Joe Robach Encourages Seniors to Stay Fit

A health campaign in New York was inaugurated on April 6, in celebration of the National Public Health Week. The New York State health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker initiated a statewide plan and fitness program for senior citizens in New York State. Physical activity plays a very important role in maintaining a balance between body and mind. The key to better health is some small activities you perform on daily basis such as walking and merely 15 minutes daily exercise can pose positive impact on health. Joe Robach has always encouraged seniors, along with the youth, to to work out daily and make it part of their routine A body in motion, stays in motion, and will continue to do so usually for that person’s entire life.
The New York State Prevention Agenda 2013-2017, mainly focuses on the key health improvement plans for decrease of obesity cases. In United States, cases of obesity and overweight will soon reached to epidemic size and considered to be the second leading cause of death. If believed to the reports then in New York, about 25.4 percent adults are obese and 35.9 percent people are suffering with the problem of overweight. Throughout his entire district, Joe Robach has worked with countless seniors to assist them with their physical fitness and continues to help people understand the importance of a healthy diet and fitness program. Here in Monroe County, many senior centers are now offering several fitness programs, many of which are designed to keep seniors in their homes for an extended period of time. Programs such as these save New York State taxpayers thousands and thousands of dollars each year. Each year New York spends millions of dollars on long term care, along with paying bills for seniors in assisted living facilities. Joe Robach wants to continue to educate seniors and help them understand how important fitness is to their everyday lives.

Joe Robach Helps Break Ground on Housing for Seniors

Recently, Joe Robach helped break ground on the Long Pond Housing Project for Seniors.  Long Pond Senior Housing is an affordable supportive senior housing development being constructed off of Long Pond Rd., adjacent to Greece Baptist Church near Ridge Rd. Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Ltd. and PathStone Corp. are development partners in this effort. Fifty-four one and two- bedroom units will be developed in the first phase of a 120-unit planned development. The units will be available to residents 55 and older who qualify under certain income guidelines.

The total project cost is $10.85 million. Funding was made possible by New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Housing Trust Fund program, Monroe County, the town of Greece, The Community Preservation Corp. (CPC), RedStone Equity Partners, private equity and NYSERDA. The Rochester Housing Authority is providing 45 Section 8 Vouchers to support the incomes of many of the senior residents.  It’s always just so wonderful to see more section 8 housing in an area.  Joe Robach is one of the top advocates for more affordable housing for seniors in our area.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team is working to reduce Medicaid spending and reinvest savings in supportive housing that allows the elderly and those with special needs lead independent, productive lives. Congratulations to all of the partners and to all of the residents who will enjoy living at Long Pond Senior Housing.”  Joe Robach has been a long time advocate for seniors, and at the same time is always looking for ways to help cut expenses in Medicaid spending.

JOE ROBACH, SENATE PASSES PACKAGE OF BILLS TO FIGHT THE FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF SENIOR CITIZENS

Joe Robach and the New York State Senate passed a package of eight bills to prevent criminals from using financial schemes to prey upon senior citizens. The measures were recommended in a report released by the Senate Majority Coalition in May that examined this growing issue that affects thousands of senior New Yorkers each year.

The type of elder abuse relating to financial exploitation involves the illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a senior for someone else’s benefit. It can result in the significant monetary loss for the victim, and in some cases, a person’s entire life savings. Financial exploitation can range from the theft of cash, to much more elaborate schemes.

Unfortunately, these incidents often times go unreported due to the startling fact that the abuser is someone that the victim either trusts, is a caregiver, or more often than not, is a family relative. Moreover, the rate of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias that undermine judgment increases with age, thus leaving seniors more vulnerable.

The Senate Majority Coalition worked to develop a report examining the growing trend of elder abuse and issued eight legislative proposals. The bills, supported by Joe Robach, help prevent deceptive financial transactions against seniors from taking place, update the collection of data methods to track abuse statewide, and amend existing law to stiffen penalties to deter criminal acts from occurring in the first place.

The bills passed today to address the financial exploitation of seniors include:

Bill S6221, sponsored by Senator Valesky: authorizes banks to refuse a transaction if the banking institution, social services official, or law enforcement agency reasonably believes that financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult has occurred or may occur.

Bill S7177, sponsored by Senator Gallivan: seeks to establish that an alleged abuser may not use the defense of obtained consent to take, withhold, or obtain property, where such consent was obtained from a person who the accused knew or had reason to know was mentally disabled. This measure would help a mentally-infirm elderly victim by establishing in law that they cannot give meaningful consent, such as when an abuser on trial claims the assets taken from the victim were a gift.

Bill S7179, sponsored by Senator Valesky: allows prosecutors to obtain medical records of mentally impaired victims of financial exploitation, without requiring a waiver from those very victims. Although victims in other types of cases routinely waive their privilege so that prosecutors can obtain crucial medical records, mentally impaired victims cannot consent to waiving their medical privilege any more than they can consent to having their property taken.

Bill S2323A, sponsored by Senator Jeff Klein (D, Bronx): requires the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to define, identify and collect data related to the incidence of elder abuse possessed by state and local agencies. It also mandates OCFS to establish an inter-agency reporting system that contains a uniform set of standards to collect and analyze information on the incidence of elder abuse.

Bill S7187, sponsored by Senator Nozzolio: amends the penal law to explicitly state that in a prosecution for larceny by false promise, partial performance does not, by itself, prevent a reasonable jury from making such finding from all the facts and circumstances. As an illustration, this would apply to a case where a dishonest contractor demands full, up-front payment for services, starts the project, but never completes the promised work.

Bill S2951, sponsored by Senator Valesky: expands the definition of “caregiver” under the penal law to include a person who voluntarily, or otherwise by operation of law, (such as an appointed guardian or power of attorney) assumes responsibility of an elderly person so that they would be tried under the “endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person” law.

For more initiatives about senior issues at the state level, contact the office of Joe Robach.

JOE ROBACH ANNOUNCES EPIC COVERAGE FOR SENIORS EXPANDED IN ENACTED BUDGET

EPIC is a New York State program supported by Joe Robach that helps more than 270,000 income-eligible seniors aged 65 and older to supplement their out-of-pocket Medicare Part D drug plan costs. Joe Robach understands how difficult it is for individuals living on a fixed income to keep up with the high cost of the prescription drugs they need.

For this reason, Joe Robach supported the final 2014-15 State Budget which provides an additional $4.1 million within the Department of Health to expand the income eligibility for singles from $35,000 to $75,000, and from $50,000 to $100,000 for married enrollees, in the EPIC program. This additional funding will provide more seniors with the opportunity to take advantage of this prescription drug cost savings plan.

For seniors that have questions about EPIC, the Department of Health maintains a toll-free EPIC Helpline, which is available from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Seniors can call 1-800-332-3742 (TTY 1-800-290-9138) or visit the EPIC website for more information, or to request an EPIC application. You may also send your questions in via e-mail toepic@health.state.ny.us.

As always, feel free to contact Joe Robach’s office directly regarding any issue of concern to you and your family.

Joe Robach Endorses Program to Help Seniors Stay in Homes

The senior care program is designed to help the elderly remain in their own home or apartment as long as possible through the utilization of volunteers. Services rendered include transportation for medical appointments, grocery shopping assistance, and light errands. Calls are also taken from senior residents looking for help and/or information regarding particular problems. Referrals are made to appropriate agencies that can be of assistance.  Joe Robach has been instrumental in helping seniors in many aspects of life here in Monroe County.

In order to qualify for this program, you must be a Town of Greece resident, 55 years of age or older, residing in their own home or apartment and without immediate family support system (children) within the Rochester area. For more information, residents are asked to contact the Monroe County Office for the Aging.  The goal of Office for the Aging is to promote a safe and independent lifestyle through timely and responsive systems of protective services, long-term care, quality nutrition and supportive in-home services through a consumer-focused and coordinated service delivery system that protects, supports, and advocates for older residents of Monroe County.  The Office for the Aging is responsible for planning, coordinating, funding and advocating for programs and services which meet the needs of Monroe County residents age 60 and over. Services are targeted to individuals with the greatest social and/or economic need, placing emphasis on serving those older persons who are low-income, minority and/or those with physical and mental disabilities.

In regards to the NYS budget for seniors in 2014, About 25,000 more seniors will receive help paying for prescription drugs under the final 2014-15 New York state budget.  The final budget deal — struck by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders late Friday — raises the income levels allowed to qualify for Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage.  Currently, the EPIC program assists more than 270,000 income-eligible seniors aged 65 and older supplement their out of pocket Medicare Part D drug plan costs.  Joe Robach fought hard for seniors in this budget and will continue to do so into the future.

Joe Robach Helps Seniors with Housing Development

On March 29th, Developers of a proposed senior living community on Island Cottage Road in Greece are holding a public information meeting.  The four-building complex is slated for 9 acres of land at 391-491 Island Cottage Road, and would be named Hunter’s Crossing in honor of 7-year-old Hunter Resch, a Paddy Hill Elementary School first-grader who was the victim of a murder-suicide.  Joe Robach, for years, has fought for seniors and believes there is still much work to do in the Town of Greece related to senior housing.

To make way for the flat-roof three-story apartment buildings, existing barns on the site would be razed.  The site, bisected by Round Creek, is bordered by Route 390 and Island Cottage Road, an office complex and a Lifetime Assistance facility. Giardino said plans call for two buildings on each side of the creek, walking paths and outdoor amenities for residents such as bocce courts, a putting green, a vineyard and a community garden. He said the 1- and 2-bedroom apartments would offer luxury appointments such as granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

To move forward, developers need to have the parcel of land rezoned to multifamily senior zoning, which generally restricts occupancy to age 55 and up.  The public meeting will begin at 2 p.m. at Mother of Sorrows, 5000 Mt. Read Boulevard.

Recently in the Town of Greece, development of another senior living community began.  The project is located on the corner of Latta Rd. and Long Pond Rd.  Joe Robach has constantly worked with Town of Greece officials to make sure this project moved forward for seniors.  Funding had fallen through for the past several years, until last year.  With funding secured the estimated grand opening is slated for Fall of 2014.  The project will have two entrances; one on Latta Rd. and one on Long Pond Rd

Joe Robach Making Seniors Aware March 3rd is the Deadline for Assessment Review

Today marks the last day a resident in the Town of Greece may schedule a meeting to contest their latest reassessment of their property.  Joe Robach wants to make sure all residents, especially seniors, are aware of this deadline.  If you are a resident in the Town of Greece, and feel the assessed value of your home is too high, please call 225-2000 to make an appointment with the assessment review board.  The Town Assessor is responsible for assessing all of the properties at a uniform % of current market value. The Assessor bases the assessed value on information obtained through Mass Appraisals conducted on all properties, as determined by market value.  Often times, Joe Robach will receive calls from residents, primarily seniors, who are upset at the increased assessment of their property.  This is why it is so important to contact the town if you are unhappy with their evaluation ofyour property.

The assessment process is performed to correct inequities that creep into the assessment roll. When this happens some property owners may be paying more than their fair share in taxes while others are paying less. A town-wide valuation update serves to equalize these inequities. As a result of assessment adjustments, some property owners may notice a change in the overall amount of taxes.

Here is a sample of how the review process works.:

  • Informal Hearing:  The Town of Greece will hold informal hearings to provide an opportunity for home owners to discuss their assessment. These hearings take place annually from January through March. Call the assessor’s office to make your appointment. In preparation for an informal hearing click here.
  • Formal Grievance Process:  For a formal review of your assessment, with the Board of Assessment Review, you will be required to complete and file a Form RP-524. Forms will be available at the Assessor’s Office in the Greece Town Hall (and online atwww.tax.ny.gov), after May 1st. To be assured of a timely appointment, your application should be filed three business days prior to Grievance Day, the fourth Tuesday of May, however may be submitted up to this date. Your form will be reviewed by the Board of Assessment Review (BAR), an objective body of officers empowered to hear and determine complaints in relation to assessments. You will be notified by mail of the BAR’s decision. You must file a Grievance in order to file a SCAR petition.
  • Small Claims Court:  If you are dissatisfied with the BAR decision, you may request judicial review with a Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) hearing officer. A Form RPTL-730 is on-line at www.tax.ny.gov as well as at the Assessor’s Office and the Monroe County Clerk’s office at 39 W. Main St. The Small Claims petition must be completed and filed within 30 days of the filed final assessment roll (usually July 1st) with the Monroe County Clerks office along with a $30 filing fee. You must also mail a copy of the filed petition within ten days to the following: Town Clerk, Town Assessor, County Treasurer, and the School District. You will be notified of a hearing date and location by the clerk of the Supreme Court. The hearing officer is directed by law to consider the best evidence in each case, and may order reduction in the final assessment or decide that it should remain unchanged.

For ALL of the above steps it is the responsibility of the home owner to prove that assessed value is incorrect.

Finally: here is a list of deadlines within New York State:

Exemptions Filing Date – March 1 (For all exemptions any and all paperwork filed with Town by 3/1).

Taxable Status Date – March 1

Tentative Roll Filed – May 1 (Preliminary assessment filed)

Grievance Day – 4th Tuesday of May

Final Assessment Roll Filed – July 1

 

 

 

 

Joe Robach Helps Seniors Extend Time in Homes

State Senator Joe Robach and The Town of Greece Senior Council are pleased to announce a program which will help seniors continue to live in their homes for as long as possible.  The senior care program is designed to help the elderly remain in their own home or apartment as long as possible through the utilization of volunteers. Services rendered include transportation for medical appointments, grocery shopping assistance, and light errands. Calls are also taken from senior residents looking for help and/or information regarding particular problems. Referrals are made to appropriate agencies that can be of assistance.  Joe Robach has recently assisted many seniors with finding the correct agencies to aid them in their search for financial assistance.

In order to be eligible for this program  in the Town of Greece,  This program is available to any resident of Greece, 55 years of age or older, residing in their own home or apartment and without immediate family support system (children) within the Rochester area.   With seniors constantly having to stretch their paychecks further each year, Joe Robach has fought diligently for more senior exemptions including the enhanced STAR rebate on property taxes, the new exemption for retired army veterans on their yearly school taxes, and most recently, a two percent tax cap on property taxes here in New York State.

In addition to the Senior Care program in the Town of Greece, Monroe County offers a program called New York Connects.   Monroe County’s New York Connects is your answer to Long-Term Care Services. NYConnects provides comprehensive and unbiased information and assistance for all long-term care services regardless of age. This information includes screening for social and medical needs, financial status, available service options regardless of payer source, comprehensive needs assessment, service/care coordination and public education. This service is free for all to use.

Joe Robach Attends Zumba Gold Event for Seniors

Today, Joe Robach attended an event titled “ 50 & fit” for seniors at Beatrice Place in the Town of Greece.  The purpose of the event today was to raise awareness of the many benefits of exercising for individuals over the age of 50.  To celebrate today, Beatrice Place had a special program of Zumba Gold for the residents.  Beatrice Place is located at 600 Denise Road in The Town of Greece.  It is actually the site of the former Our Lady of Mercy Church.

Beatrice Place opened its doors in September 2013 as a Neighborhood Program site for  residents and community members.  Currently, there are73 one and two bedroom apartments on two floors, as well as a chapel, café, fitness area, and community space.  Neighborhood Program Membership is free for residents; nominal fee of $60/year for community members.  In September 2013, Joe Robach attended the grand opening and got to experience the many wonderful features geared towards seniors.  The goal of Beatrice Place is to allow residents to “are in place.” This means allowing seniors to age gracefully in the comfort of their own apartment, as opposed to more “hands on” skilled nursing.  Beatrice Place has had a steady flow of residence coming to live in the apartments.  If you are interesting in finding out more information regarding senior apartments at Beatrice Place, please call 585-546-8400.

The goal of today’s event was to demonstrate the benefits of exercise, regardless of age.  Joe Robach joined the many seniors in the class for Zumba Gold.  Joe Robach feels the main objective of exercising for seniors is longevity.  Seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible as they age.  Exercising on a regular basis will allow seniors to extend their lives within their homes.  It will also make them more mobile and allow them to accomplish ever day tasks with ease.

Joe Robach Warns of Cold Winter Weather for Seniors

The Bitter Cold has hit once again in not only Monroe County, but the entire north east.  Residents of the northeastern United States on Wednesday dug out from a deadly winter storm that dumped more than 15 inches of snow in some places, with frosty temperatures forcing school closings and extensive flight delays and cancellations.  Joe Robach is advising all citizens, especially seniors to remain in their homes for the next few days as temperatures continue to be in the single digits.  While it has been extremely cold here, we have not experienced the large amounts of snowfall as in other parts of the north east.  At least two deaths were blamed on the weather, which made roads treacherous.  In, Maryland, a driver lost control and slammed into a tractor-trailer.

In recent days, many community and senior centers have closed their doors early due to the extreme cold and wind.  This also means the senior nutrition program was closed those days as well.  Joe Robach has continued to ask seniors to only go outdoors when absolutely necessary.  Here is a link to the weather forecast for the Rochester area this week;

http://www.weather.com/weather/weekend/Rochester+NY+USNY1232:1:US

            Joe Robach wants to make sure as many seniors within Monroe County are aware of some tips for when the weather gets extremely cold.  Below are some precautions seniors may take as temperatures continue to decrease:

• Older people are more susceptible to getting frostbite and hypothermia (a

drop in body temperature) and this can cause illness.

• Stay inside as much as possible. If you have to go out cover all exposed areas.

Wear warm footwear and dress in layers. Wear a hat and gloves and cover

your mouth to avoid getting cold air in your lungs.

• Keep a list of emergency phone numbers next to your phone.

• Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they

are in working order.

• If you are using a space heater keep it at least 3 feet from furniture and

draperies. Heaters that use liquid fuel, if faulty, may cause carbon monoxide

poisoning.

• Be sure to check with a doctor before shoveling snow if you have heart

problems and/or don’t exercise regularly.

• Replace rubber tips on canes, walkers, and crutches. Home health care

stores sell “ice picks” that fit on the ends of canes and walkers to provide

extra traction.

• Understand your prescription drugs. Be aware that some medicines make

people more susceptible to cold. Ask your doctor if you should be taking

extra precautions.

• Have chimneys and flues checked before using them.

• Wrap inside pipes with warm rags to keep them from freezing.

• Make sure to have extra food, blankets and water available along with a

flashlight and extra batteries.

• Call your friends and check on them and have a friend or loved one check on

you.