Counties to plan for elderly, disabled

Albany and Schenectady County have been awarded more than $25,000 to plan community improvements that caters to the aging and disabled, according to officials.

We're anticipating to begin the planning process in September, said Mary Duryea, spokeswoman for Albany County Executive Mike Breslin.

The Community Empowerment Grant from the New York State Office for the Aging is "designed to assist in their efforts to promote and plan more aging and disabled friendly communities, which support older adults and disabled individuals to remain in their community for as long as they wish," according to information form the Albany County.

The announcement was made on Wednesday, Aug. 5, but the money will likely not be awarded until sometime within the next few weeks.

The county will work collaboratively with the municipalities and the Long Term Care Council, businesses and "consumer representatives, to plan for long and short-term strategies and to plan how to best allocate the resources. It will focus on housing, out-door spaces, transportation, building, employment and more, according to Albany County.

"The Community Empowerment Project is consistent with our current efforts to develop a comprehensive long term care plan for the county that expands affordable and reliable home and community-based long term care services in our community," Albany County Executive Mike Breslin said in a written statement. "We must ensure our communities have the supports and services in place to enable residents to remain where they want to be for as long as possible."

Duryea said the planning will primarily include determining which aspects of a community make it more palatable to the elderly and disabled.

"What kinds of thinks make a community more aging and disabled friendly?" she said will be the target question.

The county's Long Term Care Council's, NY Connects program, which is the "point of entry" for long-term care and aging agency, will join forces with the University at Albany to educate the public about the benefits available to the aging and disabled.

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