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All this week, WBFO is airing a series of conversations on issues related to aging, as part of WBFO's Older Adults News Desk.Tune in for "Conversations on Aging" during Morning Edition with Jay Moran.

Program pays to help seniors stay in their homes

Erie County Department of Senior Services

From mental health issues to fiscal benefits, it's usually better for seniors to stay in their homes instead of going to nursing facilities.  A program called EISEP looks to help by paying a modest wage to individuals who can assist seniors with certain in-home needs.

While the qualifications can be confusing, Erie County Long Term Care Coordinator Amanda Bender encourages inquiries.

"We always love calls at New York Connects," she said.

That focus on communication was a theme of a recent conversation on the 13th floor of the Rath Building with Bender and Erie County Senior Services Commissioner David Shenk.

"Contact our New York Connects number, (716) 858-8526. And that's where they want to get started," Shenk said. 

"From there, they would say they need some homecare or mention EISEP. And then we will help them get set up."

Beyond the comfort and familiarity of staying at home, Shenk sees the dollars and cents involved. He says the cost of living in a nursing facility is about $12,000 per month.

"If the person can get by with six hours per week of assistance while at home. That's $11.75 an hour the person is going to earn," Shenk said. "I would say that's...cheaper."

According to Shenk, a third-party agency does assist the county in making sure applicants have the appropriate qualifications.

Bender added one more plea for seniors and caregivers to find out what's available.

"Even if it's a service that we don't directly provide, our job is to link you with a place that does provide that service."

Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.