Ranzenhofer Holds First Aging Advisory Committee Meeting
Clarence, NY – Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer hosted his first Aging Advisory Committee Meeting last Wednesday at the Clarence Senior Center. The Committee, comprising of members from various sectors of the aging and elderly care industries in Erie and Genesee County, will meet two to three times per year to discuss State issues important to preserving the financial and economic stability of the aging population.
“A lot of legislation before the State Senate affects our aging population. The Aging Advisory Committee jump starts a discussion concerning these important issues so that Albany hears the concerns of senior citizens across Western New York.” said Senator Ranzenhofer.
Senator Ranzenhofer has expressed his number one priority as the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Aging.
“I believe we must address property taxes and work to reduce the tax burden on our aging population. Reinstating the STAR rebate check program and doubling the STAR exemption for seniors would make an immediate impact. Seniors across Western New York are, in too many instances, being taxed out of their homes,” said Senator Ranzenhofer.
Long Term Health Care Programs, Adult Day Health Care Programs, Medicaid programs and State regulations were among the many issues raised by committee members.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to work directly with Senator Ranzenhofer on this advisory committee along with other members of who are experts in the field of aging and who come to the table with a variety of perspectives. A key Office for the Aging priority is the need for affordable home and community-based services such as in home care, home delivered meals, transportation, caregiver support, social adult daycare, comprehensive information and referral, creative and affordable housing alternatives, and wise long term care planning,” said Genesee County Office for the Aging Director Pamela Whitmore.
“I was pleased to hear the Senator was very interested in investigating a pilot program that would provide physicians and nurse practitioners incentives to enter the field of geriatric medicine. Developing specialists in care for older adults will go a long way to enhance the quality of life
for our growing senior population,” said Beachwood Continuing Care President and CEO Bob Meiss.
“As a representative of the Schofield Residence, I was pleased to have the opportunity to open up a dialogue with the Senator about the need for community based health care services like the Long Term Home Health Care Program and the Adult Day Health Care Program, and also about the necessity to support families who are caring for elders in their homes. Community based services plus strong family caregivers allow us to keep people in their homes, saving taxpayers money in the long run,” said Schoefield Residence Director of Community Relations Laura Mondello.
Members of the committee include: HomeCare & Hospice Social Work Manager Barbara Borgesen; Meals on Wheels for WNY CEO Benjamin Gair III; Geriatric Caremanagers of WNY President Beverly Kubula; Erie County Department of Social Services Commissioner Brenda Ward; Brompton Heights Admission Director Dana Deveso; Genesee County Legislator Esther Leadley; Clarence Senior Center Executive Director Karla Madrid; Schoefield Residence Director of Community Relations Laura Mondello; Gardenview Adult Day Care Executive Director Mary Margaret Scanlon; Beachwood Homes President and CEO Bob Meiss; Genesee County Office for the Aging Services Administrator Ruth Spink; Genesee County Office for the Aging Services Director Pamela Whitmore; LeRoy Village Green Admissions Director Samantha Vagg; and Alzheimers Association of WNY Executive Director Leilani Joven Pelletier.
Senator Ranzenhofer was elected to the New York State Senate in 2008. The 61st District includes part of the city of Tonawanda, the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, Newstead and Tonawanda in Erie County and all of Genesee County.