Academic journal article Care Management Journals

The Changing Needs of New York City's Elderly

Academic journal article Care Management Journals

The Changing Needs of New York City's Elderly

Article excerpt

Editor's Note. The following document is reprinted and adapted for the Care Management Journals format with permission from the New York City Department for the Aging.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. New York City Department for the Aging

The Older Americans Act (OAA) was enacted by Congress in 1965 and amended in 1973 to establish Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) under the State Office for the Aging. Each State Office for the Aging receives federal funds to allocate among its AAAs. In turn, each AAA distributes the funds to community-based agencies for the delivery of services including congregate and home-delivered meals. Later in the 1970s, federal funds were increased to provide continual financial support for community-based services such as housing, health, nutrition, education and recreation, and training programs.

The New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) was established as both a federal and a municipal entity to represent and address the needs of the elderly residents of New York City. Among the 39 mayoral agencies in New York City government, DFTA is the lead agency to address public policy and service issues regarding the elderly. The department is also a part of the federal network of AAA and is the largest AAA in the nation. In this capacity, the department represents the concerns of urban centers on a national scale and advocates on legislative, regulatory, and socioeconomic issues that affect older adults.

The department's activities are directed toward the provision of community-based programs and services that foster independence, safety, wellness, and quality of life for seniors. The department continues a long history of collaborative partnerships with community-based organizations that work with seniors to help them remain living in their homes and to sustain their independence and active participation in local communities.

B. Purpose and Scope of the Plan

In accordance with the OAA amendments of 2000, this document represents the fourth year of a four-year plan covering the period from April 1, 2004, to March 31, 2008. It will be submitted to the New York State Office for the Aging. It presents strategic objectives for programs funded through the OAA, New York State Community Services for the Elderly Program, Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program, and other sources for the period from April 1, 2007, to March 31, 2008.

The OAA requires the provision of nutritional, employment, legal, access to legal service, and in-home services; the Community Services for the Elderly Program and the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program require the provision of communitybased services for the frail elderly. The department works with its Senior Advisory Council, Interagency Councils on Aging, service consumers, voluntary agencies, advocacy and provider groups, and community boards to identify and address local needs. The allocation of departmental resources is determined by legislative mandates and directives, availability of funding, results of demographic analyses, assessment of unmet needs, recommendations from local communities, and the availability of services through other sources.

II. ASSESSING THE NEEDS OF THE CITY'S ELDERLY

The senior population in New York City is large and ethnically, culturally, and economically diverse. Older New Yorkers have broad and wide-ranging service needs. Needs assessment is the first step to ensure appropriate and effective services. The department identifies the needs of New York City's elderly through the following steps:

* the ongoing process of consultation with consumers, providers, advocates, and elected officials

* the analyses of changing demographic patterns

* the analyses of the potential impact of policy and legislative changes on older New Yorkers

A. The Changing Elderly Population

The results of the 2000 Census provide a foundation to determine the current and future needs of the elderly throughout the early years of the twenty-first century. …

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