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Who We Are


The pattern for long-term care begins with independence in the home, progressing to companion care, nursing care, and possible placement in a long-term care facility. Although long-term care facilities are often the last stop in the continuum of care, it’s a reality many people are afraid of. And the closer we get to old age, the more fearful we become.

The truth is, many elders end up in long-term care facilities before they need to because they or their families reach a point where they feel they have no other options. But in Central New York, you have Options for Independent Living.

Options supports independence and dignity in the aging process by providing companion care and live-in services, allowing elders to remain in their own homes and maintain a higher quality of life and as much autonomy as possible.

Options provides care for clients who need supervision, maintenance care, or companionship, but who are medically stable. We provide access to short-term recuperative, rehabilitative and preventive services, and work with health-related services, when needed.

Options brings relief and peace of mind to families who may care deeply for their elders, but find the realities of that care overwhelming, or who may be simply too far away to provide it themselves.


Options for Independent Living provides two basic services:

Our service is unique in that continuity of caregiver is considered of utmost importance. Each client will be cared for by a maximum of three caregivers.

Our caregivers can assist with meals, light housekeeping, transportation, hygiene, and social support. Some clients, including many in long-term care facilities, simply want companionship, particularly during lonely evening hours.

There is no registration fee for either service. Assessments and consultations are free of charge. The consultation is very important. We believe friendship, companionship, and social support are among the most important things our services provide, aiding the mental health and happiness of your loved one. For this reason, we place great emphasis on matching the most appropriate caregiver to each client, and many of our caregivers are 55 and older. We’ve found that many older people simply relate better to caregivers closer to their own age.

Peace of mind is also essential, and that’s why our service is guaranteed. That means, if you have a caregiver scheduled, we’ll be there. If your regular caregiver is unavailable due to illness or emergency, we’ll have a replacement there, even if it means sending one of our nurse managers.


Options for Independent Living is managed by a team of professional nurses committed to providing the highest-quality elder care and to eliminating the loneliness and fear often associated with old age.

This team manages the care of each client, assessing their needs, finding just the right caregivers, and following up to make certain the care provided is exactly the care that’s needed. Our philosophy is simple: we care for each client as if they were our own loved one. Isn’t that what you would want?


Working together we can provide the care and services your loved one requires, and the relief and peace of mind you need. With the proper support, there is no reason most elders can’t remain in the community to enjoy old age with dignity and as much independence as is appropriate for their situation.


Consider these facts: There are 35 million Americans over the age of 65, and that number will double over the next 40 years. More than 20 percent of today’s workforce expects to assume elder-care responsibility for parents or other seniors over the next three or four years. Conservatively, one in three of us will care for an elder by the year 2020.

Options for Independent Living was founded in 1998 by a group of health care professionals who saw a need in the Central New York community for better in-home elder-care services. Our combined experiences, ranging from nursing to health care administration and medical practice management, bring a wealth of health care knowledge and expertise to the organization.

The principal manager of Options for Independent Living is Eileen Duncan, R.N., who holds a master’s degree in nursing with a focus in eldercare. Duncan has been a nurse in the Syracuse community for nearly 20 years, working primarily with elders.

According to numerous studies, and Duncan’s own experiences, an older person’s health and well-being decline dramatically when placed in an institutional setting earlier than is medically necessary. Although nursing homes are the only solution for some, and will be an eventual reality for many more, they aren’t the only alternative. The solution is reliable, quality home care.

You do have Options

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Portions of this text have been borrowed with permission from "Don't Put Me In A Nursing Home!" by Claude Amarnick, D.O., Garrett Publishing, Inc.

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