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this is the summary of responses I received after I asked for your suggestions
Last week I invited residents to share thoughts with me on way in which all levels of government could be more responsive to senior citizen concerns.
I received lots of feedback from residents and spoke at the public hearing the County Office of the Aging sponsored. I'm impressed with that office --they have helped many seniors in the town with numerous problems -big and small. They are informed, helpful and really care. Here are the concerns highlighted by residents who called me or wrote to me: I will be sharing these ideas with our state and county lawmakers.
● Aging in place is near impossible with inflation, taxes and cost of living/maintenance/repairs. Need more support for middle class people who might not qualify for Medicaid, etc. just by a small amount and can’t manage when they’ve paid into the system their whole lives.
● Subsidies needed for home improvement for seniors who may not qualify for existing programs but still can’t afford to do the work required to stay safely in home.
● Gradual scale for financial assistance (for aides, assisted living),similar to scales for affordable housing. Would enable the frail elderly to live their final years in comfort and with dignity..
● Assistance in securing home repair/maintenance services for seniors who can pay but can't easily find contractors. Perhaps - a list of contractors who would provide less expensive home repair/maintenance services to the elderly.
● Establish list of businesses that can provide senior with discounts for plumbers, pest control, lawn work, etc. A county wide list
● More Bus stops should have enclosures and benches. ● More benches should be installed on sidewalks and parks everywhere so seniors can take breaks on their walks.
● Reduce school tax by½forseniors; or another requested more specifically reduction or elimination of tax for the elderly who have lived in county for 20+ years. Another suggestion: freeze the taxes a senior pays after they reach a certain age: Example--if a senior is 80 or older and owns their home their future tax bills would stay the same for life.
● Help fund affordable assisted living ● Help fund home health aides
● More affordable housing for seniors. Need for affordable senior apartments.
● Program that pairs seniors with high schoolers for games, stories, computers support, etc.
● Allow building conversions for in-laws to allow families to stay together ● Grant tax credits to those caring for senior family members at home
● Provide seniors with more help getting transportation to doctors, supermarkets. Some doctors require a person not a taxi to bring one home after some procedures (colonoscopy)
● Computer-centric nature of most program applications: seniors often are not tech-adept and may not even own home computers or smart phones. The onerousness of navigating tech, document uploads, etc is very difficult and stressful (or impossible!) for many seniors. They often need intensive support from someone like a caseworker assigned just to them to help them navigate government program and services effectively to get the help they need.
PAUL FEINERGreenburgh Town Supervisor