It goes without saying that times are incredibly difficult at present. Contributing to this is the complexity of the language around this pandemic.

Navigating new buzzwords and phrases can be confusing, and it is important that we overcome this obstacle to assure that we all are able to correctly interpret the constant information coming our way. In doing so, we can confidently and effectively respond to do our part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 — or, since we’re talking buzzwords, to “flatten the curve.”

The following is a breakdown of the different ways that we can maintain space from others to limit transmission of this virus.

Social distancing

On the light end of the spectrum, we have perhaps the most widely used term of all — “social distancing.” Interestingly, this refers to simply minimizing physical interactions with others. More specifically, it means avoiding unnecessary large gatherings (10 or more people, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) as well as maintaining a physical distance of six feet or more when you absolutely need to be in public.

You’ll note the repeated use of the word “physical.” What is really vital here is not avoiding social interactions, but rather in-person contact. All that “social distance” truly looks to accomplish is a decrease in opportunities for sickness to spread.

By all means, you can still call your friends and family if you are able. Indeed, with many facing an increased amount of downtime, this is as good a time as ever to catch up remotely with those you care about.

Quarantine and isolation

Here we have two phrases that may be considered more official. Nonetheless, just like social distancing, “quarantine” and “isolation” have the same goal of preventing infectious spread.

They simply work toward this goal to a greater extent. In the case of both quarantine and isolation, people are separated and cut off from physical interactions (i.e., no outings whatsoever — unlike social distancing) until the risk of spread has run its course (about 14 days). The primary distinction between quarantine and isolation, however, is who they are intended for.

Whereas isolation should be practiced by all those who are already sick and/or tested positive for COVID-19, quarantine casts a wider net. In the present situation, this includes all those without symptoms who have had confirmed interactions with someone who has the virus, as well as those who have been in environments that are considered “high-risk” for transmission (e.g., traveling from/through heavily impacted areas — including here in New York).

In other words, we isolate those who are already sick from those who are healthy. By contrast, we proactively quarantine those who are healthy but may become sick. In either event, the risk of spreading the virus to more healthy people is mitigated.

Notably, although quarantines can be mandated by law, thus far, officials have largely enacted only measures such as shelter-in-place mandates that increase social distancing. Thus, the onus is currently on us to recognize our own risk and respond appropriately.

This is of especially high importance as COVID-19 has been shown to often manifest asymptomatically. If you may have been at risk to acquire this virus, please quarantine for 14 days while monitoring for symptoms. Otherwise, maintain your physical space while keeping up with loved ones from a distance.

Armed with proper understanding and action, we can each help flatten the curve and fight this pandemic.

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For over 25 years, Community Caregivers has helped those in local communities who may require a little assistance while they remain in their homes and live independently with dignity. Through a network of dedicated staff and volunteers, clients receive reassurance calls; friendly visits; and help with transportation, shopping, and light chores. Caregivers are also provided support through education and respite visits. Community Caregivers is always seeking new volunteers and clients. For more information, visit www.communitycaregivers.org or call 518-456-2898.

Editor’s note: Aaron Garcia is a student at Albany Medical College.

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By Everyone’s biggest concern right now is how to avoid contracting COVID-19, so let’s address some key preventative measures to keep ourselves safe and healthy.

It is believed that this disease is mainly spread from person to person, so the best defense is maintaining a safe distance from other people. COVID-19 mainly spreads through the air, especially when another person coughs or sneezes, so it is recommended that you maintain a six-foot distance from other people when you are in a public space (i.e. buying groceries, going to the pharmacy, etc.).

It is also extremely important to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after being in public spaces, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used. All care should be taken to avoid touching your face.

Frequently-used household items, such as doorknobs, counters, appliances, desks, and phones, should be wiped down daily, if not more often. What can be used to effectively disinfect? Options include diluted household bleach solutions (one-third cup of bleach per gallon of water), alcohol solutions (at least 70 percent alcohol), and most household disinfectants registered by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

According to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “New York State on Pause” executive order, all nonessential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason have been temporarily banned. When it is necessary to go out in public, individuals should avoid crowds and maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another.

The best way we can work together to prevent the spread of this disease is to practice social distancing by staying at home as much as possible, especially since New York State currently has such a high rate of COVID-19 cases. Even if you are feeling well, it is possible that you could still be carrying the disease and inadvertently be putting others at risk by going out. 

Additionally, “Matilda’s Law,” named for the governor’s mother, is currently in effect in New York State. The purpose of these guidelines is to protect residents who are older than 70 and individuals with otherwise compromised immune systems (i.e. cancer patients, transplant patients, individuals with HIV/AIDs, etc.).

In addition to the guidelines recommended for everyone, these individuals are instructed to remain indoors at home, except for going outside for solitary exercise. They should wear a mask in the company of others and any visitors should take their temperature before they enter their home.

One last note, although solitary outdoor exercise is still encouraged to stay healthy and fit, please avoid contact sports, playgrounds, basketball courts, etc. to help prevent the virus’s spread. We are all in this together; let’s work together to keep our loved ones and neighbors safe.

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For over 25 years Community Caregivers has helped those in local communities who may require a little assistance while they remain in their homes and live independently with dignity. Through a network of dedicated staff and volunteers, clients receive reassurance calls, friendly visits, help with transportation, shopping, and light chores. Caregivers are also provided support through education and respite visits. Community Caregivers is always seeking new volunteers and clients. For more information, visit www.communitycaregivers.org or call 518-456-2898.

Editor’s note: Caroline Weiss is a second-year Medical student at Albany Medical College.

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Volunteering results in positive benefits not only for the recipient, but for the volunteer as well, according to studies cited by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research website. Those who give of their time and themselves often feel less stress in their lives and have a sense of purpose and focus.

Volunteers suffer less from isolation and depression. Another benefit is that people involved in volunteering often develop relationships that enrich lives on both sides. 

Mary Morrison, Community Caregivers’ volunteer coordinator, has seen this firsthand.

“I have worked matching the Community Caregiver volunteers with clients requesting services since May 2007. It really isn’t work because the volunteers are so gracious about accepting assignments and so giving of their time. We could not do what we do without our volunteers,” said Morrison.

“As for clients, having a Community Caregiver volunteer provide service to them is a very personal and caring experience,” Morrison continued. “Whether it is a ride to an appointment or a visit from a volunteer, clients enjoy the time spent with their volunteers and, in many instances, both develop new and special relationships.”

One such relationship evolved between Judy, a Community Caregivers volunteer, and Clark, her client who recently passed away. Judy wrote to Community Caregivers and included the following:

As I think about Clark’s death, he wasn’t just a Community Caregivers client to me, he became my friend. I hope this does not sound cliché, but I sincerely feel it was an honor and a privilege to know Clark, a decorated World War II veteran.

My time volunteering with Clark began in May 2015. I drove him to see his wife at a nursing home. On our rides, we got to know each other. He was surprised and delighted that I knew Blauvelt, New York where he had lived for many years.

Clark taught me a lot about aging well. I appreciated that he knew what he wanted and was always making choices especially when it came to food. He introduced me to his two favorite ice-cream flavors, and I learned that he liked his sunflower seeds roasted and salty.

Clark and I had many interesting conversations about politics. We learned early on that we did not watch the same cable news. But we respected each other and could converse pleasantly. It was a joy to be in Clark’s presence. I am going to miss him.

If you, a family member, or friend has been thinking about giving back or paying it forward, consider Community Caregivers. For 25 years, we have helped those in local communities who may require a little assistance while they remain in their homes and live independently with dignity.

Through a network of dedicated staff and volunteers, clients receive reassurance calls; friendly visits; and help with transportation, shopping, and light chores. Caregivers are also provided support through education and respite visits.

Community Caregivers is always seeking new volunteers and clients. For more information, visit www.communitycaregivers.org or call 518-456-2898.

Editor’s note: Kathy Brown is the Outreach and Communications coordinator for the Community Caregivers.

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Our knees age as we age, so taking precautions may help them age a bit slower.

They are the biggest joint in the human body, consisting of three compartments. Any of these compartments are susceptible to wear and tear which may be painful.

At a certain point in our lives, joint damage will happen. However, according to an article by Stacey colino, published by AARP in September, steps can be followed to help with the protection of aging joints. These may include:

— Maintaining your weight: Excess weight can put extra pressure on the knees. One extra pound is equivalent to four times that pressure on your knees;

— Moving around: Movement maintains joint function, strength, and motion in our knees. Running is a great way to keep moving, but only every other day. Other activities include: low-impact bike riding, Pilates, swimming or using an elliptical;

— Developing strong muscles that support our knees: Our thigh muscles have a big influence on knee support so keeping these muscles strong can have a beneficial impact on your knees. These muscles can be strengthened by doing squats and lunges: For people aged 50 or older, do not squat below a 90-degree angle. Some exercise machines that can be used for the same effect include: leg press, hamstring curl, knee-extension and abductor machines;

— Focusing on your posture: To achieve good posture: First, stand up tall, then make sure your head lines up with your shoulders and your shoulders are over your hips. Next, your hips should line up with your knees. And lastly, align your knees up with your feet. This type of posture can relieve pressure off the knees;

— Owning a pair of shoes that are right for you: The shoes you wear should be comfortable and supportive so that alignment in your lower joints is not compromised but improved. A medical professional can recommend what type of shoe is best for you and your needs.; and

— Reacting to your knee pain: If you feel any pain or swelling while doing moderate exercises, take a break! The RICE treatment (rest, ice, compression, elevation), is a great way to recover quickly, along with taking anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.

Following these steps may help reduce any pain and may postpone the time when your knees begin to degenerate.

Community Caregivers Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides non-medical services including transportation and caregiver support at no charge to residents of Guilderland, Bethlehem, Altamont, New Scotland, Berne, Knox, and the city of Albany through a strong volunteer pool of dedicated individuals with a desire to assist their neighbors.

Our funding is derived in part from the Albany County Department for Aging, the New York State Office for the Aging, and the United States Administration on Aging. To find out more about our services, as well as volunteer opportunities, please visit www.communitycaregivers.org or call us at 518-456-2898.

Editor’s note: Mary Alsunna, a University at Albany student, is currently volunteering with Community Caregivers. She will be writing columns on topics of interest for seniors during fall 2019 semester.

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Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi and spread to people through tick bites. In the United States, many infections occur in regions including the eastern states, northern midwestern states, and the West Coast.

For Lyme disease to exist in an area, both ticks and animals who have been infected with the bacteria must be in the environment.

For the tick to be able to transmit the Lyme-disease bacteria, it must be attached to the skin for 36 to 48 hours. Many people get infected by immature ticks called nymphs.

They are tiny, difficult to see, and most prevalent in the spring and summer. Adult ticks are larger, more likely to be seen and removed, and more common in the fall.

Ticks can attach to any part of the human body. They prefer areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp. This does not mean they won’t bite and stick onto any other part of the skin.

To prevent tick bites, the use of insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus may help. Treating clothing with 0.5-percent permethrin can help also.

After spending the day outdoors, take a shower as soon as possible, check for ticks in areas like the groin, hair, armpits, and knees and put clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes in order to kill the ticks.

If you find a tick on the skin, you must take steps to carefully remove the tick to prevent becoming infected. You should firmly grasp the tick, using tweezers, and steadily pull the tick off of your skin. Lastly, you should clean the area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

Late Lyme disease can be prevented with the help of an early diagnosis and antibiotics. Lyme disease is rarely life-threatening; however, the disease can become more severe if treatment is delayed.

Some symptoms of Lyme disease include: erythema migrans (skin rash), fatigue, chills and fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes.

Erythema migrans is a reddish or purple colored rash. It usually appears three to 14 days after the bite. The rash occurs at the site of the bite and is shaped round or oval. The rash can spread over a couple of days and feel warm.

Some infected people do not develop a rash, but instead have flu-like symptoms.

Late Lyme disease may not appear until weeks or months after an infected tick bite. Some symptoms include: arthritis (especially in knees), nervous system symptoms (numbness, pain, nerve paralysis, meningitis), memory or concentration problems, sleep disturbances, and very rarely irregular heart rhythms.

Diagnosis includes measuring the antibodies in the body that are made to fight against Lyme disease bacteria. It can take many weeks after the infection has occurred for the body to make a sufficient amount of antibodies.

This means that it is possible for a Lyme disease test to come back negative in the first couple of weeks. After the infection is gone, the body continues to make antibodies for months to years. This makes it hard to use a blood test to determine a new as opposed to an old infection.

Usually those who are treated with antibiotics for early Lyme disease recover quickly and completely. The most common antibiotics for Lyme disease are: doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime axetil.

Those patients who have persistent or recurrent symptoms may take another course of antibiotics. A vaccine for Lyme disease is not currently available.

Information for this column was taken from literature produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, printed in a brochure and also available online: “Lyme Disease: What You Need to Know.”

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Community Caregivers Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides non-medical services, including transportation and caregiver support at no charge to residents of Guilderland, Bethlehem, Altamont, New Scotland, Berne, Knox, and the city of Albany through a strong volunteer pool of dedicated individuals with a desire to assist their neighbors.

Our funding is derived in part from the Albany County Department for Aging, the New York State Office for the Aging, and the United States Administration on Aging. To find out more about our services, as well as volunteer opportunities, please visit www.communitycaregivers.org or call us at 518-456-2898.

Editor’s note: Mary Alsunna is a University at Albany student who is currently volunteering with Community Caregivers. She will be writing columns on topics of interest for seniors during the Fall 2019 semester.

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Twenty-five years for a not-for-profit to still be operating is phenomenal. In each of those 25 years, there’s been a gala. They’ve grown, they’ve moved, they’ve honored people who serve the community. They’ve raised money.

The Silver Anniversary Gala takes place Nov. 16 at the Albany Country Club.

Ellen Kaufman is chairing the gala. Greg Floyd, anchor at TV’s Channel 6, will be the master of ceremonies. Jason White, a  Community Caregivers board member, is developing a video to highlight the 25 years. It will include interviews with the two living founders, Joel Edwards and Mary Therriault, as well as archival materials to show CC’s growth over the quarter century.

Honorees are Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple and The Guardian Society Executive Director Ken Harris.

Committee members number 14. These people make the event happen. They’ve been working since February. Here they are: Nicki Armsby, Linda Bourgeois, Eileen Bray, Midge Bulgaro, Donna Cavert, Tricia Gannon, Carol Huber, Richard Jung, Adam Knaust, Petra Malitz, Arnie Rothstein, myself, Nancie Tindale, and Ilona Weisman.

As a not-for-profit, Community Caregivers depends on grants, donations, and fundraisers. All of this is to create a system to match volunteers with people of all ages who need help — non medical — in the communities we serve.

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— Photo from Community Caregivers

Behind the scenes on the greens: Linda Bourgeois, at center, and Mary Ann Singleton, at right, co-chaired the Community Caregivers’ golf tournament. Stacey Roussin, at left, was in charge of the raffle and silent auction.

At 10:30 a.m. on June 10, one-hundred-and-twenty-three golfers got into their carts and waited for the shotgun start. This was Community Caregivers 15th annual golf tournament at Pinehaven Country Club.  And the weather held for the players.

Linda Bourgeois and Mary Ann Singleton co-chaired the event. Stacey Roussin was in charge of the  raffle and silent auction. The Title Sponsor was Adirondack Environmental Services Inc. The Eagle sponsor was Berkshire Bank. Par sponsors were AYCO, In Honor of Caregivers and their Loved Ones, and  PHRMA. Our thanks also to the 28 Tee Box sponsors and 53 local businesses and individuals who donated items for the raffle and silent auction.

The tournament committee consisted of Eileen Bray, Midge Bulgaro,  Regina DuBois, Petra Malitz, Arnie and Judy Rothstein, and Stacey Roussin.

The golf tournament is one of two fundraisers that supports Community Caregivers.      

Community Caregivers Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides non-medical services including transportation and caregiver support at no charge to residents of Guilderland, Bethlehem, Altamont, New Scotland, Berne, Knox, and the city of Albany through a strong volunteer pool of dedicated individuals with a desire to assist their neighbors.

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May is my favorite month of year here in upstate New York. After a seemingly endless stretch of cold, monotonous and gray landscapes, we are finally rewarded with warmth; sunshine; fresh green grass; budding leaves; and, best of all, colorful tulips.

May is also the month we celebrate older Americans. The Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. Its 2019 theme, “Connect, Create, Contribute,” encourages older adults and their communities to:

— Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation;

— Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment; and

— Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

What a wonderful message this is!

Older adults represent a source of tremendous vitality for communities. They are engaged in every aspect of community life as good neighbors, experienced professionals, small-business owners, volunteers, and mentors to younger generations.

Older adults play a key role in the vibrancy of our neighborhoods and civic and faith-based organizations. Many start new ventures in retirement to assist not-for-profits or become entrepreneurs and help revitalize local economies.

The Administration for Community Living notes that “everyone benefits when everyone can participate.” We at Community Caregivers agree wholeheartedly and believe everyone has something to offer.

As a volunteer-powered organization, we offer ways for anyone, and most especially older adults, to “connect, create, and contribute.” Our volunteers engage lonely adults in our area through friendly visitor and assurance-caller programs.

Others volunteer transport non-driving adults to appointments. Some contribute freely of their time and talent as members of our board or committees.

We offer — often in partnership with libraries, the Albany Guardian Society and others — education and enrichment activities. We promote health literacy and driver safety for older adults and family caregivers. And, as partners in the Village Movement here in the Capital Region, we are discovering more ways to help older adults thrive in their communities and stay in their homes in their later years.

Please join us as a volunteer or at a future event as we celebrate older adults and their role in strengthening our communities this month and throughout the year. You can find volunteer and event information on our website, at our Facebook page, or by calling the office at 518-456-2898.

We welcome your interest this month and throughout the year. You may also join our mailing list by sending a note to

Community Caregivers Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides non-medical services including transportation and caregiver support at no charge to residents of Guilderland, Bethlehem, Altamont, New Scotland, Berne, Knox, and the city of Albany through a strong volunteer pool of dedicated individuals with a desire to assist their neighbors.

Our funding is derived in part from the Albany County Department for Aging, the New York State Office for the Aging, and the United States Administration on Aging. To find out more about our services, as well as volunteer opportunities, please visit our website www.communitycaregivers.org, find us on Facebook  at www.facebook.com/CommunityCaregivers/  or call us at (518) 456-2898

Editor’s note: Linda Miller is the Outreach and Education coordinator for Community Caregivers.

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— Photo by Greg Goutos

Sweet reward: Audrey Tarullo, a resident at the Omni Senior complex in Guilderland, happily receives a raffle prize, a box of Candy Kraft candies, presented to her by Boy Scout Jared Lasselle of Troop 264. Community Caregivers held its annual dinner at the Omni on March 30, with this year commemorating the organization’s 25th anniversary.

— Photo by Greg Goutos

All smiles: Omni resident Jane Perry is handed a very welcoming prize from University at Albany student, Yuka Mogi, a visiting student here from Japan for four months.

In an evening filled with celebration and excitement, the residents of the Omni Senior Living Community enjoyed a dinner sponsored by Community Caregivers, on Saturday, March 30. This marked the 18th year that the annual event was held at the complex, which is located on Carman Road in Guilderland.

The 55 senior residents in attendance enjoyed a complimentary Italian dinner and cake for dessert.  The food was donated by local restaurants, as well as from the support of members of the Community Caregivers Board of Directors.

The theme of this year’s event was in celebration of Community Caregivers’ 25th anniversary. A special cake was decorated to commemorate the milestone for the not-for-profit organization, which was founded in 1994 in Altamont.

The organization provides non-medical services to residents of Albany County at no charge, by matching local volunteers with nearby clients. The Caregivers’ office is located at 2021 Western Ave. in Guilderland.

After some welcoming remarks, Carol LaFleur was then introduced as the newly-appointed executive director of Community Caregivers. She talked about the types of services that the organization offers to its clients, and the ongoing need for new volunteers to become involved.

She also thanked the several volunteers on hand for taking the time to continue the tradition of hosting the annual dinner at the Omni for all these years.

This year, two groups assisted the Community Caregivers’ staff and other volunteers, in helping to serve the dinner and hand out the raffle prizes. Members of Boy Scout Troop 264 in Altamont were present. Also, several students from the University at Albany, who are from Japan as part of a special four-month English-language program, volunteered. The seniors truly enjoyed interacting with the Scouts and college students throughout the evening, making the event both an intergenerational and multicultural experience for all involved.

After the dessert was served, everyone eagerly awaited the moment when they might hear their name called for winning one of the many raffle prizes donated by local businesses. As the tickets were randomly drawn by the Scouts and the university students, the smiling faces of each winner were captured in the many photographs taken.

Also included as giveaways, were the vases of beautiful daffodils that each table had as a centerpiece.  Nearly everyone happily went back to their apartments with something in hand.

More than 17 volunteers participated this year; their help was gratefully appreciated. From Boy Scout Troop 264 in Altamont, there was Jared Lasselle, Lucas Stang, and Alex Ware. Also assisting were Rinka Ogawa, Mone Izuka, and Yuka Mogi, who are attending the University at Albany as part of a partnership program with their Japanese universities.

The Caregivers’ staff on hand included Mary Morrison, Petra Malitz, Linda Miller, Sue Griffiths, and Carol LaFleur. The Community Caregivers volunteers involved were Andrea and Frank Saragaglia, Tom Morrison, and Nellie and Greg Goutos.

Also, we would like to thank the manager at the Omni Senior complex, Sandy Murphy, for all her support. A special thank-you is due to Mary McGann, an Omni resident who for years has worked on many of the details for the annual event, serving as our on-site coordinator.

Most of the food for the dinner was donated by local restaurants, with thanks to Bountiful Bread, and especially The 99 Restaurant. Also, thank you to Stewart’s Shops for its contribution of several items.  

Raffle prizes were generously donated by local businesses, including Robinson’s Hardware, Candy Kraft, The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Carman Wine & Liquor, Marotta’s Towne Pizza, the Bamboo Chinese Restaurant, and the Corner Ice Cream Store. Also contributing were, The Altamont Enterprise, Price Chopper/Market 32, Hannaford Supermarket, and Stewart’s Shops.

Also supporting the event in various ways were St. Matthew’s Church in Voorheesville and the Altamont Reformed Church.

A special acknowledgement and thank-you goes to the several board members and staff members who supported the event, either by their time or by their financial contributions toward some of the food and raffle items.

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Community Caregivers Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides non-medical services including transportation and caregiver support at no charge to residents of Guilderland, Bethlehem, Altamont, New Scotland, Berne, Knox, and the city of Albany through a strong volunteer pool of dedicated individuals with a desire to assist their neighbors.

Our funding is derived in part from the Albany County Department for Aging, the New York State Office for the Aging, and the United States Administration on Aging. To find out more about our services, as well as volunteer opportunities, please visit www.communitycaregivers.org or call us at 518-456-2898.

Editor’s note: Greg Goutos is a Community Caregivers’ volunteer who has run the annual dinner at Omni since its inception.

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The Village Movement that has spread across the country with residents helping each other as they age to remain living in their homes and community is making strides in the Capital District. This grassroots effort usually includes forming a not-for-profit membership organization to offer services, programs, and social events that older adults value; typically, some or all of the offerings are provided by volunteers.

Bethlehem Neighbors, for residents of the town of Bethlehem, was relaunched in February at a gathering at the Bethlehem Public Library attended by over 40 people. A second public informational meeting for Bethlehem Neighbors will be held on May 15 in the evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the library.   

Bethlehem Neighbors originally was formed in the Colonial Acres neighborhood in Bethlehem and became inactive. Community Caregivers has provided support and assistance to re-develop Bethlehem Neighbors as a town-wide organization with a new slate of officers elected.

The new officers are still working on organizational development issues including membership criteria and developing committees to address needs such as home repair, health education, and other issues.   Community Caregivers and Senior Services of the Town of Bethlehem are working with Bethlehem Neighbors to support its activities and make sure to coordinate their services.

Meanwhile, Community Caregivers and other organizations have been meeting in the city of Albany to promote the development of the village concept there. Meetings have been held for several months with representatives of various neighborhoods and senior organizations to try and enhance support for persons in all neighborhoods.

Select areas of the city offer village-type support to older residents. For example, Senior Services of Albany has developed a Village in Livingston School Apartments on Northern Boulevard, which is a former middle school. The Whitehall-New Scotland area has state funding for a NNORC or Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community, where there is a higher concentration of older residents.

In nearby counties, there are villages developing in the Clifton Park area with Shenendehowa Neighbors, northern Columbia County and a new effort has started in Niskayuna. The Albany Guardian Society has received funding from the State Office for the Aging to launch a Village Technical Assistance Center to provide support to local communities looking to explore how to develop a village.

The Albany Guardian Society also hosts the Capital Region Villages Collaborative, which meets bimonthly and is open for those interested in the Village Movement locally; please call 518-434-4120 for more information.

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Community Caregivers Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides non-medical services including transportation and caregiver support at no charge to residents of Guilderland, Bethlehem, Altamont, New Scotland, Berne, Knox, and the city of Albany through a strong volunteer pool of dedicated individuals with a desire to assist their neighbors.

Our funding is derived in part from the Albany County Department for Aging, the New York State Office for the Aging, and the United States Administration on Aging. To find out more about our services, as well as volunteer opportunities, please visit www.communitycaregivers.org or call us at 518-456-2898

Editor’s note: Michael Burgess is a program consultant for Community Caregivers.

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