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Aging in Place Council honors four local individuals

The Rochester Finger Lakes Chapter of the National Aging in Place Council has honored four local individuals for their service to others.

“Engagement and a sense of purpose have long been tied to better health outcomes as we age,” NAIPC officials said in a statement, noting that the Administration for Community Living marks May as Older Americans Month, with this year’s theme as “Communities of Strength.”

Local honorees include:
• Richard and Mary Ellen Darling, Darling’s Tree Farm
• Sister Grace Miller, House of Mercy
• Bonnie Feldstein, WeCare

The Darlings each have served as state chairs and board members for the Christmas Tree Farms Association of New York, and Richard Darling services as director. The couple also is involved in Trees for Troops, a program of the Christmas Spirit Foundation, where Richard is the national chairman.

Miller is the founder of House of Mercy, a homeless shelter that serves meals to roughly 400 people per day. The shelter has become more of a community center, with residents receiving medical and mental health support, as well as assistance for the elderly in skilled nursing placement.

Feldstein is the founder of WeCare, a program that designates representatives for each of the five sections of the community that can be called upon for support if a 9-1-1 call needs to be made or to offer temporary assistance after a medical event if mobility is impaired. The program also offers educational seminars on topics of interest that address health and welfare.

The Rochester Finger Lakes Chapter of NAIPC serves the older adults in the region through collaboration, education and advocacy to champion aging in place safely and with vitality.

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