It’s Not Too Late For Flu Shots
If you haven’t received a flu shot yet, it’s not too late to go and get one!
That’s the message Commissioner Edwin Mendez–Santiago of the Department for the Aging and City Councilmembers Hiram Monserrate (D–Corona) and Helen Sears (D–Jackson Heights) tried to impart recently when each of them received a flu shot at the Elmhurst–Jackson Heights Senior Center.
Also getting a shot was Sulicka Cabrera–Drinane, executive director of the Institute for Puerto Rican and Hispanic Elderly and other seniors. Department of Health staffers were on hand to administer the influenza vaccine to officials and seniors.
Mendez–Santiago warned, Death and hospitalization rates among seniors due to influenza have continued to rise over the past five years, and with the flu season still very much underway, it is imperative that seniors get vaccinated."
He said city health officials reported that 37 percent of the city’s seniors still aren’t vaccinated, with women and African–Americans having the lowest rates of vaccination. The commissioner also warned that pneumonia and influenza are among the top 10 causes of death for older adults.
For information on flu shots, visit your local senior center or call the DFTA at 212-442-1000 or visit website http.www.nyc.gov/ aging. The flu shots are free.
QJJC THANKS MAYOR, MARSHALL: Queens Jewish Community Council officials thanked Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Borough President Helen Marshall recently for their leadership in saving two QJCC programs.
Project Lifeline provides frail seniors with a pendant worn around the neck. The senior can press a button in the pendant and an ambulance service, friend or neighbor will be contacted. Signals from the pendant are monitored 24 hours, seven days a week.
Project Necessity provides locks, window gates and other security devices to income-eligible seniors.
Both programs are funded by the Department for the Aging under a grant sponsored by Marshall and Councilmembers David Weprin (D–Hollis), James Gennaro (D–Jamaica Estates) and Melinda Katz (D–Forest Hills).
The programs were threatened with elimination by a proposed budget cut of 14 percent, but the mayor and Marshall, under pressure from the councilmembers, saved the programs.
Seniors interested in either or both programs should contact Myra Nathan at 718-544-9033 ext. 20, Tuesday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
WEPRIN VISITS SENIORS: Councilmember David Weprin (D–Hollis) visited the Bayside Senior Center last Friday to present the members with a symbolic check for $8,000, representing funds that he secured this fiscal year in spite of a tight budget to keep the center up and running.
Weprin, the chairman of the council Finance Committee and a chief cog in the council’s budget-making operation, also discussed the prospects for preventing senior program cuts in his visit to the center at 221-15 Horace Harding Expressway, at Springfield Boulevard.
VALENTINE’S DANCE: Seniors from all around the city, 80 in all, converged on the Passarelle Building in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park last Friday to show off their dance moves at the fourth annual Valentine’s Day dance staged by the city Department of Parks and Recreation. The afternoon event also featured food and games. A lucky few even won prizes in a free raffle.
The annual dance is just one of many activities including fitness and stretching programs, arts and crafts, computer classes, games and trips offered by the Parks Department to seniors in all boroughs. The agency runs 36 recreational centers for seniors and youths, offering educational and entertaining after school programs. For information, call 212-360-1311.
TAX FILING TIME: Internal Revenue Services certified volunteers enrolled in the Retired and Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) are providing free assistance in preparing state and federal tax returns to low-income taxpayers and those 60 years of age or older, unemployed or disabled.
For locations in Queens where the service is offered, call 212-614-5557.
RSVP has offered this service for the past 16 years. It includes IRS e-file, which enables clients to have their tax forms transmitted directly to the IRS, cutting the time normally required to process a refund in half, David E. Jones, president and chief executive officer of the Community Service Society, of which RSVP is a part, said.
Jones said, "The RSVP e-file program provides a free service to underprivileged city residents and elderly who often cannot afford help with their tax returns."
AARP ALSO OFFERS TAX AID: Help in having tax returns done for free is also offered to seniors by the AARP. The service is also available to the general public and homebound individuals. to locate an AARP Tax-Aide office near you, call 888.227-7669, or visit the AARP website at www.aarp.org/taxaide. Click on "Tax Counseling."
MEETING: AARP Chapter No. 2889 will meet next Wednesday, February 19, at the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, 54-05 Seabury St., Elmhurst at 12:30 p.m. Mike McClenan and the Jazz Elders will entertain.