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NY Connects helps provide answers

Do you have questions about what programs and services are available in our community? Are you looking for a community service or program and tired of calling 20 different places to find out where to get help for yourself or a loved one?

We have a solution: Call NY Connects first! NY Connects is a helpline answered by real people in every county in New York state. The helpline works to connect people of all ages to local programs and services and has an extensive computer database. Specially trained operators know the criteria for the programs and many times can get you to the person who can help you enroll without having to make another call. NY Connects is different from other helplines in that they ask questions about your situation so they can not only give you choices about the services you think you need but they can direct you to programs you may not have known were available. NY Connects is a free service and is available to everyone. Call NY Connects first to answer questions about Medicaid, Medicare, food programs, housing, legal assistance, home repairs, support groups, exercise classes and much, much more!

In Chautauqua County, the NY Connects helpline is available in both the Office for Aging Services and with Southwestern Independent Living center. The purpose of this partnership allows anyone to connect to services and programs regardless of where they enter into the system-this is called a “No Wrong Door”. Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services, Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services, Southwestern Independent Living Center, the sate Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, Chautauqua County Mental Health and Hygiene all work together to understand the needs of people calling into NY Connects.

Anyone can make a referral to NY Connects. NY Connects keeps all calls confidential. People do not have to reveal who they are when they call the help line for information or if they have concern about someone in the community. If the person who calls is in need of another agency or program, then NY Connects contacts the appropriate agency for assistance. This could be an Office for Aging Services case manager, a nurse with Early Intervention in the Health Department, an adult protective services worker, or the Southwestern Independent Living Center.

The Eldercare Locator is a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. The Eldercare Locator links those who need assistance with state and local agencies on aging, as well as community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers. Whether help is needed with services such as meals, home care or transportation, or a caregiver needs training and education or a well-deserved break from caregiving responsibilities, the Eldercare Locator is there to point that person in the right direction.

The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living. You can also reach the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116.

To support people with disabilities during the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) launched the Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL), with the support of ILRU and other partners from within the disability community. DIAL, a first-of-its-kind national call center, supports people with disabilities and their families who are seeking information, assistance and resources that can help them make informed decisions about and receive access to COVID-19 vaccines that are available in their communities. When needed, DIAL can also refer people with disabilities to state and/or local information and programs for additional supportive services that promote independent living, including inquiries related to home care, food, housing, transportation, and a need for advocacy or peer counseling that may arise due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Callers can connect with Information Specialists — in any language at 888-677-1199 from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET, Monday-Friday, email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org for assistance, or visit the website at https://www.usaging.org/dialconnect.

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