Letter: City needs to invest in aging in place services for seniors

Three happy diverse senior woman and african american male friend sitting on sofa and using tablet
Photo courtesy Getty Images

To the Editor,

People in the city, like me, are getting older. Residents age 50 and older account for nearly a third of the city’s overall population, a number that is expected to increase by 40% over the next 20 years.

That’s why the mayor and the City Council must focus more on the needs of older adults as they negotiate a final budget for the next fiscal year. We need their support so we can be healthy, safe and independent — something every person wants and deserves.

Unfortunately, the mayor wants to cut the Department for the Aging (DFTA) budget. The department is already short on funds in comparison to the population it serves, receiving less than 0.5% of the overall city budget.

DFTA provides much-needed services for older adults and they support many wonderful nonprofits in The Bronx that run senior centers, help people access benefits, deliver food and so much more. As an AARP New York volunteer I spend a lot of time talking to older residents and I always hear from them about how much they rely on these organizations — they are true neighborhood treasures.

We need our mayor and the City Council to invest more into the health and wellbeing of our older adults to ensure that every older New Yorker can age with dignity in their own communities. The City Council in its proposed budget wants to increase funding for DFTA for several aging-related services. Hopefully the mayor will get on board with this.

DeBorah Gadsden

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