Krissy Leerkes, Director

132 Water Street, PO Box 217
Elizabethtown, New York 12932-0217

Telephone: 518-873-3695
Fax: 518-873-3784

NY Connects Brochure (English / Spanish)

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NY Connects

Essex County NY Connects

What is long-term care?

Long term care refers to medical and non-medical support services needed to improve or maintain one’s health and daily functions. Services may be provided in an individual’s home, community, or residential setting. Long term care is needed when you require help with everyday activities of daily living. Activities of Daily Living (or ADLs) include bathing, dressing, transferring from bed to chair, toileting, feeding. Because of injury, disease or age, many people will need some type of long term care services during their lifetime.

If you need long term care, you may need one or more of the following:

  • Services in your home (home-delivered meals, homemaker, personal care, physical therapy or nursing services);
  • Care in the community (congregate dining, respite, adult day care) and/or care in a variety of long term facilities (enriched housing, assisted living, adult home, nursing home).

Who needs long-term care?

Long-term care is needed when you have a chronic illness or disability that causes you to need assistance with Activities of Daily Living. Your illness or disability could include a problem with memory loss, confusion, or disorientation. (This is called Cognitive Impairment and can result from conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.)

This year, about 9 million Americans over the age of 65 will need long-term care services. By 2020, that number will increase to 12 million. While most people who need long-term care are age 65 or older, a person can need long-term care services at any age. Forty (40) percent of people currently receiving long-term care are adults 18 to 64 years old.

What does long-term care cost?

Long term care in a New York State nursing home costs about $96,000 per year (more in the New York City area).
Source: NYS Office for the Aging

Who pays for long-term care?

An important part of planning for long term care is deciding how to pay for it. There are variations in costs based on the type and amount of care you need, which provider you use, and where you live. Learning more about the
“rules” for when Medicare, Medicaid, or other options might pay for long term care is important and may affect your decisions.

Essex County NY Connects staff can help you understand these “rules” and give you options that best meet you or your loved one’s care needs.

Payment options may include:

  • Personal savings or investments
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Veterans benefits



SNAP (SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM) – SNAP is a federal program to assist lower-income families to meet their needs for ample nutrition. Income eligibility is determined by trained SNAP Caseworkers at your County Department of Social Services. For more information, or for assistance with completing the SNAP application, individuals 60 and over can contact the Office for the Aging.
CAREGIVER INFORMATION – Caregiver Information is available through our Resource Center as well as through one-to-one conversation with our trained outreach staff. In addition, referrals can be made to outside agencies to assist caregivers.
SCAMS TARGED AT OLDER ADULTS – Our trained outreach staff can assist older adults with situations regarding scams, crime, and their safety. In addition, referrals can be made to outside agencies to assist with the recovery of money, personal items, etc.
HOME REPAIRS – Staff can assist individuals 60 and over with completing applications for various agencies/programs to complete home repairs that are needed to keep their home energy sufficient.
MEDICAID – Medicaid is a program designed to assist lower-income individuals/families with medical coverage. This program has income and resource guidelines that one must meet to be eligible. For more information, or assistance with completing the Medicaid application, individuals 60 and over can contact our office.
MEDICARE – Medicare is a federal health insurance program for those over 65 who are eligible for Social Security, Railroad Retirement benefits, or for some individuals that have been disabled for over 24 months. If you have any questions about your Medicare coverage, or for assistance applying for Medicare, our staff have completed extensive training to assist those in need.
PERSONAL CARE AIDS – Office for the Aging offers the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP) that provides individuals with both case management and non-medical in-home services, such as meal preparation, and assistance with household chores and shopping. This program is available to those who are income eligible, and is designed to either delay or eliminate the need for nursing home or institutional long term care. In addition to income eligibility, these services are provided to those who are at the highest priority. For more information, please feel free to contact our office.
VETERAN’S AFFAIRS – In collaboration with our County’s Department of Veteran’s Affairs, our staff can assist veterans with questions or concerns regarding their benefits, prescriptions, etc.
OPPORTUNITIES TO VOLUNTEER – AmeriCorps Seniors of Essex County allows individuals the opportunity to volunteer and give back to their communities. From friendly visiting, teaching, reading or helping non-profit agencies, there is something for you! Contact our office for more information.
LIFELINE SERVICES – Lifeline is a service that utilizes an alarm button with a voice communicator to alert that an individual may be in need of help. In an emergency, one touch of the help button provides the individual with reassurance that help is only a few minutes away. For more information regarding Lifeline, please feel free to contact Office for the Aging.



CONGREGATE MEALS – Nutrition programs are currently offered at 11 sites (updated 1/23/2020) and centers for people 60 years of age or older. At the nutrition sites, individuals can enjoy a hot lunch, as well as a variety of educational, recreational, and help related programs. The suggested contribution for those over 60 is
$3.50. Individuals under 60 must pay the actual meal cost of$6.00. For more information regarding the congregate meal sites, please contact Office for the Aging.
HOME DELIVERED MEALS – For individuals 60 and over who are homebound, the Nutrition Program for the Elderly (NPE) – an ACAP program –will deliver home-delivered meals (“Meals-on-Wheels”) to you. Individuals can choose to have one meal delivered each day, with the option of night and weekend meals. In addition to the meal/food delivery, an outreach worker will also visit the home-delivered meal client to complete the initial assessment, and to assess for other services or programs that the individual may be eligible for. For more information, or to schedule the delivery of home-delivered meals, please contact our office.
HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (HEAP) – HEAP is available to those who are income eligible, to assist with meeting home energy needs. New York’s benefit program is structured in such a way that higher benefits are provided to those households that have larger percentages of their income spent on energy costs, contain a vulnerable individual, and have the lowest income. For individuals 60 and over, applications can be obtained by contacting Office for the Aging. For more information, eligibility, and any other questions, please feel free to contact us.
INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE – Information regarding free tax preparation services is available to those over 60 years of age. For more information, please contact our office.
HEALTH INSURANCE COUNSELING – Our outreach staff have completed an extensive amount of training to provide our County residents with accurate and unbiased information regarding Medicare, Medicare Part D, EPIC, Medicaid, and Long Term Care Insurance. Some Medicare Beneficiaries are eligible for Extra Help to pay for the costs related to a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. For information regarding your health insurance, please give our office a call.
RESPITE SERVICES – Our respite program provides caregivers/family members with home health aide coverage for a limited amount of time to provide them with some relief from their care-giving duties. For more information on our respite program, please contact our office.
MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION – Medical Transportation to medical appointments is provided to Essex County residents who are 60 and over. Transportation is provided by volunteers who are reimbursed for their mileage. To arrange for transportation, please contact our office as soon as you are able to. This will allow our staff an ample amount of time to arrange transportation with our volunteer drivers.
COMBATING SOCIAL ISOLATION – Office for the Aging works with agencies and organizations to help prevent social isolation in older adults. Joy for All Companion Pets are plush, “lifelike” robotic pets that are designed to make realistic sounds and motions, providing comfort and companionship to individuals. RSVP volunteers offer telephone friendly visiting, and our office periodically offers telephone/zoom classes to the public on varies topics.
Elders, their families, and care givers, have the right to make informed, educated decisions.  If you would like to help fund these programs, donations are accepted and greatly appreciated!  Please make checks payable to the Essex County Treasurer and mail them to the address located on the ‘Welcome’ tab.

Meal Menu

Meal Menu for May 2024 Office of the Aging

CV19 CheckUp Tool

CV19 CheckUp Tool

New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) in partnership with BellAge, Inc., and the Association on Aging in New York has launched the CV19 CheckUp tool to help people better understand their risk of getting COVID 19.

The CV19 CheckUP online tool is free and anonymous, and only takes a few minutes to complete.  The series of questions asks about your health conditions, and things like how many people do you come in contact with and when do you wear a mask?

The information and the zip code you provide is used to calculate your risk of getting COVID-19 based the most current information about the virus and what is happening in your neighborhood.  It also provides recommendations and options to reduce your risk of getting COVID19.

You can complete this as many times as you like and see how your answers to certain questions change your risk scores.  There has been a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 and the risks associated with contracting and spreading the virus.

This tool developed by BellAge uses the latest scientific information from around the world to calculate your individual risk of getting COVID19, how likely you are to spread it to others, and how likely are you are to be hospitalized or die from it.

The CV19 CheckUp tool is available to everyone at https://newyork.cv19checkup.org/.

Caregiver Support and Programs

Do you provide unpaid care to a family member, friend, or neighbor who has an illness, disability, memory loss, or injury? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a caregiver! Are you feeling overwhelmed, constantly worried, tired, sad, easily irritated, and/or extremely stressed? You are not alone and there is support available. If you would like to learn more about resources, tools, and supports available for caregivers, please answer the following questions to get connected to the right starting place.

  1. Are you over the age of 18 and caring for an older adult (age 60+)?
  2. Are you over the age of 18 caring for an individual (any age) with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder (e.g., dementia, traumatic brain injury, mild cognitive impairment, chronic traumatic encephalopathy)?
  3. Are you over the age of 55 and living with and caring for a child (not biological) under the age of 18?
  4. Are you over the age of 55 and living with and caring for an adult (can be a biological child) aged 18-59 with a disability?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are eligible for the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP). The goal of the NFCSP is to support family caregivers so they may continue to carry out their caregiving roles and responsibilities. The program can provide services such as caregiver counseling, information and assistance, caregiver training, respite care (a break from caregiving), and much more. If you would like to learn more about how this program can assist you, please contact Essex County Office for the Aging at 518-873-3695.

If you answered no to all the questions above, or you are not interested in learning about the resources available through the NFCSP, there is still help available to you through the Any Care Counts – New York (ACC-NY) Campaign which recognizes and supports the millions of unpaid caregivers across the state! Through ACC-NY you can discover your caregiver intensity score by taking the ARCHANGELS Caregiver Intensity Index (CII). It takes just 2 minutes to complete. You will find out whether you are “in the red,” “yellow” or “green,” and be connected to trusted resources.

Do you prefer to search resources on your own? Visit the NY Connects Resource Directory. NY Connects links individuals of all ages and their caregivers to long term services and supports and provides one stop access to free, objective, comprehensive information and assistance.

GetSetUp - Free Online Learning

GetSetUp – Free Online Learning

New York State Office for the Aging has teamed up with GetSetUp to provide hundreds of live online classes to keep you mentally, physically and socially active. Classes are interactive, easy to join, offered day and night and free for our community.