A Message from the DSAS Interim Administrator
All my best,
Natasha Pietrocola, Interim Administrator
Division of Senior and Adult Services
Warmest thoughts and best wishes to you and your family this holiday season from the entire DSAS team!
'Elves for Elders' Spreading Holiday Cheer
The DSAS team celebrated the season with residents of three senior apartment complexes on Cleveland’s east and west side. The celebrations included festive music, holiday treats and gifts collected through DSAS’s annual Elves for Elders holiday giving campaign.

The agency partnered with Medical Mutual for one of the special holiday events, to make the season brighter for all the residents.

Seniors of the Fairway Manor senior high-rise were asked to create wish lists for Medical Mutual’s employees, who signed up to become “elves.” Staff members from DSAS and Medical Mutual hand-delivered the gifts to each resident. Televisions, air-fryers and bedding were among the most requested items. Residents also received gift cards to Discount Drug Mart to help with the rising cost of grocery items.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and DSAS Interim Administrator Natasha Pietrocola were present to spread holiday cheer and distribute gifts at our Elves for Elders events. Pietrocola said the program is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding projects the agency undertakes. “There are many seniors on our list who have limited incomes, and the gifts we give may be the only ones they receive this season,” Pietrocola said. “The recipients’ heartwarming smiles demonstrate how much this means to them and is a reminder of how a small gesture can make a big impact.”

The Elves for Elders holiday giving program is still underway. There is still time to help bring joy to other elders in the community! Interested donors can shop for gifts and drop them off at the agency or have their gifts shipped directly to DSAS by shopping online using the registry through December 19th.

November 8 – December 19
Gift Donation Drop-Off
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services
13815 Kinsman Rd
Cleveland, Ohio 44120
You may wrap your gift in a gift bag ONLY

Gift Ideas
·      Warm Blankets
·      Towel Sets
·      Hat, Scarf and Glove Sets
·      Socks and Slippers
·      Pajamas and Robes
·      Soaps and Lotions
·      Deodorant and Perfume
·      Shampoo and Conditioner
·      Hand Sanitizer and Masks
·      Puzzles and Games
·      Word Search Books and Pencils
·      Coloring Books and Colored Pencils

If you are interested in bringing a smile to an elder's face this holiday season or have questions, please contact Daphne James at
The more Elves the merrier! Share our campaign with your social network with the click of a button.
Save The Date!
Save the Date for the Cuyahoga County Senior and Adult Services Advisory Board 2022 Annual Meeting. Join us Friday, February 3, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. to hear about all the progress made over the past year, helping older adults continue to age successfully and making Cuyahoga County a more Age-Friendly community.

Attendees will learn about our vision for 'Livable Cuyahoga’s Path Forward.' Our program will be hosted by TV personality Robin Swoboda, and will feature Board and Division highlights, as well as a keynote address by Emily Muttillo, the Director of Research, Williamson Family Fellow for Applied Research at the Center for Community Solutions. 

The meeting will amplify the input gathered from community voices, as our keynote speaker reports on the results of Livable Cuyahoga’s comprehensive assessment, providing guidance for the initiative moving forward with the support of you, our network of stakeholders and friends.  

The event is free and open to the public. Registration will open at the top of the year.
Decking the DSAS Halls
The DSAS team's holiday spirit is on full display at the office! There is no better way to bring in the holiday season than by adding a touch of jolly to our workspace. Staff decorated their desks and doors with their own festive flair.

Check out some of the merry decor around DSAS!
'Focused' on Livable Cuyahoga
The Livable Cuyahoga Initiative virtual focus group took place on November 30th via Zoom. The Division of Senior and Adult Services and the Center for Community Solutions staff were joined by over 60 community members, ages 55 and over. Participants broke out into small groups and shared their thoughts about aging in Cuyahoga County.  
The guided conversations explored residents' feelings on several aging issues, including how older adults stay connected to their community and if they feel respected. Residents shared positive comments regarding the familial atmosphere at the area community centers and senior services centers. Many participants spoke highly about the programs and services available from the network of aging organizations in the county. The discussion also highlighted the issues currently concerning the aging population, such as the need to increase funding for senior programs and their desires to remain involved in the workforce despite their disabilities.  
All the points of discussion from the focus group were documented and will be included in a larger analysis of the data collected from focus groups and surveys. Since the Livable Cuyahoga launch in September of this year, the initiative has been navigating the assessment phase. Over the past few months, twelve focus groups were held in 10 districts across Cuyahoga County with a total of over 200 participants. Additionally, over 600 surveys were submitted from community members.  
DSAS’ community partners continue to offer a great deal of support to the agency and the initiative. Many of the in-person focus groups were held at centers in the Cuyahoga County Senior Service Network and at Collaboratives around the county. Our community partners also helped distribute surveys to older adults who visited their locations. Executive Officer Pat Newell accredits the success of the assessment phase to the strong partnerships DSAS has built with stakeholders over the years. 
"We celebrate our our seniors, county leadership, community stakeholders and service providers and we thank every one for the successful focus groups. The focus groups were very important in helping Community Solutions to assess how Livable Cuyahoga County is and can be," Newell said.
The results of the assessment will be reported during the Senior and Adult Services Advisory Board Annual Meeting keynote address by Emily Muttillo, the Center for Community Solutions Director of Research, Williamson Family Fellow for Applied Research. The meeting will take place virtually on February 3, 2023, at 11 am.

The second phase of the 5-year AARP Age-Friendly Community agreement, is the planning phase. The assessment based on the community input will inform all efforts for the forthcoming Livable Cuyahoga strategic plan. 
Older Adults are at High Risk for RSV Infection
Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection is a common virus that causes cold-like symptoms and affects the lungs and breathing passages. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be very serious for older adults. It can sometimes lead to other serious conditions such as Pneumonia, congestive heart failure, and more sever symptoms for people with asthma. It is estimated that between nearly 120,000 older adults in the United States are hospitalized due to the virus.

RSV circulation peaks in the winter months. There is currently no vaccine to prevent the infection so we must take extra care to protect ourselves. The Center for Disease Control recommends the following tips for prevention:
To learn more about RSV symptoms and care, click the button below.
Free Covid-19 Test Kits Now Available
The federal government is trying to make it easier for Americans to get Covid-19 tests this winter. Households can now order four more free test kits through the mail. Shipping is expected to start the week of December 19th, just before families begin to gather for the holidays.

To order free Covid-19 test kits for your household, visit or call 1-800-232-0233.
Cordelia Okafor
Home Support
Family Service Aide
Regina Dye
Adult Protective Services
Social Worker
Victoria Monn
Adult Protective Services
Social Worker
Please join us in welcoming our new team members! We are excited to have them join in DSAS' mission to keep seniors safe, supported and independent. We wish them well and look forward to their service and success in their respective roles.
CCSSN Meeting
A heartfelt thank you is extended to all of the members of the Cuyahoga County Senior Services Network (CCSSN) for a productive and engaging year. We ended the year with our Annual Meeting on November 17, 2022, held at Independence Civic and Senior Center.

It was the first time in almost two years that CCSSN met in person. Nearly 50 members attended and enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast and participated in an engaging workshop titled: “BRIDGING THE GAP: Communicating Across Generations”, presented by Deborah A. Easton, Trainer with Kent State’s Center for Corporate and Professional Development. Some of the photo highlights of Ms. Easton’s presentation are below. 

The purpose of the Cuyahoga County Senior Services Network (CCSSN) is to provide a forum for the Senior Services Providers and the Division of Senior and Adult Services (DSAS) to identify and share best practices; identify, share and coordinate resources, and advocate effectively on senior issues, therefore affording the seniors of Cuyahoga County an improved quality of life.

For more information about becoming a member of the CCSSN, please email Denise Rucker-Burton, Program Administrator
Spreading Awareness
DSAS hosted Mandated Reporter training on November 30, 2022. Over 45 staff from the Metro Health System attended the training presented by APS Senior Supervisor Lawrence Vavro. As the state mandated provider of Adult Protective Services in Cuyahoga County, DSAS experts provide the training a few times each year to other professionals in the community. Keeping the community up-to-date and informed is a part of the agency’s guiding principles to advocate and bring awareness to older adults and adults with disabilities. 
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