Outbreaks of COVID-19 in nursing homes are not the result of inattentiveness or a shortcoming in facilities, according to Stephen Hanse, president and chief executive officer of the New York State Health Facilities Association and the New York State Center for Assisted Living. “The very nature of long-term care is a high-touch environment where social distancing is not an option. Staff are helping residents with bathing, dressing, eating, and other personal daily needs,” he said.

Community Caregivers, based in Guilderland, a not-for-profit that uses volunteers to help people stay in their homes, is currently providing a number of services.

“Depending on how things evolve and if it is needed, we can be available, if all the planets align,” said a spokesman for The Grand, referring to its 17 facilities across New York State that might house overflow patients from hospitals in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

A “village” offers its dues-paying members such benefits as rides to medical appointments; help with household tasks; and social activities like book clubs, exercise groups, or educational programs that keep them connected and active and that fight social isolation.

For years, Alice Corcoran would not only open her Guilderland home to classes of young students that would visit from nearby Lynnwood Elementary School, but she would also give every student a teddy bear she knitted herself.

Seniors poured into the Guilderland Public Library on Jan. 16 for “The Doctor Is In,” a new program launched by Albany County executive's office.

Mary Jo Batters was, as she puts it, “cloistered” for six years, caring for her mother who had dementia. She learned some important life lessons in those years, such as the way the core of a person remains. Her mother, who was a nurse, cared about people up until the very end.

If each of us commits to giving just a bit of our time and talents, the community as a whole will benefit.

“The aging population is increasing,” says Joel Edwards, a founder of Community Caregivers. “There is a socio-economic stress of, often, both adults working. And our families aren’t near. We need volunteers. We always need more volunteers.”

The owner of the rent-regulated apartment complex Omni Senior Living on Carman Road wants to sell, but the state and the new lender are both requiring the term of its PILOT agreements be extended before it will approve the sale. 


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