By Christine Green
The Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly’s (G.R.A.P.E.) print edition of The ElderPages Directory is now available. A directory unlike any other in the area, the ElderPages lists contact information for senior and elder care resources in the greater Rochester area.
Listings include everything from companion care services for the elderly to legal services and volunteer opportunities for seniors. G.R.A.P.E. publishes the ElderPages with generous funding from the National Council of Jewish Women, the daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, John F. Wegman, The Greater Rochester Health Foundation, and the NYS Office for the Aging.
G.R.A.P.E. distributes more than 15,000 print copies to every area hospital, library and nursing home. The directory is also available online at TheElderPages.com.
Kimberly Kenna, G.R.A.P.E.’s executive director, is excited that this free resource is finding its way into the hands of those who need it.
“The demand has grown since our last print in 2014 and we are very fortunate that our generous grantors now allow us to better meet the demand.”
G.R.A.P.E. is a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting elder care professionals and seniors in Rochester. The organization started in 1992 when a small group of professionals came together with a “goal of connecting and enriching senior resources,” according to Kenna.
G.R.A.P.E. has grown by leaps and bounds over the course of the last 25 years and now boasts hundreds of members from over 200 different elder care businesses, agencies, and organizations in the area. G.R.A.P.E. serves the community by offering educational opportunities to its members, advocating for the elderly and their needs, and by helping professionals in the industry network and share ideas.
One of its biggest programs and what former executive director, Jeanne Jones called “a must attend event” is its annual legislative town hall meeting. over 245 people including 35 local, federal and state representatives attended the 2017 town hall meeting in february. the 2018 town hall meeting is scheduled for Feb. 9 at The Locust Hill Country Club and will address various issues from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state budget.
“This event is a stellar display of commitment to serve and protect those citizens that so desperately need representation and may have no voice on their own,” said Joanna Palvino who has been a G.R.A.P.E. member since 2006.
Palvino is the current host of the “Seniors Rock Radio Show” on WYSL 1040 AM and 92.1 FM. G.R.A.P.E. is a sponsor of the show and each week Palvino dedicates 20 minutes of the program to highlighting a G.R.A.P.E. member and their role in the elder care community. “Letting the listeners and general public know what G.R.A.P.E. does and who they represent is an important focus of the show,” said Palvino.
25 Years & Counting
G.R.A.P.E. members held a silver anniversary celebration in June at The Locust Country Club with Deanna Dewberry from WHEC TV Channel 10 as the evening’s emcee. The event was part fundraiser to help support G.R.A.P.E. programs and part gala complete with dinner, cocktails, raffles and a silent auction. There was even a photo booth so that attendees could take home photos of the special night. The group also voted in the current president, Connie Lester.
Lester is director of marketing for Hurlbut Care Communities in Rochester and joined G.R.A.P.E. in 2011. As G.R.A.P.E. president, she plans to work toward creating “more profile-raising community partnerships and continuing the fierce advocacy that our members (present and past) have worked for so tirelessly.” She will hold office for two years and said she is eager to be a spokesperson for the organization.
“Our hope is that the future will remain bright for our professionals in the eldercare industry and that G.R.A.P.E. will continue to be a resource for them, our elders, and the community at large,” said Lester. “G.R.A.P.E. is growing in numbers at 350 members but, also in providing quality educational programs, advocacy and connecting senior resources within the Rochester area and beyond.”