Oneida County Office for the Aging Receives Community Foundation Life Stories Grant

Oneida County Office for the Aging/Continuing Care is pleased to announce the Life Stories grant award by The Community Foundation of Herkimer& Oneida Counties, Inc. The Community Foundation has awarded a grant of $8,991 for the production of the Life Stories project. “Everyone has a story: Telling the story of Oneida County Seniors.”

This is a collaborative effort led by the Oneida County Office for the Aging/Continuing Care Advisory Council’s Special Populations subcommittee and the creative Aging and Arts Committee of the Lutheran Care Ministries. The grant has been awarded to the Greater Mohawk Valley Elderwellness Council, Inc. which is the non-profit entity of the Oneida County office for the Aging. “We are grateful to the Community Foundation for partnering with us in this project,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. “In highlighting these individual’s stories, we will be sharing a few examples of the accomplishments of our seniors, and how those accomplishments have deeply impacted our community, making it a better place to live.” 

Office for the Aging/Continuing Care Director Michael J. Romano, explains “The purpose of this project is to video tape the life stories of several older Oneida County residents. The intent is to demonstrate that all elders have rich stories to tell and have contributed much, regardless of their current chronological age or diagnosed disabilities.” Following the production, conducted by Eileen Kent, an expert on gathering Lifestories, training will be offered to participating agencies in the aging and disability networks.

While one of the main roles of the Office for the Aging is to advocate on behalf of older Oneida County residents, typically through services, programs, promoting independent community living, there is no better form of advocacy than highlighting the accomplishments of older person who have lived vibrant and productive lives. Elders in the community will have the opportunity to share their stories with trained staff. This type of project counters ageism and leaves a legacy for families friends, and others.

The finished product will be part of the AgeNet resource library and be available for all Senior Centers and other community sites that are part of the Office for the Aging digital health and wellness network.

The Community Foundation has been a force for improving lives and promoting philanthropy throughout Herkimer and Oneida counties since 1952. The Foundation has made more than 4,700 grants totaling over $37.2 million in support of causes ranging from education to health care, the arts to the environment. Grants are generated by the more than 270 funds that comprise The Foundation’s endowment, established and advanced by area individuals and families. For more information about the Life Stories project Director Romano, or Dr. Kathleen Bishop, PhD, Consultant on Aging at Oneida County Office for the Aging/Continuing Care at 798-5456.