Here it is Holiday Season!

Article Contributed by
Office for the Aging

Here it is November and time for the holidays to really get started! It seems it gets earlier and earlier each year. We would like to thank all of our veterans for their service on Veterans day and also wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving! NY Connects is a great way to connect with several service gift ideas and an excellent way for families close and far to check in to see what services are available to assist Chautauqua County people. NY Connects is the one place to for a wide range of services available to those who may need long term services and community supports. These types of services help people live as independently as possible. How about a practical gift for the seniors in your life? Meals on wheels is a program here in the County and you could set up a gift of regularly delivered meals for your loved one. If your loved ones are out and about in the County, we offer a dining out program to a few local restaurants in Chautauqua County. Tickets can be purchased from the Mayville office location. There are even some companies that specialize in individual sized food products. You can search on the internet for ideas for gifts of foods. Fruit of the month or some other treat is a great idea and keeps coming all year long. Single serving specialty foods can be a wonderful practical gift for someone living alone or needing smaller sizes for meal preparation. A gift card to the local grocery store is another great idea as well.

A gift of services can be a practical and much appreciated gift to those who may struggle to take care of their homes. House cleaning, lawn care and snow removal, handyman services for annual to do lists, transportation services, shopping/errands assistance, gift certificates to a favorite beauty/barber shop is a treat anytime of the year. Look at the senior’s favorite service provider like beauty parlors and barbers and prepay for services throughout the year. These gifts are very thoughtful and extremely practical. The office for the Aging can provide information about local home care agencies as well as a private provider list that can be helpful in identifying local providers for a variety of services. There are a few spa’s locally geared to seniors as well! NY Connects can also get people in touch with support groups, adult day services and other agencies that can provide support to a loved one caring for another. The gift of time to relax and retool is invaluable to someone who is a primary caretaker for a spouse or other loved one.

The Chautauqua County Personal Monitoring program is a great gift idea. You can order and pay for a personal emergency alarm system to be used in the home for emergencies of any kind. It brings families peace of mind to know that if there is an emergency, the personal emergency system can answer immediately and start emergency services and/ or contact family or friends if they are needed at the home. Other options are cell phones that are easy to use. Call NY Connects for more information for all these opportunities.

Have extra time; you can receive a gift by giving of yourself in a volunteer position with meals on wheels or a friendly visitor position with the Office for the Aging. We are always looking for volunteers to help all throughout the year.

As you plan to visit family and are looking for gift ideas – think practical! Try to think of areas that are challenging for your family member. These are the areas they could need help with on a regular basis. These are great ideas for gifts of time and assistance that can mean the world to a loved one. The small extras we take for granted but may be difficult for some to do or afford. Remember if you are home visiting and see a need-call NY Connects for information about local programs and services for seniors. We are able to assess your needs and provide information and assistance with referrals for several programs.

You can reach NY Connects by phone: Jamestown areas: 716-661-7582, Dunkirk/Fredonia areas: 716-363-4582 and Mayville areas/mid county: 716-753-4582, Fax 753-4477, or email: ccnyc@co.chautauqua.ny.us. You can come and see us at 7 North Erie St; Mayville, New York. NY Connects is brought to you in cooperation from the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging and the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services. A happy start to the 2017 holiday season!