Rensselaer County Unified Family Services Department for the Aging Services
The Unified Family Services Department for the Aging directly provides a wide range of services to the County's senior citizens, with an emphasis on serving those most in need.
Some of the services provided include:
- Planning and coordination of senior programs and services
- Overall personnel management of Departmental needs
- Stimulation of interest and action toward the expansion and creation of new programs
- Pooling of untapped resources to provide services to the elderly
- Provision of information and education to the general public to make them more aware of the programs and services potentially available to the elderly
- Maintenance of five multi-purpose senior citizen centers and sites
- Recruitment, training and placement in volunteer activities
- Screening and placement for employment opportunities
- Health clinics, recreation, and arts and crafts programs
In order to adequately serve the needs of the entire County, the Department has divided the County into three catchment areas: the Northern, Middle and Southern Tiers.
Each tier has two senior service centers, which relate directly to the communities, the individual senior citizen clubs and the elderly residents in that area. Through this structure, the services offered through the centers are made accessible with fewer barriers.
The Rensselaer County Unified Family Services Department for the Aging has been in existence since 1973 (its predecessor, a model project, began in 1969) and serves the 26,521 residents of the County who are 60 years of age and older. The primary goal of the Department is to provide a network of supportive and preventative services, which enable the County's elderly to maintain themselves productively and independently within the community.
The Department is funded by the Federal Older American's Act, the New York State Community Services for the Elderly and Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program, and the County of Rensselaer. The Older American's Act divides the areas of service delivery as follows:
- Services (A-6772): Including access, legal and home care
- Nutrition (A-6773): Including congregate and home delivered meals
- Community Services for the Elderly and Caregiver Support (A-6775): Assistance to allow seniors to remain at home and support services for caregivers
- Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (A-6777): Provides homemaking/Personal Care, Housekeeping/Chore and Lifeline services
The Department works in partnership with Rensselaer Organization United for Senior Endeavors (ROUSE Inc.) and Rural Preservation Corporation (ROUSE, RPC ) to target its resources to meet the needs of the elderly; working closely as advocates for the elderly and as their liaison with local governments.