ADRC of Oneida County director retires
By Eileen Persike
A longtime champion of Oneida County’s elderly population has joined the ranks of the retired. After nearly 23 years as director of what was previously the Department on Aging and now, the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), Dianne Jacobson spent her last day visiting with friends and coworkers.
Much has changed during Jacobson’s tenure, including moving from cramped quarters on Thayer Street to the currently location near the Trig’s mall, which she calls “perfect.”
“Moving to this facility gives us higher visibility, better program space,” Jacobson said. “When I look back at the other building – we just didn’t have the room to even run the ADRC.”
Primarily known as the Senior Center when she started the job, Jacobson said the development of aging and disability resource centers is the biggest change she was involved in.
“People may think, ‘oh that just happened,’ but that really was a 20-year process. We were grateful to be part of that. The biggest thing is that we are a fully integrated aging office and ADRC.”
Twenty years ago the Senior Center provided nutrition through Meals on Wheels, transportation through the buses, and had one elder benefits specialist. Today, caring for seniors as well as their families, plus nutrition, transportation and a host of elder programming is what the ADRC is all about.
“What makes aging programs unique is that they are run by and for the seniors we serve,” Jacobson said. “They don’t have to wonder what they might need; they are on the committee.”
Though it sounds cliché, Jacobson said, her plans for the future include traveling and visiting friends, adding that she will remain interested in the goings on at the ADRC, but from the other side of the desk.
Assistant director Joel Gottsacker has taken on the role of interim director.