Krissy Leerkes, Director

132 Water Street, PO Box 217
Elizabethtown, New York 12932-0217

Telephone: 518-873-3695
Fax: 518-873-3784

NY Connects Brochure (English / Spanish)

county seal


NY Connects Logo

NY Connects

Essex County NY Connects

What is long-term care?

Long term care refers to medical and non-medical support services needed to improve or maintain one’s health and daily functions. Services may be provided in an individual’s home, community, or residential setting. Long term care is needed when you require help with everyday activities of daily living. Activities of Daily Living (or ADLs) include bathing, dressing, transferring from bed to chair, toileting, feeding. Because of injury, disease or age, many people will need some type of long term care services during their lifetime.

If you need long term care, you may need one or more of the following:

  • Services in your home (home-delivered meals, homemaker, personal care, physical therapy or nursing services);
  • Care in the community (congregate dining, respite, adult day care) and/or care in a variety of long term facilities (enriched housing, assisted living, adult home, nursing home).

Who needs long-term care?

Long-term care is needed when you have a chronic illness or disability that causes you to need assistance with Activities of Daily Living. Your illness or disability could include a problem with memory loss, confusion, or disorientation. (This is called Cognitive Impairment and can result from conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.)

This year, about 9 million Americans over the age of 65 will need long-term care services. By 2020, that number will increase to 12 million. While most people who need long-term care are age 65 or older, a person can need long-term care services at any age. Forty (40) percent of people currently receiving long-term care are adults 18 to 64 years old.

What does long-term care cost?

Long term care in a New York State nursing home costs about $96,000 per year (more in the New York City area).
Source: NYS Office for the Aging

Who pays for long-term care?

An important part of planning for long term care is deciding how to pay for it. There are variations in costs based on the type and amount of care you need, which provider you use, and where you live. Learning more about the
“rules” for when Medicare, Medicaid, or other options might pay for long term care is important and may affect your decisions.

Essex County NY Connects staff can help you understand these “rules” and give you options that best meet you or your loved one’s care needs.

Payment options may include:

  • Personal savings or investments
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Veterans benefits


These are some of the services we help provide:

milk The Food Stamp Program is a federal program to assist lower-income families to meet their needs for ample nutrition. Income eligibility is determined by trained Food Stamp Caseworkers at your County Department of Social Services. For more information, or for assistance with completing the Food Stamp application, individuals 60 and over can contact the Office for the Aging.
caregiver Information for caregivers is available through our Resource Center as well as through one-to-one conversation with our trained outreach staff. In addition, referrals can be made to outside agencies to assist Caregivers.
conman Scams targeted at older adults – Our trained outreach staff can assist older adults with situations regarding scams, crime, and their safety. In addition, referrals can be made to outside agencies to assist with the recovery of money, personal items, etc.
repairman Home Repair – The staff at Office for the Aging can assist individuals 60 and over with completing applications for various agencies/programs to complete home repairs that are needed to keep their home energy sufficient. In addition, some funds are available through the Weatherization, Referral & Packaging Program (WRAP), and Last Resort, to assist clients with home repairs.
patient Medicaid is a program designed to assist lower-income individuals/families with medical coverage. This program has income and resource guidelines that one must meet to be eligible. For more information, or assistance with completing the Medicaid application, individuals 60 and over can contact the Office for the Aging.
doctor Medicare is a federal health insurance program for those over 65 who are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, or for some individuals that have been disabled for over 24 months. If you have any questions about your Medicare coverage, or for assistance applying for Medicare, the outreach staff have completed extensive training to assist those individuals who are in need.
caregiver Personal Care Aides – The Office for the Aging currently has the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP) that provides individuals with both case management and non-medical in-home services, such as meal preparation, and assistance with household chores and shopping. This program is available to those who are income eligible, and is designed to either delay or eliminate the need for nursing home or institutional long term care. In addition to income eligibility, these services are provided to those who are at the highest priority. If the individual has current Medicaid coverage, or is eligible for Medicaid, in-home services provided by an aide, such as household chores, shopping, etc., could possibly be covered by their Medicaid coverage, through the Coordinated Care Unit. For more information on these programs, please feel free to contact the Office for the Aging.
wallet Social Security is the monthly cash benefits, based on prior employment and amounts withheld from earnings during employment years. For any questions regarding your eligibility or benefits, please feel free to contact the Office for the Aging.
audiotapes Talking books – Assistance can be provided to those who are in need of talking books. Talking books are provided through the New York State Talking Book & Braille Library. This is a service of the New York State Library, New York State Education Department, and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. For more information, an application, or for assistance completing the application, please feel free to contact the Office for the Aging.
U.S. Flag Veteran’s Affairs – In collaboration with our County’s Department of Veteran’s Affairs, our staff can assist veterans with questions or concerns regarding their benefits, prescriptions, etc.
volunteer Opportunities to volunteer – Our office currently has volunteering opportunities for those who are interested. In addition, we have a volunteering opportunity booklet that can be provided for other sites and opportunities, for those who are interested in volunteering. There are sites and tasks for everyone who is interested. For a copy of the free booklet, please feel free to contact our office.
voter Voter Registration.
S.O.S. Information regarding a Lifeline (Personal Emergency Response Service – PERS) can be provided by our Office. Lifeline is a service that utilizes an alarm button with a voice communicator to alert the central location that the individual may be in need of help. In an emergency, one touch of the help button, which is usually worn around the neck or wrist, provides the individual with reassurance that help is only a few minutes away. For more information regarding Lifeline, please feel free to contact the Office for the Aging.


We also offer assistance for:

social gathering Congregate Meals – Nutrition programs are currently offered at 11 sites (updated 1/23/2020) and centers for people 60 years of age or older. At the nutrition sites, seniors can enjoy a hot lunch, as well as a variety of educational, recreational, and help related programs. The suggested donation for the hot meal for those over 60 is $3.50. Individuals under 60 must pay the actual meal cost of $6.00. For more information regarding the congregate meal sites, please contact the Office for the Aging or the Nutrition Program for the Elderly 518-962-2730. In addition, you may also contact the senior site closest to you.
home-delivered meal Home Delivered Meals – For individuals 60 and over who are homebound, the Nutrition Program for the Elderly (NPE) – an ACAP program – will deliver home-delivered meals (“Meals-on-Wheels”) to these individuals. Individuals can choose to have one meal delivered each day, with the option of night and weekend meals. In addition to the meal/food delivery, an outreach worker will also visit the home-delivered meal client to complete the initial assessment, and to assess for other services or programs that the individual may be eligible for. For more information, or to schedule the delivery of home-delivered meals, please contact the Office for the Aging.
winter The low income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is available to those who are income eligible, to assist with meeting home energy needs. New York’s benefit program is structured in such a way that higher benefits are provided to those households that have larger percentages of their income spent on energy costs, contain a vulnerable individual, and have the lowest income. Vulnerable individuals are defined as children under the age of 6, adults aged 60 or older, or disabled individuals. For individuals 60 and over, applications can be obtained by contacting Office for the Aging. For more information, eligibility, and any other questions, please feel free to contact the Office for the Aging.
friends Our Friendly Visiting Program provides those that are homebound with an individual to come in on a consistent basis to provide socialization to the homebound individual. These visits provide the individual with socialization and the security of knowing that someone will be checking in on them.
paperwork Income Tax Assistance – Information regarding free tax preparation services is available to those over 60 years of age. For more information, please contact the Office for the Aging.
paperwork Health Insurance Counseling is provided to individuals 60 years of age and over. Our outreach staff have completed an extensive amount of training to provide our County residents with accurate and unbiased information regarding Medicare, Medicare Part D, EPIC, Medicaid, and Long Term Care Insurance. Some Medicare Beneficiaries are eligible for Extra Help to pay for the costs related to a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth an average of $3,000 per year. To qualify for the Extra Help, a person must be on Medicare, have limited income and resources, and reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. To learn more or to apply for Extra Help, please click on the following link – http://www.ssa.gov/prescriptionhelp/
telephone Phone Discount Program – For individuals 60 and over who are deemed eligible, there is a phone discount program that we can assist you in applying for. Individuals can apply for the telephone discount if they receive Medicaid, Food Stamps, HEAP, or SSI – or are income eligible for any of these services, even if they are not receiving them. For more information, or for assistance in applying for this benefit, please call the Office for the Aging.
pills EPIC is a state pharmaceutical company that was designed to assist New York state residents over 65 with the rising costs of prescription drugs. This program does have income guidelines and restraints. For assistance in applying for EPIC, or for any questions that you may have, feel free to contact one of our outreach staff.
caregiver Our respite program provides caregivers/family members with home health aide coverage for a limited amount of time to provide them with some relief from their care-giving duties. For more information on our respite program, please contact Office for the Aging.
telephonechat The Telephone Reassurance Program allows those who are homebound to receive weekly phone calls to ensure that the individual is staying healthy, and is still safe in the home. We are also looking for volunteers for this program. For information on this program, please contact the Office for the Aging.
transportation Medical Transportation to medical appointments is provided to Essex County residents who are 60 and over. Transportation is provided by volunteers who are reimbursed for their mileage.  To arrange for transportation, please contact the Transportation Coordinator (518-873-3899 or 1-800-914-9266) as soon as you are able to. This will allow our staff an ample amount of time to arrange transportation with our volunteer drivers.
Elders, their families, and care givers, have the right to make informed, educated decisions. If you would like to help fund these programs, donations are accepted and greatly appreciated! Please make checks payable to the Essex County Treasurer and mail them to the address located on the ‘Welcome’ tab.

Meal Menu

CV19 CheckUp Tool

CV19 CheckUp Tool

New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) in partnership with BellAge, Inc., and the Association on Aging in New York has launched the CV19 CheckUp tool to help people better understand their risk of getting COVID 19.

The CV19 CheckUP online tool is free and anonymous, and only takes a few minutes to complete.  The series of questions asks about your health conditions, and things like how many people do you come in contact with and when do you wear a mask? 

The information and the zip code you provide is used to calculate your risk of getting COVID-19 based the most current information about the virus and what is happening in your neighborhood.  It also provides recommendations and options to reduce your risk of getting COVID19.  

You can complete this as many times as you like and see how your answers to certain questions change your risk scores.  There has been a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 and the risks associated with contracting and spreading the virus. 

This tool developed by BellAge uses the latest scientific information from around the world to calculate your individual risk of getting COVID19, how likely you are to spread it to others, and how likely are you are to be hospitalized or die from it.

The CV19 CheckUp tool is available to everyone at https://newyork.cv19checkup.org/.