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Seniors Flock to Cortlandt 'Spring Check Up'

CORTLANDT, N.Y. – A well-attended “Senior Spring Check Up” held in the Morabito Community Center in Cortlandt highlighted how difficult many professionals and seniors said it can be for seniors to access information about service providers.

“That’s why I am here today, because I don’t think so,” said Dee Jackson, a Peekskill resident, about whether there was enough information available to seniors about service providers. “I have Medicare and I’m looking for something to go along with it.”

Penny Lou Lyons, a Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam nurse, agreed that the availability of programming and the accessibility of information are often two separate issues.

Valorie Joy Promisel, an elder care lawyer for the last 25 years, said seniors have difficulty accessing information.

“They don’t do computers,” she said, and added that some may procrastinate learning about complicated health care choices and legal issues until a crisis.

“For an elder care market, the rules have changed so dramatically,” said Promisel. “The mature market doesn’t like to change. It’s really important, the information, but a lot of times they wait until a crisis.”

She said procrastination can be a senior’s worst enemy, because problems can drastically limit options that planning could have provided.

“Seniors, they feel their life have gone by and you really have to go knock on their door to get the word out,” said Jack Lim, retired president of the Mid-Hudson’s Chapter of the Public Employees Federation. Lim, himself a senior, said seniors can feel isolated and depression is a common problem.

Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson) said his office sponsored the health fair in Cortlandt.

“It’s really tough for the seniors to get to the other side of the county,” he said, adding that his senior advisory committee told him it was difficult for northern seniors to drive to White Plains to the County Center where similar events are held.

Ball said programs like the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) should not be cut and that providing more programming to help seniors age in place can cut costs incurred to the state by nursing homes.  

The “Soring Check Up” was attended by nearly 100 seniors and dozens of service providers as varied as ShopRite grocery stores, the Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley and many assisted living and nursing home facilities. The Hudson Valley Hospital Center co-sponsored the event with Ball.

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