Manhattan Together (MT) members want to ensure that senior citizens can continue to be contributing leaders in their communities, which means organizing to secure resources that allow seniors to age in place.
MT is currently acting in a number of ways to ensure this is achieved.
Senior Friendly Stores: MT leaders have been winning commitments from stores on the Upper West Side to being “Senior Friendly.” A senior friendly store is one that provides at least three of the following: seating, a bathroom, drinking water and a discount to any senior that asks. No purchase would be necessary for any of the first three amenities!
Stores that make this commitment have been awarded with stickers that say “Senior Friendly, Certified by Manhattan Together”, and they have displayed these in their store windows.
In addition, a major drug chain, Duane Reade, is ensuring that all its stores on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, and Lower East Side are senior friendly. It is committed to extending this effort elsewhere in Manhattan and to other boroughs as well.
Together with MT leaders at a number of our member institutions Duane Reade has been hosting community health events at which it has made available flu and pneumonia shots, blood pressure measuring and evaluations, analyses of individual prescription drugs, Medicare enrollment education classes, etc.
MT members want to expand the Senior Friendly Stores campaign to northern Manhattan, the Upper East Side, Lower East Side, and possibly citywide.
Senior Friendly Streets: As part of a broad organizational effort to improve street safety across the borough, Manhattan Together leaders have been working directly with Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione for more than a year and a half to win improvements to dangerous intersections. This has resulted in a complete reconstruction of a busy median on the Lower East Side, retiming of over 60 lights on the Upper West Side to allow pedestrians more time to cross the street and the addition of benches and shelters across Manhattan.
MT has also stepped up efforts in engaging NYPD to enforce traffic regulations at those intersections. The efforts are beneficial for the entire population of Manhattan, but perhaps especially for seniors, who are most likely to be the victims of traffic accidents and most likely to suffer fatalities from injuries sustained in those accidents.
Senior Housing Options in Home Communities: The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) recently stepped up efforts to move seniors from their under occupied apartments to smaller units. NYCHA efforts have been heavy handed and threatening to tenants.
MT leaders who recieved the “under occupancy” letters have organized tenant meetings with other affected building residents to be briefed by MT allied lawyers on tenants’ legal rights and to think and respond collectively to NYCHA about improving the “under occupancy transfer” process in general.
Additionally, at a June 19 assembly, 600 MT and Metro Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) members called on City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to work with the organization to find opportunities to construct more senior housing so that seniors can continue to live in their communities and in Manhattan. Speaker Quinn committed to working with MT to identify ways to construct more senior housing.
Exceptional Home Healthcare for All: MT members want to keep seniors in their homes for as long as possible. Leaders are currently exploring what resources our members can call on to support seniors aging at home rather than living their days in nursing homes.
Additionally, MT is interested in linking members who work as home health care aides to seniors who are looking for quality home health care aides.