Office for the Aging - Living Assistance

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that assists low income households in meeting the high costs of heating.

If you are currently receiving Temporary Assistance or Food Stamps, please contact your worker directly. In most cases, you are automatically eligible and a HEAP benefit has likely already been calculated and authorized for payment in January.

If you are a Monroe County resident age 60 years or older, and are not currently in reciept of Temporary Assistance or Food Stamps, please call the Senior Citizen's HEAP office at Lifespan at 244-8400 ext. 102 for assistance. Lifespan can answer any questions you may have, assist you with the application process, and address any emergency heating situations. Best of all, all this may be accomplished over the telephone.

Special Assistance for Home Owners: If you are a home owner and your furnace is in need of repair, we may be able to assist you with the cost of the repair. For more information, please call 753-6280 between the hours of 9am and 3pm, Monday through Friday.

New York State HEAP Website

Educating Older Adults on Financial & Retirement Planning

During the month of July, the Eldercare Locator identified callers who are older adults age 51-60 and asked if they are saving for retirement and if they expect to work beyond age 65. It was found that while 60 percent of them report they are saving annually, over half think they will need to work past the retirement age.

To address this issue, The Eldercare Locator in partnership with USDA CSREES (Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service) is launching a media outreach campaign focused on financial and retirement planning choices for boomers. The center of this campaign is the release of a new consumer guide, entitled "Pick up the Pace" which is designed to educate boomers about financial and retirement planning choices and to help them secure their financial outlook for the future.

Print copies of the guide will be available to order by calling the Eldercare Locator or visiting Eldercare Locator (

Senior Citizen Lease Termination

Know Your Rights

Information from the Tenant’s Rights Guide, Office of New York State Attorney General

Tenants or their spouses living with them, who are sixty-two years or older, or will attain such age during the term of their leases, are entitled to terminate their leases if they relocate to an adult care facility, a residential health care facility, subsidized low-income housing, or other senior citizen housing.

When such tenants give notice of their opportunity to move into one of the above facilities, the landlord must release the tenant from liability to pay rent for the balance of the lease and adjust any payments made in advance.

Senior citizens who wish to avail themselves of this option must do so by written notice to the landlord. The termination date must be effective no earlier than thirty days after the date on which the next rental payment (after the notice is delivered) is due. The written notice must include documentation of admission or pending admission to one of the above mentioned facilities. For example, a senior citizen mails a notice to the landlord of his or her intention to terminate the lease on April 5; the notice is deemed received April 10. Since the next rental payment (after April 10) is due May 1, the earliest lease termination will be effective June 1.

Anyone who interferes with the tenant’s or his or her spouse’s removal of personal effects, clothing, furniture or other personal property from the premises to be vacated will be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Owners or lessors of a facility of a unit into which a senior citizen is entitled to move after terminating a lease, must advise such tenant, in the admission application form, of the tenant’s rights under the law.

Aging and Assistive Technology

What is Assistive Technology and why do you need it?  As we age, our bodies change and our needs change.  You may have grown up in a time when “assistive technology” was a phrase that did not even exist---so why do you need to know about it now?

Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. 

While the definition may throw you off ( I don’t have a disability you are thinking!)  Many of us have a “disability” we adapt to without even thinking about it.  For example, do you wear glasses?  That is a disability mitigated by a piece of equipment! 

There are two types of Assistive Technology, low tech and high tech.  An example of low tech AT is a buttoning aid hook. This tool is simple, with a hook and wire design and comfortable grip that allows the user to button blouses, jackets and pants easily, with only one hand. This device is fantastic for seniors with arthritis, fine motor impairment or reduced dexterity. An example of high tech AT is a video remote doorbell such as the Ring doorbell.  This allows an older adult to see who is at the door and communicate with the person without getting up.  This can help an older person screen visitors and stay safe when home alone.

What are some other examples of Assistive Technology and how can they work for you?

  • Smart watch
  • Personal emergency remote system
  • Remotes with enlarged buttons
  • Captioned telephones
  • Automatic pill dispensers

Durable Medical Equipment (DME) is equipment which (a) can withstand repeated use, (b) is primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, (c) generally is not useful to a person in the absence of an illness or injury, and (d) is appropriate for use in the home. All requirements of the definition must be met before an item can be considered to be DME.

What are some examples of Durable Medical Equipment and how can they work for you?

  • Walkers
  • Wheelchairs
  • Canes
  • Commode
  • Grab bars
  • Seat swivel

Depending on the challenge you are experiencing, there are many options that may help.  For example, if you or someone you are caring for is experiencing memory issues, misplacing things may be an issue. An item such as the Object Locator and Beeping Key Finder (a digital tracker for small household items) can be useful for those in the early stages of dementia.  If you are experiencing vision challenges such as macular degeneration, items such as a Lighted Full Page Reading Magnifier can make reading easier and enjoyable again. 


Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID) Program provides access to assistive technology to any New Yorker with a disability through Regional TRAID Centers. Regional TRAID Centers provide device loans and hands-on training to people with disabilities.

Visit TRAID Website

Equipment Loan Fund (ELF) The Equipment Loan Fund allows you to borrow up to $4,000, with an interest rate of 4%, and can be used to purchase wheelchairs, wheelchair van lifts, ramps, and adaptive equipment.

Visit ELF Website

Other resources may include county/town offices, Lions, Elks and other local civic organizations.