health of older adults — a relationship underscored by the U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community.

“It's not just about having someone to chat with but “It's about the transformative potential of community engagement in enhancing mental, physical, and emotional well-being.” By recognizing and nurturing the role that connectedness plays, we can mitigate issues like loneliness, ultimately promoting healthy aging for more Americans.

How can community groups, businesses, and organizations mark OAM?

  • Spread the word about the mental, physical, and emotional health benefits of social connection through professional and personal networks.
  • Encourage social media followers to share their thoughts and stories of connection using hashtag #PoweredByConnection to inspire and uplift.
  • Promote opportunities to engage, like cultural activities, recreational programs, and interactive virtual events.
  • Connect older adults with local services, such as counseling, that can help them overcome obstacles to meaningful relationships and access to support systems.
  • Host connection-centric events or programs where older adults can serve as mentors to peers, younger adults, or youths.

What can individuals do to connect?

  • Invite more connection into your life by finding a new passion, joining a social club, taking a class, or trying new activities in your community. 
  • Stay engaged in your community by giving back through volunteering, working, teaching, or mentoring.
  • Invest time with people to build new relationships and discover deeper connections with your family, friends, colleagues, or neighbors.

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For more information, visit the official OAM website and follow ACL on Facebook, and LinkedIn. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #OlderAmericansMonth.


The spring season brings flowers, warm weather, April showers, and family holidays.

However, it’s important to stay safe during the spring season to enjoy the most of the warm weather. Here are some spring safety tips.

  1. Check the weather. During the spring, the weather can change from the morning to afternoon. Ensure that you can check the weather each morning, whether they use a weather app or watch a television program.
  2. Keep an umbrella in the car. As the weather becomes warm, it may be likely to rain, and an umbrella can help shield from the elements.
  3. Stock up on allergy medications. It is estimated that 7.7% of Americans have hay fever. If you have seasonal allergies, make sure that your medicine cabinet is stocked with the supplies you need.
  4. Be sun safe.  Be sure to spend time sitting in the shade.  Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and use broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.  Try finding a daily body or face lotion with at least SPF 15.  Also, wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
  5. Use insect repellent. If you enjoy going outdoors, then it is important that you use insect repellent to ward away bugs that might bite or sting you. Some insect repellents are applied to the skin while others are an item that emits a scent and can be carried with you.
  6. Bring an extra layer of clothing. In the spring, it can be warm or cold. In some regions, it may even snow during the early weeks of spring. Keep an extra layer of clothing wherever you go in case the temperature changes.
  7. Do some spring cleaning around the house. Clutter can accumulate and make it harder to maneuver around the home.  Start doing some spring cleaning a little at a time to get rid of old items that can potentially stack up and make moving around more challenging. 
  8. Buy springtime clothes.  Make sure you have spring clothes in your closet. Sun hats, sunglasses, light-fitted shirts/pants, and baseball hats are all good choices for the spring weather.
  9. Check gardening tools. If you enjoy working out in the garden, inspect all of the gardening tools to ensure that they are still in proper working condition.
  10. Wear protection for outdoor tasks. With the spring will come tasks such as mowing the lawn or using a leaf blower to clean leaves. Goggles, ear protection, ear plugs, and other safety equipment should be checked and in good condition.
  11. Check the patio and furniture. You should check the patio for any loose boards or nails. You should also check that the chairs and furniture outside are safe to use for the season.
  12. Test fire alarms and smoke detectors. It’s important that you have up-to-date fire alarms and smoke detectors in your home. Check the batteries and test the detectors to see if they are in proper working condition.
  13. Clean the gutters. During the winter, leaves and debris may accumulate in the gutters of the house. Having the gutters cleaned out can help you maintain your home.
  14. Keep an emergency kit in case of a storm. It may be more likely to thunderstorm during the springtime. You should have an emergency kit in case the power goes out. Some items the kit should include are flashlights, batteries, food, bottled water, and first aid items.
  15. Check the air conditioners. You should check that your air conditioner unit is in working condition because the weather can sometimes become hot in the spring. It also is a good idea to have fans around the home in case the air conditioner breaks or if you do not have an air conditioning unit.
  16. Learn to take timed breaks. You should be aware of how much time you spend out in the heat, especially on hotter spring days. Use a timer to keep track of how long you spend in the sun to avoid over-exertion and dehydration.
  17. Drink water often. Did you know 75% of Americans are dehydrated? An important spring safety tip for older adults is to stay hydrated, especially as the weather becomes warmer and they go outside more.
  18. Prepare your car for spring. You should keep your care up-to-date for the spring weather. This includes refilling the windshield wiper fluid, keeping sunglasses in the car in case of glare, and frequently checking the tire pressure when the weather changes.

T-Care (Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral)/ Caregiver Screen

Do you provide unpaid care to a family member, friend, or neighbor who has an illness, disability, memory loss, injury, or special need? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a caregiver! Are you feeling overwhelmed, constantly worried, tired, sad, easily irritated, and/or extremely stressed? You are not alone and there is support available. If you would like to learn more about resources, tools, and supports available for caregivers, please answer the following questions to get connected to the right starting place.

  1. Are you over the age of 18 and caring for an older adult (age 60+)?

  1. Are you over the age of 18 caring for an individual (any age) with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder (e.g., dementia, traumatic brain injury, mild cognitive impairment, chronic traumatic encephalopathy)?

  1. Are you over the age of 55 and living with and caring for a child (not biological) under the age of 18?

  1. Are you over the age of 55 and living with and caring for an adult (can be a biological child) aged 18-59 with a disability?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are eligible for the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP). If you would like to learn more about how this program can assist you, please take this short screen for an initial assessment of your wellbeing, and a Program Specialist will reach out to discuss the results. The evidence-based screener asks you to reflect on your experiences and respond to a series of statements based on identified rating scales in each section. This screener is used to help you and the Program Specialist better understand your situation and define an individualized plan to meet your unique caregiving needs.

If you answered no to all the questions above, or you are not interested in taking the evidence-based screen, there is still help available to you through the Any Care Counts - New York (ACC-NY) Campaign which recognizes and supports the millions of unpaid caregivers across the state! Through ACC-NY you can discover your caregiver intensity score by taking the ARCHANGELS Caregiver Intensity Index (CII). It takes just 2 minutes to complete. You will find out whether you are “in the red," "yellow" or "green," and be connected to trusted resources.  

Do you prefer to search resources on your own? Visit the NY Connects Resource Directory or call  NY Connects @ (585) 325-2800. NY Connects links individuals of all ages and their caregivers to long term services and supports and provides one stop access to free, objective, comprehensive information and assistance.

Age-Friendly / Livable Community

Action Plan (PDF) 2023 Progress Report (PDF)

Our community, like our nation, is aging. This reality is fostering a national and even worldwide movement about how to make communities more age-friendly and more livable for all.

The 2020 Monroe County transition report states “Monroe County should champion the Livable Communities (Age-Friendly) model. A Livable/Age Friendly community is one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services. Once in place, those resources help enhance personal independence, support residents to age in place, and foster engagement in the community’s civic, economic and social life.”

Age-Friendly Communities have Three Characteristics.

1. Age is not a significant barrier to the maintenance of life-long interests and activities.

2. Supports and accommodations exist to enable individuals with disabilities to meet basic health and social needs.

3. Opportunities exist for older adults to develop new sources of fulfillment and engagement.

In partnership with the Rochester/Monroe County Aging Alliance, a plan has been developed. Our goal is to create an inclusive, age-friendly community for all citizens of Monroe County.

Combat Social Isolation

Social Isolation Resources

Human beings are social creatures. Our connection to others enables us to survive and thrive. Yet, as we age, many of us are alone more often than when we were younger, leaving us vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness—and related health problems such as cognitive decline, depression, and heart disease.

  • Social isolation significantly increases a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.
  • Social isolation is associated with about a 50% percent increased risk of dementia.
  • Poor social relationships (characterized by social isolation or loneliness) is associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke.
  • Loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
  • Loneliness among heart failure patients is associated with a nearly 4 times increased risk of death, 68% increased risk of hospitalization, and 57% increased risk of emergency department visits.

Social Isolation Activities

  • Board and Card Games – Yahtzee, Scrabble, Solitaire, Concentration and Trivial Pursuit are games that can be played alone, or virtually online. These are areas where working memory functions.
  • Puzzles – Puzzles are a great way to pass time, and studies have shown improvements in memory when seniors worked on puzzles for as little as 45 minutes a day, twice per week.
  • Brain-Training Computer Games – This can reduce dementia by up to 28%.
  • Memory Boxes – Memory boxes are a good way of stimulating and recalling favorite memories. Build a collection of old photos, items reminiscent of work or volunteering, and any objects that mean something and put them in the box to peruse when bored. If someone is especially agitated, looking at these objects may have a calming effect.
  • Old movies – Many of us have old home videos or movies featuring family fun or our favorite performers. Furthermore, there are so many television channels and streaming platforms from which to choose, virtually any movie or classic TV show can be found and binged!
  • Books – Escape reality by diving into a novel. You probably have a small library from which to choose, so gather a few hard covers or paperbacks and do some reading. If you have an e-reader, consider a new release. Many libraries have curbside pickup or delivery as well.
  • Exercise – Chair exercises, walking, riding a stationary bike, yoga, dance, Tai Chi, and almost anything that gets the body moving, will help strengthen muscles and improve mood and mental acuity by increasing oxygen and blood flow to the brain.
  • Crafts – Many people love to craft, and crafting can take many different forms. Knitting, needlepoint, painting, stenciling, stringing beads, arranging flowers or making musical instruments are just a few examples of crafts suitable for seniors.
  • Music – We all have our favorite tunes, musicians, bands, and genres of music. Turn on your favorite tunes while you’re relaxing, cleaning, playing games, or exercising. Music has a way of soothing the soul!
  • Cook – If you enjoy cooking and baking, cook and bake!
  • Communicate – Reach out to family, friends, and neighbors to see how they’re doing during this crazy time. The recipient of a call, text, email, letter or card will feel very special and it will be good emotional support for you both!

Check out detailed list of resources and activities that can keep you engaged while you are home


We Excel In Aging Well!

The Monroe County Office for the Aging (MCOFA) was established by the Monroe County Legislature in 1973 and designated by the Federal and State governments as the Area Agency on Aging under Title III of the Older Americans Act for our service area. MCOFA is proud to celebrate over 50 years of delivering high quality, efficient, and effective long-term care services and supports to meet the changing needs of our community's older adults, caregivers of any age, and individuals with disabilities.

MCOFA is an administrative division within the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the governmental entity authorized to receive and allocate Older Americans Act and state funds for services and supports of community based long-term care. The primary responsibilities of MCOFA focus on planning, advocacy, and coordination activities.

These responsibilities are:

  • To develop and implement a consumer-focused comprehensive four-year plan of coordinated services responsive to the priority needs of older persons, caregivers, and persons with disabilities in Monroe County. Services under this plan are delivered either directly by MCOFA, or through community based organizations under contract with Monroe County. This plan is known as the "Area Plan" and MCOFA submits annual updates to the New York State Office for the Aging to meet the changing short and long-term needs of those served in Monroe County. 
  • To advocate on behalf of the needs of older adults, caregivers, and persons with disabilities. MCOFA does this by monitoring, evaluating, and commenting on policies, programs, and community actions which affect individuals served in Monroe County.
  • To coordinate our planning and service activities with other agencies and organizations to promote the most efficient use of existing resources and to promote new and expanded benefits for older adults, caregivers, and persons with disabilities in Monroe County.
  • To assist in the transformation of our system to provide flexible services that are person/family centered, strengths-based, culturally competent and evidence-based.

To accomplish these objectives, MCOFA collaborates extensively with other DHS and county divisions, service providers, and community groups.  Services are targeted to individuals with the highest social and economic need. An appointed Council for Elders made up of area professionals and consumers advises MCOFA in accordance with Older Americans Act regulations. This Council advises in the following areas:

  • Assisting in the development of the Area Plan before submission to the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA);
  • Conducting and attending public hearings;
  • Representing the interests of older adults (advocacy); and,
  • Reviewing and commenting on community policies, programs, and actions affecting older persons with the intent of assuring maximum coordination and responsiveness to older adults.

In 1973, there were 97,000 individuals 60 years of age and older in Monroe County. Today, there are more than 183,969 individuals age 60 and older, and 21% have at least one disability.  It is our goal to ensure that Monroe County’s older citizens have access to the programs and services they need to remain independent and “Excel in Aging Well.”

Office For The Aging Goals

  1. Encourage safe, active, and independent lifestyles with timely and responsive systems of quality community-based services and supports;
  2. Promote the rights of older adults and prevent their abuse, neglect and exploitation;
  3. Empower older adults, individuals with disabilities, their families, and the public to make informed decisions about, and be able to access, existing health, long-term services and supports and other service options;
  4. Promote job training and readiness skills for older adults who want to remain in the workforce, and to help care for our community's older residents and individuals with disabilities needing support to maintain independence.

Monroe County's NY Connects Program: (585) 325-2800

NY Connects of Monroe County, Your Link to Long Term Services and Supports - (800) 342-9871 or (585) 325-2800

NY Connects: Your Link to Long-Term Services and Supports, is a free information and assistance service that is available to individuals and their families to help them make informed decisions regarding their long-term care needs. Advisors provide information regardless of the type(s) of disability or age of the individual needing help with long term care. Free translation services are available for individuals who do not speak English as a primary language or are Deaf and utilize American Sign Language.

Advisors are experienced social workers who provide information, guidance, and referral on an array of topics. Topics covered include housing, chore services, personal care, transportation, adult day care, respite for caregivers, guardianship, support groups, nursing home placement, Medicaid, public benefits, mental health counseling, home health care, socialization, nutrition, wellness programs to assist with chronic disease and falls prevention, geriatric physician referral and more.

NYS Resource Directory of Services

Call For Volunteers Interested in Helping Caregivers

We, and our partner agencies, are always looking for volunteers. Volunteers are needed for help with data entry, special events, senior companions, respite relief and more. Are you looking for way to give back to your community? Are you interested in helping our community's older adults and the families that care for them? We have short term and long term opportunities. If yes, please call our offices at (585) 753-6280 or NY Connects at (585) 325-2800.

Caregiving is a difficult job. When we care for our loved ones, we are often afraid or even too tired to ask for help. If you are a Caregiver in need of a hand, or you want to help a caregiver and don't know how, please check out the info at NYS Caregiver Respite Program.

The More You Know

Know your rights when it comes to Life Insurance and Life Settlements: 

Helpful Online Resources

Monroe County Office for the Aging Programs and Services are funded in part by Monroe County, New York State Office for the Aging, US Administration for Community Living, United Way, and participant contributions. We value our partnerships in order to meet the needs of our community's older adults and their caregivers.

County seal NYS Office for the Aging logo ACL Administration for Community Living logo United Way logo