Our History

H.E.L.P. was founded in 1996 by Ed and Pat Long.

Starting out as a “Mom and Pop” effort, H.E.L.P. has grown to the point where more than 40 “aunts, uncles, godparents and good friends” volunteer their time to help older adults through H.E.L.P. Many more individuals, couples and families generously donate to keep H.E.L.P.’s services available to the community.

Ann & Duffy

H.E.L.P. was created because of what Ed and Pat learned while trying to help Pat’s Mom and Dad (Anne and Duffy).  Anne and Duffy lived most of their lives in Syracuse, New York.  They were married in 1937.  They raised three children (two sons, one daughter).

Beginning in 1990, a series of health problems for both Anne and Duffy created a need for a wide range of services – medical, social and legal.  These were difficult times.  As part of helping, Pat and Ed and other family members searched for needed services and answers.  They repeatedly found little or no reliable information to be available. It was clear that there was a great need for reliable information and advice on the subjects that older adults specially care about.

In response, Ed left his “big firm” law practice. After two+ years running a private “elder law” practice helping 200-300 people a year, Ed and Pat founded H.E.L.P. – with the goal of helping thousands of older adults and caring family and friends each year.

Anne died in 1993; Duffy, after two years living with Pat and Ed in California, died in 1996 (a day before his 87th birthday). The cloud of difficult times for Anne and Duffy (and their family) did indeed have a silver lining: H.E.L.P. has assisted older adults, family members and friends many thousands of times since opening its doors in 1996.