With a strong history of heart problems in his family, Senator Joe Robach feels that it is important that seniors and all residents are aware about the signs of a heart attack.

You should pay particular attention to the following signs if — like more than half of all Americans — you are over 50, have high blood pressure, have high cholesterol, are a smoker or have a family history of heart disease. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked, damaging the muscle. Chewing aspirin (either one regular or two baby) helps the heart by thinning the blood.

  • Chest pain: Most people do call 911 or get to the hospital if they feel like they’ve got an elephant sitting on their chest, but even this most common heart attack symptom may be hard to recognize. It may just feel like a squeezing that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.  If chest pain lasts more than five minutes, go to the emergency room.
  • Shortness of breath: You may feel you can’t catch your breath, even when resting. This breathlessness often occurs before the chest pain.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness: You may feel as if you will pass out.
  • Cold sweat: Sweating when you are cold or have a chill.

Symptoms more likely in women Joe Robach wants women, especially senior women, to know that women have a higher risk of dying from a heart attack than men do, partly because they often don’t realize they’re having a heart attack and partly because they delay getting help.  Women are less likely than men to have the typical “Hollywood heart attack.” Chest pain was not the main symptom in about 46 percent of women who had a heart attack.

  • Pain in the arm (especially left arm), back, neck, abdomen or shoulder blades: When the nerves of the heart are irritated because the heart isn’t getting enough blood, discomfort or pain can radiate out to many places in the body. The pain often is described as an uncomfortable pressure, tightness or ache.
  • Jaw pain: Jaw and throat pain are quite common, says Ouyang. She says the feeling can start in the chest and move to the throat — as if someone is choking you — and then to the jaw. But again, it’s not always obvious. Sometimes people “go to the dentist, because they think it’s a toothache,” when they actually had a heart attack.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Women are more likely than men to have this symptom, and they may think they have a stomach flu rather than a heart attack.
  • Overwhelming and unusual fatigue: Fatigue is generally a symptom of 21st-century life, so it’s often overlooked as a heart attack sign, but it’s extremely common, so beware if you’re unusually exhausted.

For more information about this or other senior issues, contact the office of Joe Robach.


Joe Robach and his office know that finding health-related services can be a daunting challenge for many seniors citizens.  The following information provides basic details about many important programs.  For more detailed information, seniors can contact Joe Robach’s office.

Nursing Home Without walls

This program is an alternative for patients who medically qualify for nursing home care but who prefer to remain at home.  Now available in many communities, the Nursing Home Without Walls program provides both Medicaid and private-pay patients with extensive in-home health service administered by health agencies, residential health care facilities, certain adult homes and hospitals.


Hospices provide care for the terminally ill at home, which helps preserve the comfort and dignity of the patient while involving the patient’s family.  They may be operated by home care agencies, hospitals, nursing homes or other health care providers or community groups.  Hospices may provide doctors, nurses and home health aides 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Counseling is also available to assist families in bereavement and other stressful periods.  The cost of hospice care generally is reimbursed by private insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare. Go to for more information about hospice services.

Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP)

The need for institutional or nursing home care in part be prevented when certain nonmedical services are provided in the home.  EISEP provides funding for a uniform system of in-home case management, non-institutional respite and other services for seniors who need long-term care but are not eligible for Medicaid.  Those who are able, share costs for services based on their ability to pay. More information can be found by visiting and clicking on the Medicaid link.

Long Term Care Insurance

Through the New York State Partnership for Long Term Care, the Medicaid program can help you or a family member pay for nursing home or home health care costs without exhausting all your life savings.  If you purchase affordable private long term care insurance that has been specifically approved for the Partnership program, the insurance must cover at least three years of nursing home or six years of home health care or an equivalent combination of both.  Once the minimum benefit duration is reached, an income eligible policy holder will qualify for Medicaid extended coverage for the remainder of his or her life without consideration of his or her assets.
 For more information, contact the Partnership program at 1-888-697-7582. You can also visit the NYS Department of Services on the internet at: or call 1-800-342-3736. You may also be eligible for a state and federal tax deduction if you purchase private long term care insurance.

Respite Care

Respite provides temporary rest periods for families who care for elderly or disabled relatives.
Temporarily in-home and out-of-home services can be provided by qualified community and public agencies, nursing homes and other health care providers for families who need a “time-out” from the stress of full-time care of the elderly or disabled.

Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Centers

There are nine centers in New York State that provide services to Alzheimer’s victims and their families, including disease identification, care planning and counseling. A listing of these centers is available through the NYS Health Department’s web site at : or contact the department in writing at:
 Bureau of Chronic Disease Services
 New York State Department of Health, ESP
 Corning Tower, Albany, NY 12237-0678

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are licensed by New York State.  If a nursing home is not state licensed, or if the license is not current, don’t consider it.  All nursing homes receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds are required to make copies of findings of their most recent inspections available to the public.  Ask to see these reports and all licensees and certificates.  It’s your right by law.  It is also important to know that a married person requiring nursing home care can be eligible for Medicaid without impoverishing his or her spouse. State law allows the marriage partner remaining at home to retain a set amount of assets and monthly income. The home itself, if it is not the primary residence, is an exempt resource.

State Office for the Aging Nutrition Program for the Elderly (NPE)

This program helps provide hot, balanced meals to senior citizens in every county and Indian nation of the state.  The meals are served at local community gathering places.  Efforts are made to identify persons unable to reach these meal sites and to provide them with transportation.  In addition, senior  citizens who are unable to leave their homes can have their meals delivered to them.  Anyone over 60 years of age and their spouses and disabled dependents are eligible to take part in this program, and no one is turned down because of inability to pay.  The services provided by the NPE are made available through local Offices for the Aging, which serve all New York State counties.  These local offices are listed in the community services or local government pages of most telephone books.  On the internet, visit the Office for aging at:

For more information about senior initiatives, contact the office of Joe Robach.

Joe Robach Informs Seniors About Weatherization Assistance Program

As the summer continues to wind down, Senator Joe Robach and the New York State Senate have continued to fund the Weatherization Assistance program for adults and seniors to ensure residents have adequate heating and housing once the winter months hit out state.  The goal of this program is to assists income-eligible families and individuals by reducing their heating/cooling costs and improving the safety of their homes through energy efficiency measures.  Energy improvements fall into many categories including, air sealing (weather-stripping, caulking), wall and ceiling insulation, heating system improvements or replacement, efficiency improvements in lighting, hot water tank and pipe insulation, and refrigerator replacements with Energy Star rated units.  Senator Joe Robach will continue to work with the state senate to benefit both young families and seniors.

As stated prior, this program is open to all residents within the State of New York.  However, there is an income limit in which residents must fall under.  In order to participate, household incomes must be at or below 60% of state median income are eligible for assistance.  For a single resident, the 2012 annual income must at $25,752 or below.  For two people, the annual income must be $33,672 or below.  For more information regarding income eligibility, please refer to this link: INCOME ELIGIBILITY FOR WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM OF NEW YORK STATE.

This program is the largest program of its kind in the entire country.  The program receives funding from the U.S. Departments of Energy and Health and Human Services to provide weatherization services to income eligible households.  With our economy being in such disarray, and with so many families out of work along with so many seniors relying strictly on Social Security, Senator Joe Robach will continue to work with the state legislature and the federal government to ensure funding for the essential program continues, as it provides an irreplaceable benefit to seniors.

Please check with your local municipality for income requirements with their programs or contact the office of Joe Robach.



Joe Robach knows that high blood pressure affects 65 million people in the United States, mostly seniors.  Older people are at higher risk, as are those who smoke, carry extra pounds, and drink heavily. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly because people with the disease don’t always have clear symptoms.  Most of the time, there are no symptoms. Symptoms that may occur include: Chest pain ; confusion; ear noise or buzzing; irregular heartbeat; nosebleed; Tiredness; and Vision changes.

Joe Robach suggests that seniors see their health care provider to be checked for high blood pressure.  Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and check your blood pressure. If the measurement is high, your doctor may think you have high blood pressure. The measurements need to be repeated over time, so that the diagnosis can be confirmed.

According to the AARP, if you monitor your blood pressure at home, you may be asked the following questions:

  • What was your most recent blood pressure reading?
  • What was the previous blood pressure reading?
  • What is the average systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) reading?
  • Has your blood pressure increased recently?

Other tests may be done to look for blood in the urine or heart failure. Your doctor will look for signs of complications to your heart, kidneys, eyes, and other organs in your body.  Your doctor may tell you to exercise, lose weight, and follow a healthier diet. If you have pre-hypertension, your doctor will recommend the same lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.

Often, a single blood pressure drug may not be enough to control your blood pressure, and you may need to take two or more drugs. It is very important that you take the medications prescribed to you. If you have side effects, your health care provider can substitute a different medication.

If seniors want more information about high blood pressure, they can contact the office of Joe Robach.