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September 21, 2012
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Expert panel to address issues related to seniors Sept. 27

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Three women—Lisa Alford, Roslyn Bilford and Marilyn Pinsky—who have combined to provide nearly 40 years of leadership and service to Onondaga County’s senior population, will present “From Tarnished to Golden: 40 years of Polishing Service to Seniors in Onondaga County” Thursday, Sept. 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. A reception will follow the presentation.

The presentation is sponsored by OASIS and will take place at the OASIS/HealthLink Learning Center, 6333 State Route 298, East Syracuse. OASIS is supported by Upstate Medical University.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, call 464-6555.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this presentation to the public,” said Lauren Feiglin, executive director of the Upstate OASIS program. “Over the past four decades, issues and concerns related to seniors, their health and lifestyles have changed significantly, and yet many issues have remained the same. We are fortunate to have Lisa, Roslyn and Marilyn join together to share their experiences and offer insight into the future of aging.”

Bilford served as director of the Metropolitan Commission on Aging from 1975 to 1992. The agency was responsible for planning, coordinating and evaluating services for Onondaga County’s elderly population, which can easily become isolated for psychological, physical and social reasons. Bilford told the Post-Standard in 1975, when she chaired the commission’s Health Task Force, that for many isolated elderly “it’s the tarnished years rather then the golden years.”

A highlight of her tenure was obtaining a grant from the State Legislature that offered respite and support to unpaid caregivers of an elderly person.

Pinsky headed up the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth from 1993 to 2006, and despite her retirement, issues related to seniors remain the focus of her life. Today, as the New York state president of the AARP, Pinsky continues to address the needs of seniors. Last October, she warned that cuts in Medicare and Social Security would have a devastating impact on many seniors who are struggling to stay afloat.

Alford has led the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth since 2007 and has made it her focus to enhance the quality of life for seniors by building partnerships with local agencies and service providers, such as the one with the CNY Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to develop the Institute for Caregivers. Also known as I-Care, the institute offers classes to give unpaid caregivers education, support and hope.

All three women have been honored numerous times for their work in the community and have provided infinite hours as volunteers for various organizations, including OASIS, where they have served either on the advisory council or various committees.

This event is one of several highlighting the 30th anniversary of the national OASIS Institute. Upstate’s OASIS program celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. OASIS offers learning and service opportunities to Central New York adults, aged 50 and older, and is supported by Upstate Medical University. Currently OASIS boasts more than 9,400 members.

Caption: Three women who have combined to provide nearly 40 years of leadership and service to the area’s senior population, from left, Lisa Alford, Onondaga County commissioner of aging and youth (2007-); Roslyn Bilford, former executive director of the Metropolitan Commission on Aging (1975-1992); and Marilyn Pinsky, former Onondaga County commissioner of aging and youth (1993-2006), will present from “Tarnished to Golden,” a reflection of how issues important to seniors have changed, Thursday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. at Upstate’s OASIS Learning Center in East Syracuse. Linda Cohen, right, host of Upstate’s HealthLink On Air radio show, will serve as moderator. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is suggested. To register, call 464-6555.

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