Deb Gordon’s guest was Karol Tapias, Associate Executive Director of LiveOn NY, which strives to improve the lives of older New Yorkers, many of whom are facing economic insecurity, and do not avail themselves of the benefits to which they are entitled.
LiveOn NY works with a network of non-profit member organizations to ensure that older New Yorkers have support with these challenges and do not have to face them alone.
Ms. Tapias discussed the many ways LiveOn NY advocates for seniors as their voice on relevant issues including medicare, hunger, policy change, and affordable housing.
“We know that older adults really struggle to access affordable housing…our mission around that work is about the preservation of affordable housing, helping people to remain at home,” said Tapias.
Another important issue that LiveOn NY focuses on is elder abuse, which is widespread and under-reported.
“We see physical abuse, which is obviously very concrete and we all kind of can understand that very easily, but there are so many other elements to it – the financial is a huge piece, that is so widespread that it would make you cry to think about the scope of it,” said Tapias.
“And we see emotional abuse, abandonment, sexual abuse – things that people don’t even think about when you want to talk about seniors, but it’s all happening, and it really does need a systems approach to address it.”
Spotlighted LiveOn NY’s efforts to increase awareness about a new program by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to offer an easier way for older New Yorkers living on a fixed income to access healthy food.
The pilot program which will roll out in select communities this summer, will allow those receiving SNAP benefits to purchase their groceries online and have them delivered to their homes via FreshDirect.
Ms. Tapias discussed the positive impact this program would have on older New Yorkers who are homebound with limited mobility, especially those in urban areas where there is a void of healthy, nutritious food.
LiveOn NY will be hosting their Annual Spring Gala Dinner on April 24th at Chelsea Piers to raise funds to continue their work to help seniors in need. The event will feature a performance from the show, Alive! 55+ and Kickin’!
For more information, to volunteer, or to learn if you are eligible for SNAP or SCRIE (The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption) call 347-815-5930 or visit www.liveon-ny.org