Counties to plan for elderly, disabled

Duryea said the university will likely provide technical assistance, a community forum and an intern to assist.

Duryea said the grant fits with the county executive's plan for long-term care for the elderly and will hopefully relieve the reliance on the county's nursing home.

"Plans for making sure we will have the support and services they need so they don't have to get a nursing home and can stay in the community," Duryea said.

Renee Benson, the executive director of the Catholic Charities Caregiver's Support Service's said her organization and the United Way provide long-term care for the elderly and disabled, and have many services for "kinship" care, designed to help family members care for other family members.

"My personal hope is that while they're doing the grant, they include some money for kinship care," she said.

Catholic Charities services 21 families in Schenectady, and more than 70 in Albany, while also servicing 12 other counties, Benson said.

"Hopefully this grant will help us meet our goal of keeping more of our seniors at home," said Albany County Legislator Lucille McKnight, chair of the Legislature's Social Services Committee.

Schenectady County spokesman Joe McQueen said the grant application runs from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31 of 2010 and the county is hoping to begin work as soon as possible.

He said a steering committee will be formed but it is unknown who will serve on that committee at this time.

Schenectady County officials are planning to set up community forums and look at its assessment tools, McQueen said, in order to best determine how the funding should be allocated.

"Schenectady County has long supported efforts that promote the health and well being of our older residents. This grant will help us design programs and services that will allow our seniors to remain in our community," said Susan Savage, chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature in a written statement.

Albany County-NY Connects can be reached at 447-7177. Schenectady County-NY Connects can be reached at 382-8481 ext. 1000.""

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