I don’t know about you but this year went by way too fast.  However, the Department of Aging and Youth hit some big mile stones along the way that I would like to share with you.

Nutrition Unit

        Lunch Club 60-. We served over 13,000 meals to 236 people in our five meal sites! I want to thank all the Lunch Club 60 managers for their dedication to the program, Sharon Morano, Brenda Smith, Melissa Martinez, Vivian Taylor-Kalinowski, Nancy Welcher, Amy Carroll, Caryl Carne-Coe and our newest manager Ella Cobb (who filled Vivian’s shoes when she retired in December).

Home Delivered Meals – As a Threescore reader, you are probably aware that the home delivered meal contract changed hands in January 2019. The reason: NY State requires all governmental agencies award contracts in an openly competitive basis to give applicants an equal opportunity to provide the contracted service.   In 2019, Wayne ARC was awarded the contract due to a significantly lower cost per meal. Wayne ARC has prepared the meals for the home delivered meal program for well over twenty years.  Wayne ARC decided to sub-contract the volunteer recruitment, training and intake services to the Home Meal Services, Inc., so HMS is still instrumental in the process.  Due to the new contractor’s lower meal cost, we were able to serve over 42,000 meals to 274 frail homebound seniors.  In 2018, Home Delivered Meals Program served over 36,000 meals.   Compared to last year, that’s a 15% increase in meals being served to eligible seniors.

In order to determine eligibility, seniors are required to have an assessment/annual reassessment completed.  The annual reassessment is to determine if the participant’s needs have changed. As older homebound adults age, additional services might be recommended to help them to live in their home safely.

I want to personally thank all the people that contribute to this extremely valuable program for their dedication, administrative oversight, coordination and “boots on the ground” volunteer delivery!

Staff members, Lisa Zonneville (Nutrition Coordinator) Suzanne Rath, (Service Assistant) Geri Morse (retired in July) and Leslie Elliot (our new Dietitian) perform critical duties for assessments, oversight, menu development, nutrition education/counseling and ensuring compliance with a strictly regulated program.

Wayne ARC team for administering the contract requirements, from preparing the 42,000 meals according to the dietitian’s specific guidelines, to packaging the meals, according to the 18 different routes schedules that span from one end of this county to the other.

Home Meal Service, Inc. for their intake, coordination, volunteer recruitment and especially all the volunteers for their dedication to serve a nutritious meal and check in on homebound people in dire need.  This program couldn’t exist without their generous gift of their time and resources and kindness to deliver these meals, despite all kinds of weather conditions that Wayne County offers.

Community and Caregiver Unit-

This unit is comprised of our case management and aide service programs.  Our case managers assess and connect seniors (60 and over), with services necessary to help them remain safely in their home and community. Not only is it what the client wants but is a very cost effective option to a nursing home admission.  The majority of our case management clients also receive aide service through our office.  We offer traditional aide service through contracts with Lifetime Care and Home Instead where the agency assigns a professional caregiver/aide to the client. We also offer a Consumer Directed Option through a contract with Medical Solutions who acts as a “Fiscal Intermediary” for seniors to be able to hire their own aide/attendant.

The big news here is, due to a workforce shortage, our agency advocated and received approval by the Board of Supervisors to hire two home health aides to directly serve the 30 assessed eligible seniors that were on our waiting list.

Wayne County was recognized by the NY State Office for Aging for being one of the first counties to create an innovative solution to a problem that virtually the whole nation is grappling with.  By October 2019, the two home health aides were hired, trained, certified, criminal record checked and are currently serving personal care aide services for 30 seniors in need.

In 2019, Case Workers Nicole Grevell and Kathryn Demarco and Sr. Case Worker, Brad Barrigar provided 346 seniors over 3000 hours of case management services and approximately 10,000 personal care aide hours.

Personal Emergency Response Units (PERS)- In 2019, our contracted agency, Response 4 Help provided PERS units to a total of 294 assessed eligible seniors throughout the year.  With the assistance our staff members Lisa Paddock and Brad Barrigar, we were able to increase the PERS units from 160 clients to 200 clients this year due to an increase of state funding.

Transportation-Our transportation program offers rides to seniors to our Lunch Clubs on four days of the week and the other day is open for any appointments or errands for seniors on a first come first served basis.  We also partnered with WayneCAP in an effort to help them expand their volunteer driver program.  WayneCAP and Peggy VanDamme, our Driver provided 169 seniors 4,452 rides.

Information, Assistance and Advocacy Unit

NY Connects—This statewide initiative manages information and referral system at a local level for people with long-term care needs. This program continues to grow rapidly as the baby boomer come of age and more individuals are providing caregiving serves to their loved ones.  In 2016, we received 954 intake calls requesting long-term care services.  In 2019, we received well over 3000 calls from approximately 1500 individuals. The volume of calls have more than tripled since 2016. The phone never stops ringing for our very dedicated NY Connects workers, Jackie Jones and Jessica DeVito, supervised by Kendra Payne.

 Health Insurance Counseling (HIICAP) – The trained and state-certified HIICAP counselors assisted 4950 Medicare beneficiaries in one-on-one individual sessions.  While most of these 4905 contacts occurred at our office, an increasing number of home visits are being conducted to individuals unable to make it in to our Nye Road office.  We also held 12 Medicare 101 classes with 5-20 people per class.  Our third Medicare Insurance Fair was attended by over 75 people. All insurance companies that provide advantage plans were represented for participants to ask about 2020 insurance options.  Under Kendra Payne’s supervision, the outstanding teamwork of Rachel Horton and Evonne Pomerantz being backed-up by Jackie Jones and Kathryn DeMarco, makes this vital program hugely successful.

Administrative and Support Staff

All the above services, and the additional senior services we offer, are supervised by our Coordinator of Aging Services, Amy Haskins.  Amy has worked in all of these programs over the years and her expertise in all these programs is from the ground up.

Needless to say, none of the above would be able to happen without our support staff, creating budgets, fielding calls, imputing data, taking minutes, mailing letters and countless other tasks that help our office run like a clock.  Thanks to the dedicated team lead by Stephanie Wilson, Pam Marsteiner, Candi Hutchings, Heaven Warnica and Lisa Paddock.


Penny Shockley-Bloomer



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