Lifton Bill Establishes New Model for Senior Living Communities

June 22, 2006

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP-Tompkins/Cortland) announced Assembly passage of her legislation on Tuesday that would create a model, inter-generational senior living community, potentially allowing Longview at Ithaca to qualify to add skilled nursing beds to the facility (A.829-A). The addition of those beds would mean they could offer a continuum of care, from independent living through assisted living, and now to skilled nursing.

Longview, a housing complex located across the street from Ithaca College on land donated by the institution, currently offers apartments for both independent living and for adults who need assistance.

The bill would allow Longview to add skilled nursing beds to the facility, offering a new continuum of care from independent and assisted living to skilled nursing care. The measure will also evaluate whether Longview is a good blueprint for other communities.

“The economic impact of providing for our aging population is becoming increasingly significant in New York, where we currently have the third largest population of older adults in the country,” Lifton said. “To meet this challenge, we must study and develop new models of providing continuum of care for seniors.”

Lifton said the bill will study the effectiveness of a new type of senior living community that relies on partnerships with educational institutions, programs linking young people with seniors, and shared resources to offer more cost-effective services for seniors in a more stimulating residential environment for older adults.

“Longview, if approved by the DOH under the law, would continue providing the enriching experiences they now offer due to their relationship to Ithaca College and Cornell,” Lifton said. “But, in addition they would be able to add skilled nursing beds that would prevent disruption should a senior become ill and need skilled nursing.”

Lifton added that the program includes an intergenerational choir that meets weekly and performs each semester.

“This community will provide the quality of life that seniors deserve and may function as a progressive model to be replicated throughout the state,” Lifton said.