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This entry was published on 2022-03-04
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Congregate services initiative for the elderly
§ 217. Congregate services initiative for the elderly. 1. Definitions.
As used in this section, the following words shall have the following

(a) "Designated agency" shall mean an agency which is designated by
the chief executive officer of the county if there be one, or otherwise
the governing board of such county, or the chief executive officer of
the city of New York, or the governing board of an Indian tribal
council; which is either a unit of county government or the city of New
York or an Indian tribal organization or a private non-profit agency,
and which is the area agency on aging created pursuant to the federal
older Americans act of 1965.

(b) "Elderly person" shall mean a person sixty years of age or older.

(c) "County" shall mean a county, as defined in section three of the
county law, except that the city of New York shall be considered one

(d) "Congregate services" shall mean services for elderly persons
which are provided by a public or a government agency or non-profit
agency which are provided in community settings at which elderly people
come together for services and activities that respond to their diverse
needs and interests, enhance their dignity, support their independence,
and encourage their involvement in and with the community and which seek
to prevent the well elderly from requiring more intensive services such
as those provided under expanded non-medical in-home services and
non-institution respite service. Such services include but are not
limited to:

(1) Information and referral;

(2) Transportation;

(3) Nutrition-related services that deal with hunger among the

(4) Socialization/companionship;

(5) Educational and cultural opportunities;

(6) Counseling;

(7) Support services for families/caregivers;

(8) Volunteer opportunities;

(9) Employment services information;

(10) Health promotion and disease prevention services;

(11) Financial literacy education; and

(12) Elder abuse, including identity theft, education and outreach.

(e) "Non-profit agency" shall mean a corporation organized or existing
pursuant to the not-for-profit corporation law.

2. Notwithstanding any provision of this section, nothing contained
herein shall give the director or a designated agency any
administrative, fiscal, supervisory, or other authority whatsoever over
any plans, programs or expenditures authorized pursuant to titles
eighteen, nineteen and twenty of the federal social security act, or
over any unit of state or local government.

3. Funding. (a) The director shall, within the amounts appropriated
therefor, make funds available to designated agencies for the provision
of congregate services for elderly persons.

(b) The director shall distribute such funds based on a formula
developed by the office which shall take into account the geographic
distribution of elderly persons within the state and any other factors
deemed appropriate by the director.

4. (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this
subdivision, the designated agency shall subcontract with public
agencies, not-for-profit agencies, or other entities to provide
congregate services.

(b) The designated agency may directly operate, with the approval of
the director, congregate services.

(c) The designated agency may use up to five percent of the total of
any funds provided to the designated agency pursuant to this section for

5. Designated agencies qualifying for funds under this section must
include in the current county plan, required under section two hundred
fourteen of this title, a description of the planning, coordination,
administrative and local funding priorities and activities necessary to
achieve the goals and objectives of this section.

6. Within the amounts appropriated therefor, counties authorized to
provide congregate services pursuant to this section shall be eligible
for reimbursement by the state of up to seventy-five percent of
allowable expenditures for approved services pursuant to this section.

7. The comptroller may withhold the payment of state aid to any county
in the event that such county alters or discontinues the operations
approved by the director pursuant to this section or otherwise fails to
comply with the regulations or requirements of the director.

8. Contracts for services. (a) For the purposes of this section,
counties are authorized to contract with public agencies,
municipalities, non-profit agencies, or such other entities as the
director may authorize.

(b) Congregate services provided pursuant to this section shall not be
provided directly by the designated agency unless approval is granted by
the director. Such approval may not be given by the director unless the
designated agency directly provided the service prior to approval of the
annual county plan by the director, or unless it can be shown that the
direct provision of a congregate service by the designated agency is
necessary due to the absence of an existing suitable provider to assure
an adequate supply of such service, or to ensure the quality of the
service provided.

(c) Pursuant to an agreement, two or more counties may join together
for the purposes of this section. Such agreements shall make provision
for the proportionate cost to be borne by each county, the employment of
personnel, the receipt and disbursement of funds, and any other matters
deemed necessary by the director.

9. For the purposes of obtaining state aid within the amounts
appropriated therefor under this section, a designated agency of an
Indian tribal organization shall qualify as though it were a designated
agency for a county.

10. On or before February first, two thousand five the office shall
submit a report to the chairs of the assembly ways and means committee,
the senate finance committee, and the director of the division of the
budget which evaluates and makes recommendations on the congregate
services initiative program. The report should include but not be
limited to the following information:

(a) A description of grant recipients and amount of funds received
through area offices on aging for the congregate services initiative.
The description of grant recipients should include: the types of
services offered at each site, the number of individuals served, and, to
the extent practicable, a profile of the individuals served. The office
should include a specific recommendation on whether a minimal set of
services should be required of each program or if flexible service
requirements should be maintained.

(b) A description of the benefits of the program, including any survey
information obtainable from participants in the program, family members,
or caregivers for whom the program may serve as respite. The description
of benefits should also address the extent to which availability of the
program helps to avoid unnecessary institutionalization of participants.

(c) A description of oversight and planning mechanisms built into the
program and an assessment of the extent to which reconfiguration of the
recreation program to the congregate services initiative has improved
the delivery and/or oversight of services.

(d) A description of how providers of congregate services initiative
services have coordinated with other agencies, providers, or counties,
who offer similar services.

(e) A description of any known factors which have either contributed
to successful service delivery or have hindered the congregate services
initiative program.

(f) An assessment of the need for and/or demand for congregate
initiative services and the extent to which the congregate services
initiative or any other available services, are currently addressing
those needs.

(g) Any other information the office for the aging deems relevant.

11. The executive department is authorized to collect any information
necessary from grant recipients or area offices on aging necessary to
complete this report.

12. With regard to direct grants to community based non-profit
organizations for the provision of congregate services to persons sixty
years of age or older to promote their health, independence and
involvement in the community, congregate services shall be provided at
community settings where eligible persons come together for services and
activities and shall include, but are not limited to: information and
referral; transportation; nutrition-related services; socialization;
educational and cultural opportunities; counseling; support services for
caregivers and families; volunteer opportunities; employment services
information; and health promotion and disease prevention services.