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  Mission
 

HEALTH ADVOCATES for Older People, Inc. promotes safe and healthy aging through programs designed to facilitate independent living, physical well-being and greater social interaction.

 
  Background
 

Health Advocates for Older People, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) organization was founded in 1985 by a coalition of individuals and non-profit agencies to promote healthy aging. During its first five years it was involved in the establishment of clinics in the Bronx to provide preventive health care and promote wellness. In 1993 Health Advocates became aware of the increasing need for housing with supportive services for the growing aging population and developed Carnegie East House, a 104-unit non-profit assisted residence which was transitioned in 2007 to another non-profit organization. This allowed Health Advocates to return to its original focus on programs and services for a broader and more diverse, increasingly frail elderly population.

In April 2003 The Healthy Aging Program was developed to promote healthy aging through wellness programs and home safety assessments with start-up funding of $100,000 from the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation. Today the program is located in The Church of the Holy Trinity at 341 East 87th Street, where several of the programs take place, and currently serves more than 800 older adults living independently in the community.  Most participants are residents of Yorkville, East and West Harlem, Upper East Side, West Side and Queens. All programs are free.

The Healthy Aging Program promotes maintenance of physical and mental health through exercise classes,  wellness programs and home safety assessments, and by providing resources and practical support which help our neighborhood elderly to remain independent and in control of their aging process.  Regular activities, all free, are offered six days a week, 52 weeks a year at sites around the city.

Each year, we expand our reach by partnering with a wide-range of community groups and faith-based organizations. We remain flexible, adding new activities and programs as needs arise while at the same time continuing a core group of exercise classes and workshops that have proven to be effective in supporting the broad goals of healthy aging.  We focus on nutrition knowing that it plays an important role in health and wellness. Among the hallmarks of the Healthy Aging Program is that it offers a friendly and collaborative environment that attracts seniors who are still mobile and want to optimize their aging process. Our programs are all free of charge.  

Fall Prevention through home safety is a major focus. A comprehensive set of programs aim to provide information and resources to help elders avoid falls and the resulting loss of mobility and vitality that come as a result.  

Our Therapeutic Home Modification expert along with our intern and our social worker conduct Home Safety Assessment visits to individuals, and provide follow-up on achieving goals identified.  Home visits allow us to help individuals to make home organization plans and to assist in downsizing.  Our intern can provide important, direct assistance to elders who are working to implement these plans.  

As part of the Living Comfortably and Safely At Home program, we present forums to audiences on such subjects as Great Decorating Ideas for Aging in Place and Adapting Your Home for Independent Living.  

Through our network of partners around the city, Living Comfortably and Safely At Home workshops will be offered to a wide range of audiences. Downsizing workshops, also offered through our partners, more directly address clutter and the need to reduce possessions as time passes.  

An important adjunct to these services is our Equipment Exchange Program. Slightly used equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs and grab bars are donated to Health Advocates by members and families who no longer need them.  These items are then given to people who need them, at no cost.  This popular service grows each year, with 101 exchanges in 2014.  

A Volunteer Program was initiated in 2005 to provide a wide range of services to seniors, by escorting seniors to appointments, providing friendly visits, and support for the programs and in the office.  It harnesses the goodwill and energy of a committed group of volunteers who range in age from nine to ninety to provide a wide range of service to elders. 

   
 
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