With 3.7 million individuals aged 60 and over, New York has quite a challenge in organizing its resources to care for this large and very diverse demographic. To provide some guidance, the New York Office for the Aging has created a three year plan that tries to incorporate individual and community needs with new and existing programs, opportunities and laws (e.g. Older Americans Act Core programs, Areas on Aging discretionary grants, and consumer control and choice mandates). The plan outlines many services aimed at assisting seniors and individuals with disabilities to remain in their homes with a high quality of life and to avoid unnecessary nursing home placement. Services, depending upon need, may include housekeeping, personal care, transportation, delivered meals, coordination of service, day activity and socialization.
A few highlights from the current plan:
The Livable New York Initiative is based on the idea that senior and disability friendly communities are communities that benefit everyone – not just seniors. New provisions, inside the New York State Elder Law, require mixed-use, age-integrated communities. The intent is to provide technical assistance to communities such as identifying issues, planning and working with the unique character of communities. In practical terms, this includes issues like zoning, housing, community-design models, and green-spaces to improve the “livability” of their neighborhoods.
The Naturally Occurring Retirement Community Supportive Service Program (NORC) helps residents who purchased their homes or apartments avoid moving out simply because they need assistance not currently provided in their communities. These “aging in place” programs make economic and social sense since most people prefer to maintain closeness to family and friends and only pay for services they really need. Already, New York State has 36 NORC’s established through community-partnerships and over $4 million in funding. Healthcare, housing, and peer providers work with seniors and the disabled to fill gaps left by existing service systems.
Take a look at the New York Office for Aging’s proposed plan. What do you or your family need that’s missing? What do you want when you’re aging? Are there any ideas that you think should be supported? View the plan on-line at http://www.aging.ny.gov/NYSOFA/StatePlanOnAging/Index.cfm.
You have until May 20th to have your voice heard.
Speak up for what you like. Speak out against what you don’t