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New York City is coming back strong and
feels alive once again with plenty of community
activities and celebrations. This June, we hosted
the National Puerto Rican Day Parade and the
NYC Pride Rally. We also had a primary election
using ranked-choice voting for the first time and
we educated older adults on this new election
format. Earlier this month, we had the first large
ticker tape parade since the pandemic to honor
our essential workers who kept us safe and led the
fight against the virus, including the many who
serve older New Yorkers. They are the heroes in
CLASSIFIEDS FOR THE BRONX
The pandemic has reminded us that we are
strong, determined and can accomplish anything
when we come together as a city – one that is
resilient, age-inclusive, and connects to all its age
Having said that, the Department for the
Aging developed a five-year Community Care
Plan dedicated to increasing older adult services
and better addressing the needs of older adults
to age in their homes among their loved ones and
neighbors. We are very excited about this plan.
Not only is it the largest new investment in 20
years, it also presents new possibilities for older
adults to age in place.
With the initial $48 million investment, this
plan will include adding up to 25 additional
older adult centers (OACs) or Naturally
Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs)
in underserved communities with large aging
populations to promote greater equity and meet
the growing needs of our older adults. The plan
will also include adding additional program staff
to strengthen the existing network of services and
increasing transportation options to connect older
adults, especially those living in transit deserts,
In years two through five of the Community
Care Plan, DFTA has laid out a proposal for
additional funding to enhance the transformative
work done previously and create a seamless
experience for older adults to age in place. With
the increasing number of OACs and NORCs,
as well as the anticipated overall growth in the
older adult population, comes a higher demand
for in-home services including case management,
home-delivered meals, and homecare support that
promote independence and well-being for older
adults. In addition to meeting a higher demand,
funding will also be added to increase the weekly
hours of care support, which will help ensure the
in-home support that older adults need to help
delay or avoid institutionalization.
Another highlight of the plan is to allocate more
resources to support our caregivers. Caregivers
often struggle to balance their work and personal
lives with their caregiving responsibilities, and
they might not have enough resources and
community support. It is therefore important
to provide guidance and respite support for
caregivers to ensure they are well taken care of.
The pandemic made us realize we need to be
able to adapt quickly. The final element of the
Community Care Plan is to bring in more virtual
programing and the required technical support.
Virtual programs have proven to be a huge success
with nearly 37,000 attendees, which helped keep
older New Yorkers active and socially engaged
during the pandemic. Subsequently, it is crucial to
offer the Wi-Fi service, technological equipment,
and trainings that older adults need to participate.
To that, we have succeeded in obtaining an initial
investment to provide 10,000 computer tablets to
older adults who do not have devices. This will
provide access to virtual programming, among
other types of online services.
The Community Care Plan turns a new page
for community care services and supports to
our growing older population. It provides an
older adults to
age in dignity
and decency in
they call home.
We can’t wait
to see this plan
coming to life.
Community Care for All
NYC Department for the Aging
Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez
The five-year Community Care Plan will expand aging support services and help older New Yorkers age in place.
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