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.

Spring is here!

With the warmer weather comes opportunity for renewal and reflection.  This is a great time of year to start anew and refocus your wellness priorities. 

Here are a few ways older adults can stay healthy and active, and get the most out of this spring:

Eat seasonal foods

We know eating well is important to everyday life.  Eating lots of nutrient-rich foods that include lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, while limiting processed foods can reduce your chances of developing conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and arthritis.

Consider adding more of the following produce to your spring diet:

asparagus, mushrooms, cucumbers, strawberries, radishes, sweet potatoes, peppers, peas, artichokes, kiwi, spinach, cherries, kale, avocados, blueberries

Spend time outdoors

    • Take a walk in nature- walking outside regularly helps release endorphins and rebuilds endurance
    • Get out in the garden- not only is it an excuse to be outside on a lovely spring day, gardening can promote physical strength, fitness, flexibility, cognitive ability and socialization
    • Make sure to stretch
    • Protect yourself from the sun: Wear sunscreen every day, along with wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, long sleeves
    • Dress in layers
      • On cool breezy days, add a sweater or jacket to your outfit

Drink lots of water

Dehydration can impact memory and concentration and increase fatigue.

    • Try to drink at least 8 cups throughout the day, especially after exercising and other physical activities
    • Herbal tea, fresh vegetable juice will be more beneficial than coffee, fruit juice, soda

Check in with your doctor for your yearly exam

    • Reschedule any appointments you may have had to miss due to inclement weather in the winter
    • Ask about any relevant tests you may need
    • Get your doctor’s approval before starting any new exercise routines
    • Talk with your doctor about any medications you are taking and if any need to be readjusted or eliminated
    • Make sure to schedule regular visits with your dentist, optometrist, and any other specialists you need to see


Spring can be the worst season for allergies!

    • Ask your doctor about the most appropriate allergy medicine for you to avoid possible side effects, such as drowsiness and confusion
    • If pollen is a trigger for your allergies, keep windows and doors closed on high pollen count days and wear wraparound sunglasses when outside
    • Be sure to keep allergy medications on hand to alleviate symptoms and limit time outdoors

Get the right amount of rest

    • Keep a consistent routine of waking up and going to sleep at the same time each day
    • 7-9 hours of rest per night is ideal for adults
    • Don’t nap too late in afternoon
    • Keep bedroom a comfortable temperature
    • Avoid large meals before bedtime

Take this time to do a little spring cleaning

    • This is a good excuse to get rid of extra clutter
    • Turn this chore into a meaningful activity by going through keepsakes and old photos

Age-Friendly / Livable Community

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 47+ 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