Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth) announced the Assembly passed legislation she sponsored that will require the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) to analyze its senior services consolidation plans (A.10470-A). The department’s current consolidation efforts may jeopardize essential senior services, including case management and meals-on-wheels, as well as services provided by senior centers.
Assemblywoman Markey said, “We understand that the New York City Department for the Aging needs to revamp its infrastructure, but it doesn’t mean that it can or should be done at the expense of the seniors who rely on the department’s services.” She added, “We can’t destroy New York City’s senior centers in order to accomplish consolidation goals, especially since it will likely shortchange the population it is meant to serve, a major concern since the number of older adults will increase dramatically by 2030.”
The Bloomberg administration’s current plan calls for the consolidation of more than 350 New York City senior centers into fewer large health and wellness centers, which may make access to such centers difficult or impossible for some seniors. In some locations, meals-on-wheels services have already been consolidated, the Assemblywoman said, depriving clients of the personal, one-on-one contact the service provides.
“In many cases, senior centers or meals-on-wheels programs provide significant social outlets and stimulation for seniors, and by consolidating or eliminating these programs, too many seniors will lose these invaluable networks,” Assemblywoman Markey said. “This legislation will ensure that the department for the aging won’t make any hasty consolidation moves and will make sure seniors’ best interests are kept in mind.”