State Office for the Aging outlines services provided for New York’s seniors in annual report – Rome Sentinel

ALBANY — The New York State Office for the Aging has detailed the work of aging service providers who delivered vital services to over 1.3 million older adults and their families last year as part of the agency’s 2021 Annual Report.

The report offers an analysis on the landscape of aging in New York, including data on economic and demographic trends, the prevalence of chronic conditions, growth in long term care needs, and other topics.

New York has the fourth largest population of older adults in the nation: 4.6 million New Yorkers are 60 years of age or older, and 4.2 million are between the ages of 45 and 59. By 2025, the population of individuals age 60 and over is projected to account for 25% of all people in 33 counties and 30% of all people in 18 counties.

“This comprehensive report provides a blueprint for what we do and why we do it,” said NYSOFA Director Greg Olsen. “Older adults with the most serious chronic conditions or functional limitations have needs that are all fundamentally served by core Office for Aging and network programs, including nutrition, personal care, transportation, and chronic disease self-management.”

“But this network also serves a much wider population and purpose, providing supports that help older New Yorkers to thrive, manage their independence, and avoid situations that could put them at risk of worsening chronic care needs, as outlined in the report,” Olsen added.

NYSOFA partners with 59 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and almost 1,200 community-based partners. Collectively, these organizations provide a wide array of programs and supports that help older New Yorkers stay healthy, access services, prevent and mitigate elder abuse, stay engaged in their communities, understand and apply for benefits, and maintain their autonomy as they age.

According to NYSOFA’s Annual Report, older adults and their families received the following network services through AAAs and community partners in 2021:

  • 63,825 older New Yorkers received registered dietician-certified home-delivered meals;
  • 196,547 individuals received meals in a congregate setting;
  • 69,561 older New Yorkers had case managers help them maintain their independence and navigate various health and social service systems;
  • 13,087 individuals received personal care services in their homes;
  • 108,044 older adults received transportation services to medical appointments, pharmacies, and other community outlets;
  • 10,823 received legal assistance;
  • 88,921 received nutrition counseling and education;
  • 293,633 received information and assistance;
  • 109,144 received health promotion/prevention;
  • 248,000 received Medicare plan and prescription counseling and assistance;
  • 13,109 received support services and respite that make it possible for caregivers to continue caring for a frail loved one;
  • 600 received services through the Social Adult Day Services (SADS) programs directly funded by NYSOFA;
  • Approximately 2,600 victims of elder abuse had their cases referred to an Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team (E-MDT) coordinator. E-MDTs bring together professionals from various disciplines within each county whose primary focus is to intervene and prevent abuse of older adults, with a focus on complex cases. 

More than 250,000 contacts were made to NY Connects, a resource for free, objective information about long term services and supports in New York State for people of all ages or with any type of disability. Also, the NY Connects Resource Directory received 1.5 million page hits. For more information about NY Connects, or to access other local supports, visit https://www.nyconnects.ny.gov/ or call 1-800-342-9871.
 

Economics and Community Involvement Data

Older New Yorkers and baby boomers make up 65% — $481 billion — of all the household income generated in New York State. They support local businesses, Medicaid and schools through home ownership, contributing significantly to the local and state economy and care economy. 80% of the state retirement system payouts stay in New York State at a value of $10.6 billion annually. 64% of New Yorkers age 60 and over own their own homes and have no mortgage. Approximately 935,000 New Yorkers over the age of 55 contribute more than 495 million hours of community service at an economic value of more than $13.9 billion annually.

Chronic Conditions and Long Term Care Needs

Approximately 6.2 million adult New Yorkers (41.1%) suffer from a chronic disease such as arthritis, asthma, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, and New Yorkers with chronic diseases are more likely to report poor health status and activity limitations than those without a chronic disease.

NYSOFA projects that the number of people age 60 and over with functional impairments will grow over 20% by 2025. Eighty-one percent will live in the community and 19% will live in nursing homes or other group care facilities. 10% of the population has self-care limitations – that is, difficulty taking care of their own personal needs, such as bathing, dressing, or getting around inside the house due to a health condition that lasts for six or more months. This number rises to 15% for people who are 75 and over; and 25% for those who are 85 and over. 20% of the population has mobility limitations – that is, difficulty going outside the house alone (for example, to shop or visit a doctor’s office) due to a health condition that lasts for six or more months. This number rises to one-third for individuals age 75 and over, and 50% for ages 85 and over.

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