County Commissioners Proclaim May 2024 Older Americans Month

Published on May 28, 2024

Programs Highlighted to Support the Elderly Throughout Morris County


The Morris County Board of County Commissioners declared May 2024 "Older Americans Month" during last week’s public meeting in Morristown, where Commissioner Director Christine Myers presented a special proclamation emphasizing the contributions of older Americans and veterans.

U.S. Navy Veteran Tom Mazzaccaro, Chair of the Morris County Advisory Council on Aging Disabilities & Veterans (ACDAV), joined Christine Hellyer, Director of the Office of Aging, Disabilities and Community Programming, and Kasey Errico, Director of the Morris County Department of Human Services, in accepting the proclamation.

“It’s fitting that Older Americans Month is the same month we observe Memorial Day. Who better exemplifies the importance of service to the community and country than our veterans?” said Commissioner Director Myers.

She thanked Mazzaccaro for his military service and ongoing public service to Morris County, acknowledging the dedication of the ACDAV members and their impact on veterans, seniors and vulnerable populations. Mazzaccaro expressed gratitude to the Commissioners for their support and praised the efforts of Errico and Hellyer within the Human Services department.

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During the meeting, Hellyer provided updates on veterans services in Morris County, highlighting significant expansions and enhancements over the past two years. She announced that the Veterans Services Office is in the process of hiring a fourth full-time Veterans Services Officer and a seasonal intern will be starting in June.

Hellyer also noted the $300,000 in funding approved by the Commissioners for Veterans programming in 2023-2024. Highlights include:

  • 93 nights of shelter placement for veterans through April.
  • 89 Uber/Lyft rides for veterans, expanding transportation services through April.
  • Assistance for six veteran families that provided 5,400 lbs. of food and products in the first quarter of 2024 during 16 visits.
  • 27 hours of legal services provided to veterans.
  • Mental Health Association (MHA) support, including 10 group sessions, personal counseling, and case management.

In addition, Hellyer informed that a new federal Veteran Center Community Access Point (CAP) opened on May 2 at the Morris County Veteran Services Office located at 540 West Hanover Avenue in Morris Township. Services are provided every Thursday by appointment with two Veteran Affairs (VA) counselors from the federal Bloomfield Vet Center. Veterans interested in making an appointment can call the Bloomfield Vet Center at 973-748-0980.

The Morris County ACADV is composed of community representatives, professionals, and consumers who advocate for issues important to seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans. Council members are appointed annually by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners and serve without salary, reflecting their commitment to the community.

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In April, Morris County Commissioner John Krickus and Sheriff James Gannon attended the ACADV meeting at the Morris County Office of Temporary Assistance. During this meeting, Krickus announced a resolution to allocate $300,000 for homeless services, which was approved by the County Commissioners on April 10.

Sheriff Gannon spoke about the evolving role of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office since its establishment in 1738. He highlighted several community support programs, including:

  • Hope One: A mobile outreach program offering substance use and mental health support, Narcan training, rehab referrals, and other services.
  • Photo ID Program: Providing identification and issuing County ID cards to help individuals secure medical and social services.
  • Project Lifesaver: A program where participants wear a wrist or ankle bracelet with a transmitter that emits a signal law enforcement can track if someone goes missing, useful for individuals with Alzheimer’s or special needs.
  • Prescription Drug Drop Off Boxes: Safe disposal of prescription and over-the-counter drugs at the courthouse and other approved locations.

Additionally, Gannon warned of elder abuse scams involving perpetrators impersonating officials to defraud victims. He advised caution regarding requests for personal information over the phone and emphasized reporting such incidents to the proper authorities, noting that victims often feel shame and embarrassment, which can lead to underreporting.

For assistance and information on local services, residents are encouraged to contact the Morris County Division on Aging, Disabilities and Community Programming, located at 340 West Hanover Avenue in Morris Township. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and can be reached at 973-285-6848 or 1-800-564-4656.


Photo 1: Group photo of the ACADV. In back row from the left: Emerson Crooks (4), Kasey Errico (5), Sheriff James Gannon (6), Commissioner John Krickus (9), John Sheridan (10), Tom Mazzaccaro (11), Christine Hellyer (12).

Photo 2: Commissioner Director Christine Myers, Tom Mazzaccaro, Kasey Errico and Christine Hellyer.

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