Elderly and Aging

The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) provides for the physical, social, & emotional needs of the senior citizens of Erie County through informal and formal supports that enable seniors to make informed choices, to be safe, to remain independent, and to be involved in the community. A small co-payment is required for some services. These services, provided through the mandates of the Older American’s Act, are designed to respond to those seniors

  • remaining active and involved in their community
  • being cared for in their home where they feel comfortable
  • requiring placement services
  • requiring protection and advocacy

Information and Referral Services serves as an entry point for AAA services and provides information and community linkages. An information and referral caseworker forwards agency referrals for Area Agency on Aging Programs to the Pre-Admission Assessment Program. A caseworker then assesses a consumer for eligibility for Long Term Care Placement Services, AAA Options Services, PDA Aging Waiver Services, or refers the consumer to appropriate community resources.

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Pre-Admission Assessments are comprehensive assessments performed on those individuals 60 years and older who are seeking in-home service or on individuals 18 years and older who are determined to be nursing-home eligible who are seeking in-home services or nursing home ineligible and seeking placement in a Personal Care Boarding Home or Domiciliary Care Home.

Assessment is conducted to determine the least restrictive alternative for the person, so that independence is maintained and care needs are satisfied.

Care Management provides an in-depth evaluation of client needs and the facilitation of the most appropriate services and monitors those services and the person's care plan.

Domiciliary Care provides living arrangements for persons unable to live independently. Residences certified are private family homes. Consumers are placed and monitored by a care manager.

Family Caregiver Support Program is support for the caregiver to maintain the care necessary for persons who are maintained in their home environment.

Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program through the Department of Agriculture, Erie County residents 60 years of age and older may be eligible to receive vouchers to purchase fruits and vegetables from Farmer’s Market Stands. Senior FMNP is operated by the Senior Center Service component. FMNP offers four $5 vouchers to be utilized at any of the 52 local participant vendors. The program runs from June through September.

Home PLUS Project is designed to reduce risk factors and to stabilize housing. It provides assessment, case management including mental health services and other aging services on-site to Housing Authority of the City of Erie residents at Schmid Towers and Friendship Apartments. Partner Agency (Erie Center on Health and Aging) provides medical services.

Aging Waiver Program offers eligible participants an alternative to institutional care. For those eligible clients/consumers, who have been assessed with a nursing home level of care, case management staff develops a care plan and arranges a variety of in-home services to insure the participants can safely remain in a community setting. Benefit counseling is made available to those consumers that may experience difficulty in pursuing financial eligibility for medical assistance to qualify for this program.

Seniors requiring protection and advocacy are served through:

Older Adult Protective Services provides 24-hour access to caseworkers who investigate abuse, neglect, exploitation, and abandonment of persons 60 years of age and older.

Ombudsman advocates for residents of long term care facilities and evaluates and mediates the complaints made by or on behalf of such residents. Volunteers are recruited and trained to assist the Ombudsman. These volunteers can be individuals from the community or they may be peer volunteers who actually reside within the long-term facilities, all providing visits and resources for the residents.

Senior Advocate assists seniors in obtaining services and benefits along with coordination of the APPRISE program to help seniors access Medicare and prescription plans.

Remaining active and involved in their community, seniors are offered these opportunities:

Foster Grandparent Program provides eligible persons, 55 years and older, with a modest stipend for volunteering with young children who have special needs.

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) provides volunteer opportunities for persons, 55 years and older, matching personal interests, skills and life experiences with the needs of a variety of community organizations.

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) places low-income seniors, age 55 and older, into subsidized, part-time community service training opportunities leading to skill development and unsubsidized employment.

Senior Center Services offer nutritional, recreational, educational, and social activities at 11 senior centers located throughout Erie city and county. Access to these sites is aided by transportation services purchased from the LIFT.