Joe Robach Advocates for Prostate Screening Law for Seniors

Joe Robach and his colleagues in the New York State Senate understand the importance of protecting seniors in our community.  Among American men, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer and is the second leading cause of death.  The only way to defeat this form of cancer is with early detection.  .

Joe Robach and the New York State Senate have continuously supported funding for the Prostate and Testicular Cancer and Detection and Education Program for seniors and even men under 50.  Joe Robach has also pushed for a law requiring insurance coverage for diagnostic prostate cancer tests for senior men age 50 and older.  Health care and easy access has always been a priority for Senator Robach and the rest of the the New York State Senate.

While all men are at risk for prostate cancer, almost all prostate cancer patients are over 50 years old, and over 80% are over the age of 65.  Of the 219,000 cases that are diagnosed each year, more than 27,000 will die due to the fact they did not get a cancer screening as early as they should have.  Joe Robach understands that prostate cancer has taken to many men in our community and will continue to fight for seniors to ensure adequate resources are being allocated for such an important cause.

Knowledge is power and Joe Robach has made a booklet on the facts about prostate cancer available to the public.  Important information in the the brochure ranges from detailed data  about risk factors, to the symptoms of prostate cancer, to the many different treatments that are available to public today.

According to The American Cancer Society, all men over the age of 50 should receive an annual DRE and PSA test.  African-American men and men who have a relative with prostate cancer should have yearly testing beginning at the age of 45.

JOE ROBACH INFORMS SENIORS ABOUT ELDER ABUSE

Joe Robach of Rochester, NY knows that elder abuse is a very prevalent problem in the senior community.   In general, elder abuse refers to any knowing negligent act by a caregiver or any other person causing harm to a senior citizen.  Elder abuse occurs in every social group and in every area of the world.  In many cases, the perpetrator gains the trust of the victims and, very often, the perpetrator ends up being a friend, neighbor or even a family member.  

To make sure friends and family are safe,   individuals should know the signs of elder abuse.  Signs include:  unexplained bruises, falls fractures, grip marks, pain swelling or welts; malnourishment, bedsores, soiled clothes, over sedation, lack of medical attention or equipment despite available funds; depression and hopelessness; and/or financial exploitation.  It is important to note that each case of elder abuse is entirely different.   It is important to remember to be alert.  Victims of elder abuse often suffer in silence. 

Joe Robach wants seniors who feel like they might be a victim of elder abuse or expect someone they love of being abused to get help.  In New York State, people can contact the Office of the Aging. 

Legislatures in all 50 states, including New York State, have passed some form of elder abuse prevention laws. For more information on laws passed in New York State, contact Joe Robach’s office.

JOE ROBACH SUPPORTS SENIOR PROGRAMS

Joe Robach has always made seniors a priority during his tenure in the New York State Legislature.  During the last ten years that Joe Robach has served in the New York State Senate, he has been able to secure extensive grants for many different programs and organizations which benefit seniors in the Rochester community.  These programs have had a lasting impact on our senior citizens.

One senior citizen organization that Joe Robach has secured funding for is OASIS.  OASIS is a pioneer in the field of successful aging, offering programs of continued lifelong learning, healthy lifestyles and civic engagement for people age 50+.   Joe Robach knows that this important program helps seniors keep their brains and bodies fit through intellectually stimulating educational classes, evidence-based health programs, computer instruction and volunteer engagement.

Another important senior organization that Joe Robach has supported is Lifespan. Lifespan in Rochester, NY provides information, guidance and more than 30 services that help older adults and caregivers take on longer life.  Lifespan offers important service to seniors including information involving financing long term care, job placement assistance, eldercare guidance, assistance handling bill paying and finances, advice about “senior” housing, help with health insurance options under Medicare, and/or assistance in an elder abuse situation.  Joe Robach knows that Lifespan plays a critical role in helping seniors in Rochester and Monroe County.

Joe Robach has also been a strong supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association, which helps people of all ages, although mainly seniors.  Joe Robach knows that the Alzheimer’s Association does incredible work in the Rochester community.  Specifally, the Alzheimer’s Association works on a global, national and local level to enhance care and support for all those affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

For a full list of senior organizations Joe Robach has secured funding for throughout his tenure, people should contact Joe Robach’s office.

JOE ROBACH INFORMS SENIORS ABOUT HEALTH CARE PROXIES

Joe Robach of Rochester knows that seniors have important questions about health care proxies.  Filling out a Health Care Proxy and selecting a health care agent are not decisions to be taken lightly.  These topics warrant talking to your family, close friends and family doctor.

The New York health care proxy law allows you to appoint someone you trust – for example, a family member or close friend – to decide about treatment if you lose the ability to decide for yourself.  You can appoint someone by signing a form called a healthcare proxy.  Joe Robach provides these forms to seniors and/or any resident who would like one. You can give the person you appoint, “your health care agent”, as little or as much authority as you want.  You can allow your health care agent to decide about all health care or only certain treatments.  You can also give your agent instructions that he or she has to follow.  Your agent can then make sure that health care professionals follow your wishes and you can decide how your wishes apply as your medical conditions change.  Hospitals, doctors and other health care providers must follow your agent’s decision as if it’s your own.

A health care proxy is different than a “living will.”   A living will is a document that provides specific instructions about health care treatment.  It is generally used to declare wishes to refuse life-sustaining treatment under certain circumstances.  In contrast, the health care proxy allows you to choose someone you trust to make treatment decisions on your behalf.  Unlike a living will, a health care proxy does not require you to know in advance all the decisions that may arise.  Instead, your health care agent can interpret your wishes as medical circumstances change and you can make decisions you could not have known would have to be made.  The health care proxy is just as useful to receive treatment as it is for decisions to stop treatment.  If you complete a Health Care Proxy Form, but also have a living will, the living will provides instructions for your health care agent, and will guide his or her decisions.

If seniors need more information about health care proxies, they should contact Joe Robach’s office.

JOE ROBACH PROTECTS SENIORS BY SUPPORTING IMPORTANT LEGISLATION

Joe Robach (Rochester, NY) has always been a strong supporter of enacting stronger penalties against attacks on seniors/elderly.  A big push for stiffer penalties came back in 2007 when a local man was convicted of abusing two senior citizens in the City of Rochester.  Also, around the same time, there were two brutal attacks in Downstate New York (Rose Morat, a 101-year-old Queens woman who was mugged on her way to church. The same attacker is also suspected of beating and mugging 85-year-old Solange Elizee just a half hour later.)   A person capable of committing these types of crimes are dangerous menaces to society who should be kept behind bars for as long as possible.  To this end, Joe Robach has championed many efforts to protect our seniors and elderly population as well as the most vulnerable members of our community.

One bill, Joe Robach supports, which would protect our senior population, is S.4398.  Specifically, this bill would provide that those who commit serious crimes against elderly persons 62 years of age or older or the physically disabled must be sentenced to prison and would face reduced opportunities for a plea bargain.   This bill focuses on those crimes against the elderly and disabled which involve the use of force, fear coercion, or violence.  More specifically, this bill would make penalties against seniors (persons older than 62) required for the crimes of menacing, unlawful imprisonment, and grand larceny.  Plea bargaining, already restricted for class A and B felonies, is further restricted for those accused of the class C felony of victimizing the elderly in the second degree.   This legislation is important because it establishes meaningful deterrents for those who prey upon the elderly, including juveniles and youthful offenders.  Supporting this legislation is one way that Joe Robach of Rochester, NY is trying to protect our seniors.