2002-02-06 / Seniors

Senior Spotlight

By John Toscano


UHF Issues Grants To 3 Queens Senior Service Providers

Grants totalling $95,000 to support innovative programs to improve healthcare and social services for Queens seniors have been made to three healthcare providers in the borough by the United Hospital Fund.

The Forest Hills Community House (FHCH) in Forest Hills received $25,000 to help it’s Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) Supportive Service Program to develop a service delivery model that addresses critical issues presented by NORC programs.

NORCs are apartment houses or complexes occupied by long-term residents who have "aged in place," that is, grown into senior citizen status, and collectively have formed a natural senior center.

The city Department for the Aging hires a social agency to administer a senior program for a NORC, making it very convenient for residents to be served at their in-house center rather than traveling to and from a centralized senior center every day.

The $25,000 grant to the FHCH will assist it to develop a model program of service delivery that meets the special needs of NORCs, which are growing rapidly in Forest Hills.

The other two grants from the United Hospital Fund went to the Margaret Tietz Center for Nursing Care and Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, each of which received $35,000 grants.

According to the announcement regarding the grants, the Tietz Center grant will fund a medication reduction program offering residents non-pharmacological alternatives to systemic medications. The Parker grants will help to identify resource utilization patterns of nursing home residents at the end of life and to implement educational intervention aimed at reducing inappropriate hospitalizations.

The United Hospital Fund describes itself as "a health service research and philanthropic organization addressing critical issues affecting hospitals and health care in New York." Each year, it distributes $6 million in grants.

B.P. WANTS MORE QUEENS METROCARD BUS STOPS: Borough President Helen Marshall has asked New York City Transit (NYCT) officials to expand the number of MetroCard bus stops in Queens to accommodate seniors and disabled persons who want to acquire MetroCard reduced fare cards, or to refill an existing card.

Marshall also called on NYCT to establish regular stops at senior centers, saying there are more than 374,000 seniors in the borough, many of whom frequent the borough’s 75 senior centers.

Marshall also pointed out that there are no MetroCard stops on the Rockaway Peninsula and only 15 stops in all of Queens, while there are 43 scheduled MetroCard locations in Manhattan.

NOLAN SKEDS BUS STOPS: Meanwhile, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan (D–Ridgewood) announced that the next regular MetroCard visit to her Woodside/Sunnyside district office at 45-25 47th St. is set for tomorrow from 10 a.m. to Noon. The MetroCard bus visits Nolan’s office on the second Thursday of every month.

On Friday, Nolan said, the MetroCard bus will be at the Ravenswood Houses Community Center, 35-40 21st St., Astoria from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and an hour later at Queensbridge Houses Jacob Riis Settlement House, 10-25 41st Ave., Long Island City from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

On Friday, February 28, Nolan said, the MetroCard bus will be at the Astoria Houses Goodwill Houses, 27th Avenue and 4th Street, Astoria from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

HARRISON HONORED: Former City Councilmember Julia Harrison of Flushing was honored last week for her activities as Committee on Aging chairwoman, particularly her support of Medicare drug benefits, hearing tests and hearing aids for seniors, and funding to train geriatric nurse practitioners.

Harrison was cited by The John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University and the consortium of New York Geriatric Education Centers at NYU.

COHEN OFFERS ALZHEIMER’S GUIDE: An informative guide designed to assist caregivers of Alzheimer’s Disease patients is available by calling the district office of Assemblymember Michael Cohen (D–Forest Hills) at (718) 263-5595.

Cohen said the 80-page publication demonstrates how to recognize classic Alzheimer’s symptoms and handle disturbing behavior and how to cope as a primary caregiver. It also lists local and national caregiver organizations.

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