Office for the Aging

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
Account Set-Up Instructions for GetSetUp
Aging Mastery Program (AMP) Core Curriculum
Contribution Rates
Dementia FAQs
Elder Abuse FAQs
ElliQ: a digital companion and it works!
(Limited number of units available; Contact OFA directly at (585) 343-1611)
The Importance of Nutrition and Social Contact
Caregiver Services

Q: What is the Consumer Directed Program?

A: This provides services to chronically ill or individuals with physical disability who have a medical need for help with activities of daily living (ADLs) or skilled nursing services. Recipients have flexibility and freedom in choosing their caregivers. The consumer or the person acting on the consumer´s behalf (assumes full responsibility for hiring, training, supervising, and – if need be – terminating the employment of persons providing the services.

Q: Family caregivers can get tired.  Sometimes they are not sure where to turn for help.  Are there any programs in the county to help care givers balance their life and care giving role?

A: Genesee County Office for the Aging has a Family Caregiver Support Program.  Here you can get information and counseling.  This program has support groups and some services for caregivers.  Many agencies can help you find counseling services for hard relationship issues. These include Home Care and Hospice, Horizon Health Services: Batavia Recovery Center, UConnectCare Behavioral Health Services (formerly GCASA), and Genesee County Mental Health Department.  

Respite Care

Q: What is Respite Care? 

A: “Respite” is a short term service to help caregivers have a break from their duties.  An older or disabled family member can get care in order to give their caregiver some respite.  We know that giving care is emotionally and physically stressful.

Q: Where is the respite care provided?  What agencies offer this service?

A: Care can be offered in the home through:

  • HomeCare and Hospice
  • Genesee County Office for the Aging
  • VA WNY Healthcare System
  • Willcare
  • Tender Loving Care

Care can be offered in the community through:

  • Genesee County Office for the Aging

Care can be offered in a residential setting through:

  • Eldercare
  • VA WNY Healthcare System
  • Local Nursing Homes 

HomeCare and Hospice can provide respite care for family members through Hospice Care services.  The level and time period of the care varies for each person.  You can have care for a few hours per week to many hours per week.  Care depends on your needs, provider availability, and funding sources.  Like the other services available, there is usually paperwork involved in arranging this type of service.  It is a good idea to plan ahead of time to make these arrangements.

Community-Based Services

Q: There are grant funds to help older adults in Genesee County.  One of these grants is Rochester Area Community Foundation’s Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging.  What does this grant offer?

A:

  1. Friendly Visiting Program offers a weekly visitor for older adults who cannot leave the house easily. These visits provide friendship and quality time for both the volunteer and the person receiving the visit.
  2. Transportation Coordination services are offered through the Genesee County Office for the Aging. Older adults are offered help in locating transportation services.  The service can be used for medical appointments, shopping, personal business and/or social needs.
  3. Community Action Transportation Services provides transportation for rural residents and older adults who require extra assistance during transport.  This service is used mainly for medical appointments and shopping. Contact the Genesee County Office for the Aging’s Transportation Coordinator to see if you are eligible.  He/she will help you access this service.
  4. Library Visits offers library materials and services to individuals unable to get to the library for a short or long time.  Residents of senior housing in Genesee County can also use this service through group loans at their locations.  The Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia brings library resources to homes all throughout Genesee County with the assistance of volunteers.
  5. Handyman Program is offered through PathStone Corporation. This program allows for small home repairs, focusing on safety and accessibility.  Intake is done through the Genesee County Office for the Aging. Labor costs are covered at no-charge. Some material costs may apply.
All of these ask marshall programs are available to Genesee County residents, 60 and older, regardless of household income. The ask marshall Helpline connects you to those programs and more. Call (585) 815-7979 or email askmarshall@co.genesee.ny.us for more information.

Q: Who can get Home Delivered Meals?

A: To be eligible for home delivered meals you must:

  1. Be age 60 and over.  You must be homebound and/or injured due to an accident or illness. You must lack the support of family, friends or neighbors.  You must be unable to cook because of any of these reasons:
  2. Lack of refrigeration, stove, etc.
  3. Inability to shop or cook for self
  4. Inability to safely cook meals
  5. Lack of knowledge and skills

Q: Where can I find out about a Medical Equipment Loan for a person?  Where can I get small home changes for handicap accessibility?

A: Independent Living of the Genesee Region has information and direction to help with these needs.  You can get Medical equipment for people such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs and/or commodes for loan.  The Handyman Program can make some small home changes to make the home safer for those with disabilities.  They can add grab bars and/or railings to make it easy for you. 

Q: Where can I find Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)? 

A: A PERS is a piece of equipment that a person wears (such as a wristwatch or necklace) and can use to call help if they fall or have an emergency.   You can get Personal Emergency Response Systems from a number of places.  There may also be funding that will help pay for it.

Counseling Services

Q: Is there help for people who may be depressed?  This may be due to the loss of a family member or their health.  Where can they get help?

A: It is always good to have a physical exam by your physician first.  They will make sure that there is not a physical cause for your depression.  When counseling services are needed you can get help from many providers.  Some of these include Horizon Health Services: Batavia Recovery Center, UConnectCare Behavioral Health Services (formerly GCASA), Genesee County Mental Health Department, HomeCare and Hospice, or Veteran’s Administration of WNY Healthcare System.  There are also private counselors and psychiatrists that are here to help you.   

Health Care

Medical Facility

Q: I meet a discharge planner or case manager when I go to the hospital.  They talk to me and my family about care issues.  They want to make sure I have care after I leave the hospital.  But this usually happens before I am even well enough to leave.  Why does this happen?

A: The discharge planner wants to look out for your best interest.  Everyone who leaves the hospital needs to go to a safe place where they can get their care.  Many people go home with no help.  Some may have family help for a few days, but it is not enough.  If you are leaving the hospital and need a lot of care, the discharge planner can help you.  They will find you and your family the help you need.  It is important to do this early on so you have a set plan when you’re ready to leave. 

Rehabilitation Care Facilities      

Q: What help is there for those looking for in-patient rehabilitation?  This may be due to illness or injury when the patient needs a lot of rehabilitation as part of their recovery process.  

A: Many services are offered to patients based on their needs.  Medical, nursing and Social Work are sometimes offered.  Also there are Dietary and Rehabilitative staff members who work with you.  They will make sure that you are fully recovered before leaving.  They will also make sure that you get any other materials or equipment that you need when you go home.  

Q: Are there any of these care facilities in Genesee County that offer these services?  Do I need to go to another county to get this help?

A: All four of our area Skilled Nursing Homes offer these services.  Also the Veterans’ Administration offers this aid as well.  Some of the locations to get this help are:

Batavia Nursing Home, LeRoy Village Green Residential Health Care Facility, Premier Nursing Home, New York State Veterans’ Home at Batavia, Veterans’ Administration of Western New York Healthcare System   

Home Care Agencies    

Q: How does a Certified Home Health Care Agency (CHHA) differ from a Licensed Homecare Agency? 

A: A Certified Home Health Care Agency treats those who are homebound.  They offer aid and other care services.   They require their patients to have a skilled need.  Some of these needs include nursing, physical therapy and speech therapy.  This can also include teaching, IV therapy, and wound care.  Once the skilled need becomes chronic, CHHA stop their services.  CHHA’s do not offer aid for custodial care or housekeeping only.  If you are looking to find a CHHA near you there are a few options.  The Genesee County Health Department and the Visiting Nurses Association of Western New York are both CHHAs.  They accept Medicare and/or private health insurance.  A Licensed Homecare Agency is a little different.  They offer supervised aid to help with daily activities.  These agencies may also offer nursing, therapies, and skilled services.  The skilled services must be authorized by the insurer.  Aid services can be home health aide such as monitoring vital signs.  Personal care aides help with personal hygiene and mobility.  Housekeeping services help with house work, cooking and shopping.  They also help with laundry.  Some of these agencies accept Medicare and/or private health insurance as well.  They also take private pay or other funding sources.

Q: Where and for how long is home care offered?

A: Home care can be offered in your house or apartment.  Here, aides can keep you company, tend to your needs and give you support.  Care is offered from a one hour visit up to 24 hours a day.  This depends on the patient’s needs.  This also depends on employee availability and funding needed to pay for the services. 

Q: I live a distance away from my loved ones.  If they live alone, can they receive home care services?

A: Homecare agencies work with many families who live out of town.  They can assist you in arranging care for your older or disabled loved ones.  They will offer aide services in the home.  The patient will feel safer in their home knowing they have a lot of support.

Hospice and Terminal Comfort Care

Q: What does a Medicare Certified Hospice Program offer? 

A: Hospice is a Medicare certified program.  They offer special care and emotional support for you and your family coping with illness.  They focus on the quality of life.  Care is often given inside your home.  Also, this care can be offered in nursing homes and hospitals.  Some hospitals have special hospice rooms for quick in-patient stays.  Here they can control symptoms and offer respite care.  They offer pain and symptom control.  They also offer skilled nursing, home health aids and medical equipment.  You can also get help with supplies, emotional support and grief counseling.  Trained volunteers are there to help and visit with patients.  These individuals offer small breaks for the caregiver.  A registered nurse is available 24 hours a day.  They will take the calls of you or your family.  Homecare and Hospice is the agency in Genesee County that offers this service.

Q: How is Hospice Care paid for?

A: Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies can pay for the costs of a Hospice Program such as HomeCare & Hospice.  You can also get community support.  This may help you pay for care and expenses that are not covered by other funding sources.  

Q: What services does Crossroads House Provide?

A: You can live in a Crossroads House instead of a hospital or nursing home.  It is a comfort care home that focuses on your physically and emotional needs.  They also will offer aid for your spiritual and social needs.  This is only if you are medically determined to be in the last three months of your life.  The nursing staff is experienced in end-of-life care. They are here for you around the clock.  Trained and dedicated volunteers help the caregivers.  Lodging and support is offered for family members.  You must be under the care of a certified home health care agency or hospice for medical case management.

Q: How much does this service cost?

A: It is offered free of charge.  Crossroads House is volunteer driven and community supported. 

Housing

Independent Senior Housing 

Q: What types of services or amenities are offered?

A: Some services available are housekeeping, cooking and medical transportation.  There is also often 24 hours security, a beauty salon or a library.  Finally, you may be able to get grocery and prescription delivery, social activities and entertainment.  

Q: Does the facility offer help for bathing, dressing and/or medical reminders? 

A: These housing units cannot directly offer these services.  But, residents can buy private pay aide services to help them with their needs just as they might in their own home. 

Q: Are there any type of these housing units in Genesee County? 

A: Yes.  The Greens of LeRoy and Victorian Manor both offer these services.   Havenwood is also a type of Independent Senior Housing that also offers a service coordinator on the premises.  

Adult Homes

Q: What is an Adult Care Home?

A: An Adult Care Home has a room and meals, housekeeping and laundry.  Also it offers help with medication and personal supervision.  These services are good for adults who do not want to stay alone.  This is also great for those who cannot safely live alone.  If you choose to live in Adult Care Home and are not living in a Special Needs Unit, you are free to go out in the community.  Many Adult Care Homes have transportation.   You can go see your doctor or travel for recreation.  You must be able to walk on your own or use the aid of a cane or walker.  You can get help with bathing, grooming and dressing.  You can also get help with your medication and handling money.  An Adult Care Home may care for those who are sometimes confused.  They usually cannot manage a person who wanders.   A Dementia/Special Needs Unit has more specialized care. 

Q: How do Adult Care Homes differ from Nursing Homes?

A: An Adult Care Home costs less than a nursing home.  To live in a nursing home you must have trouble with almost all parts of daily living.  Some nursing home residents are able to make small outings, but most are not up to day trips even with help.  People in nursing homes need daily medical care and/or help with daily activities.

Q: What do Adult Care Homes offer?

A: An Adult Care Home gives you your own bed, dresser, chair, wastebasket, and closet space.  You can live in a shared or private room.  Some Adult Care Homes let you bring your own bedroom furniture or TV set.  You may also be able to bring your stereo and/or easy chair.  Most Adult Care Homes want you to bring pictures and personal items to decorate your room. 

Q: Is Medical and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) accepted to pay for care in Adult Care Homes? 

A: Adult Care Homes do accept private pay.  Some also take Medicaid or SSI.  Check with your provider to see what payment program is best for you.   Payment programs depend on your financial situation.

Skilled Nursing Care Facilities

Q: What services do skilled nursing care facilities have?

A: They have a full range of Medical, Nursing and Social Work care.  They also offer Dietary and Rehabilitative services.  Social and Recreational activities are also offered.  You can get these services from:

Batavia Nursing Home, LeRoy Village Green Residential Health Care Facility, Premier Nursing Home, New York State Veteran’s Home at Batavia, VA WNY Healthcare System 

Q: What is the cost of skilled nursing home care?

A: It may cost about $12,000 per month. 

Q: Who pays for skilled nursing home care?

A: This depends on each person’s insurance.  It will also depend on your financial status, veteran status, and medical condition.  Discuss your own financial situation with your provider.  They will tell you how to pay for the services. 

Q: Will Medicare pay for the first 100 days in a skilled nursing facility?

A: Yes, as long as you have a three night hospital stay before admission.  Your care needs also have to qualify you for coverage.  Co-insurance will pay co-payments for days 21-100 if you continue to qualify for Medicare coverage.  Medicare Managed Care HMO’s have about the same coverage as Medicare/co-insurance.  You need a pre-certification for this service.  You will need to stay in close touch with your providers to make sure Medicare will pay. 

Q: If I plan on living in a nursing home, do I have to sell my house?  Do my spouse and I have to spend our life savings for the needed care? 

A: When you come to live in a nursing home you need to use your insurance or spend out of your own money down to a certain level before you can get Medicaid.  (This is a Federal insurance program that pays for long term care health benefits.  This is offered to those who meet the income and resource guidelines.)  In 1989 the Spousal Impoverishment Act was passed.  This allows your spouse to keep the family home and much of the savings you shared.  You can find out about income and resource qualifications through:

Genesee County Office for the Aging or Genesee County Department of Social Services 

The Genesee County Office for the Aging has a Legal Services program that can assist older adults and can help you understand your own financial situation.   

Q: What is a PRI?  Do you need it to live in a nursing home? 

A: A PRI is a “Patient Review Instrument”.  A medical professional will sit down with you or your family to get a better understanding of your needs and situation.  The PRI has a score and it is the score that nursing homes and some adult homes or assisted living facilities look at to see if they are the best place to meet your needs.  You can get the PRI when you are ready to leave the hospital, skilled nursing home or rehabilitation center.  If you live in your home and need a PRI there are many agencies that can help you. 

Q: Do you have to have a doctor to start to live in a nursing home?

A: Yes.  A doctor must fill out medical forms with your current conditions and medical history.  Once you become a resident in the nursing home, you can sometimes keep the doctor you always had, or you can often use the doctor assigned to the nursing home.  If you keep your own doctor, a friend or family member might have to take you to see him or her. 

Q: I do not know what kind of care I should get.  What should I look for when finding a care facility?  I want to make a choice that is right for me and my family. 

A: The New York State Health Department surveys and monitors nursing homes and some other facilities in New York.  They provide each place with a survey report.  This shows how each home rates in the most recent State survey.  Each facility should have a copy of this report posted on the wall for visitors to see.  Also the New York State Health Department website has report results for you to see.  These are posted for individual facilities.

Different Types of Housing

Q: There seem to be so many different names for housing.  It’s so confusing.  How do I know what they mean?

A: The New York State Department of Health oversees many of these different housing levels.  Go to the Housing Definitions section to learn their definitions for them. 

Veterans' Services

Q: What services are there for veterans?

A: There are a lot of services.  They vary depending on your own situations and veteran status.  You should contact the following to find out what services apply to you: Veterans’ Administration of Western New York Healthcare System (VAWNYHS), New York State Veterans’ Home at Batavia, Genesee County Veterans’ Services Agency

Q: What services can I get through the Veterans Administration of Western New York Healthcare System (VAWNYHS)?

A: This service offers veterans nursing home care, dementia care and homemaker home health aide services.  They offer adult day care (both in-house and contract), hospital based primary care and community nursing home care.  They also have respite care and hospice services.  There is a shuttle bus service from Batavia VA to Buffalo VA.  This will give eligible veterans much needed transportation. 

Q: What is Veterans’ Administration of Western New York Healthcare System Respite care?

A: This service provides short term care to veterans.  This is up to one month per fiscal year.  This will give the family caregiver a planned time of relief from the physical and emotional duties of providing care at home.

Q: Are there specific admission criteria for the New York State Veterans’ Home at Batavia?

A: If you are thinking of living at the New York State Veterans’ Home at Batavia you must need skilled nursing care.  The Veterans’ Home is certified for Medicare and Medicaid.  Also, you must:

  1. have entered active duty from New York State or be a resident of New York State for one year prior to admission
  2. have been discharged under honorable conditions and have served at least 30 days on active duty (Preference is given to wartime veterans)
  3. be married 10 years prior to application if you want your spouse to be admitted with you
  4. be a widow(er) or parent of an eligible veteran

Q: Does the New York Veterans’ Home at Batavia offer Rehabilitation Services?

A: Yes. They offer a full range of rehabilitative services. Residents are assessed for the services at the time of admission. Medical, Social Work, Dietary and Rehabilitative staff members judge your ability to return to the community. They also arrange for equipment and other needs as indicated. 

Q: Do I have to enroll to receive Veterans’ Administration Health Care?

A: Most veterans must be enrolled to get Veterans’ Administration Health Care.  But, some veterans do not have to if they meet certain criteria.  If you fall into one of these categories listed below you do not have to enroll.

  1. If you are seeking care for a Veterans’ administration rated services connected condition ONLY
  2. If the Veterans’ Administration has rated you with a service-connected disability of 50% or more
  3. If less than one year has passed since you were discharged for a disability that the military determined was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.  But In this case, the Veterans’ Administration has not yet rated    

Q: What is a Veterans’ Administration service-connected rating?  How do I get one?

A: A service-connected rating is an official ruling by the Veterans’ Administration.  It states that your illness/condition is directly related to your active military service.  Service-connected ratings are established by Veterans’ Administration Regional Offices.  These are located throughout the country.

Q: How is it determined where my care will be provided?  Will it be in a Veterans’ Administration facility or a private nursing home?  Will the Veterans’ Administration pay for the nursing home expense?

A: If you qualify for indefinite nursing home care then you can stay in a Veterans’ Administration facility.  Care may also be offered in a private place under the Veterans’ Administration contract.  This is only offered when there is a compelling medical or social need.  If you do not qualify for indefinite care you may be placed in a community nursing home.  You can only get care arranged for about six months after an episode of Veterans’ Administration care.  The purpose of this short term placement is to help your family while other long term care options are being set up. 

Q: What if I do not qualify for indefinite care at Veterans’ Administration expense?  What help is there for making other arrangements? 

A: The Veterans’ Administration social workers will help family members find funding sources.  The Veterans’ staff will help you find out if your costs can be covered by Medicare of Medicaid.  They will then help you and your family find other services.  This includes applying for other Veterans’ Administration benefit programs.

Q: What is TRICARE?

A: It is the Department of Defense Health Care Program for active duty and retired members of the uniformed services.  This also includes their family members and survivors.     

NY Connects Genesee Care Options is here to help you figure out what you need and find providers that can help meet your needs.  We want to make this process as easy as possible for you.