Archive for the tag 'seniors'

A traditional Passover seder plate. Source: Wikipedia

A traditional Passover seder plate. Source: Wikipedia

For the fifth year in a row, the Be Proud Foundation will host its annual Passover Food Distribution Event, tomorrow, April 10, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Aqua Health Rehabilitation Center, 2753 Coney Island Avenue.

More than 600 people of limited means will join Be Proud and its friends at the annual event. Recipients will be able to take home kosher food packages for Passover, including matzah, the “bread of affliction” and symbol of salvation and deliverance.

This event is made possible because of the generosity of private donations.

“Passover is the best time for us to show that we care about our neighbors. By giving out food we are going to share our happiness with the people who count on us more than ever in this current economic climate,” said Raisa Chernina, executive director of the Be Proud Foundation.

State Senator Marty Golden. Source:

State Senator Marty Golden. Source:

State Senator Martin J. Golden is initiating a series of new holiday events he calls “Holiday Senior Festivals,” which will feature the participation of numerous city and state agencies, free blood pressure screenings, entertainment and lunch, raffles, as well as a free shredding truck parked outside to shred old and sensitive documents, and a tree trimming.

Invited governmental agencies include Aging, Sanitation, Environmental Protection, Finance, the Fire Department, Parks and the Police Department. The events will also serve as collection sites to support the Toys for Tots campaign. Letters and cards can also be brought to the events, which will then be mailed to our American servicemen and women overseas.

The events, which are free and open to the public, are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, December 18 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at St. Francis Cabrini, 16th Avenue (entrance) between 86th Street and Benson Avenue
  • Thursday, December 19 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Auditorium, 9511 Fourth Avenue
  • Friday, December 20 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at St. Edmund’s Preparatory High School, 2474 Ocean Avenue

For more, contact Senator Golden’s district office at (718) 238-6044 or email

Source: Hu Totya via Wikimedia Commons

Source: Hu Totya via Wikimedia Commons

As seniors prepare for another winter, many in homes battered last year by Superstorm Sandy, fire safety becomes a huge concern. According to a press release, the FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit will be installing smoke, carbon monoxide and hard-of-hearing detectors, as well as performing in-home safety reviews, for elderly and disabled residents whose homes had to be repaired following the events of Sandy.

The program comes courtesy of a $590,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security and is earmarked for residents living within the realms of Community Boards 13, 15 and 18. The release described the reasons behind the program and how it might save lives:

With the cold weather season upon us, so many of us depend upon having heat in our homes to keep us warm, but with home-heating equipment such as portable space heaters and fireplaces, come certain risks. The possibility of fire increases by 33 percent during the winter months of December, January and February, with the FDNY reporting that fire remains the major causes of death in the home.

There were 106 fires attributed to Superstorm Sandy last year – 21 of which occurred during the powerful October 29, 2012 storm, and 85 fires in the months following, which were attributed to damage from the storm.

If you would like an installation in your home, you can call (718) 281-3872.

Thanks to Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz for providing the information on the program and the service. The assemblyman has encouraged constituents with any questions to contact his office too at (718) 743-4078.

Stay safe, everybody.

Source: dssrtbabe / Flickr

Source: dssrtbabe / Flickr

Area seniors looking to stay in shape but don’t want to pay the high costs associated with gym memberships can rejoice!

The City Parks Foundation welcomes all New Yorkers, 60 and over, to participate in CityParks Seniors Fitness for six weeks at Marine Park. All activities will take place twice a week now through November 1. Participants are encouraged to maintain regular attendance to maximize health benefits. All equipment and instruction is provided free of charge.

The fall 2013 season of free fitness programs will offer free tennis and yoga instruction. The schedule is below:

  • Tennis: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. at the Marine Park tennis courts, Avenue S and East 32nd Street
  • Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. at the Marine Park Nature Center, Avenue U and East 32nd Street

CityParks Seniors Fitness has served over 5,000 participants since it began in 2006 and aims to keep neighborhood parks a great place for community activity.  The program encourages New Yorkers to maximize the health benefits of staying active at every age. Even in moderate amounts, exercise can help participants feel better, maintain or lose weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and minimize the symptoms of arthritis.

The schedule is subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule, visit For more information about City Parks Foundation’s free Seniors Fitness programs, call the Sports Department at (718) 760–6999. You can also follow City Parks Foundation on Facebook and Twitter at @CPFNYC.


The NYPD has issued a Missing Senior Notification for Julius Morales, a 74-year-old man last seen on Monday at 8 p.m.

Morales, described as 5’5″ and weighing 200 lbs, has white hair and a mustache, as well as brown eyes. The police say he reportedly suffers from dementia.

He was last seen near Mermaid Avenue and West 36th Street.

If you see Morales or have any information regarding his whereabouts, please contact (800) 577-TIPS (8477) or visit NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM.

Source: changeschanging / Flickr

Source: changeschanging / Flickr

City Council candidate Ari Kagan wants to bring back the x29 bus service. The line, which ran from Stillwell Avenue and Surf Avenue to 57th Street and Madison Avenue in Midtown, was eliminated in 2010 in a series of MTA cuts.

As we’ve previously reported, the x29 service met the ax when the MTA was in the midst of a $40 million cutting spree. Kagan admonished the MTA in his remarks in a press release.

“The people of southern Brooklyn, many of whom commute over an hour to get to work in Manhattan, deserve better from the MTA,” said Kagan. “City Hall and the MTA, for years now, have made it regular practice to penalize those families who live and commit to the areas they can afford to live in. New York City is more than Manhattan and trendy Brooklyn neighborhoods close to Manhattan. We are taxpayers, and deserve services from the City too.”

Kagan also stressed that the lack of express bus service has impacted the disabled and elderly.

“Here in southern Brooklyn, our train stations are elevated. Not everyone is capable of walking up multiple flights of stairs to access the subway. These women and men relied on the X29 to get to work, or a doctor’s appointments, in Manhattan. They deserve better from the MTA,” Kagan said.

Temperatures are expected to float around the 100-degree mark throughout the current work week, with temperatures hitting as high as 102 degrees today. While rain is forecast to hit Friday, the temperatures won’t really begin to drop until Sunday, when it finally goes below 90 degrees.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for the entire city. It currently lasts until midnight tonight, but will likely be extended throughout the week. These conditions are dangerous to health, and you should avoid strenuous activity. People without air conditioning, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions are most at risk.

Be a good neighbor; if you live next door to an elderly or disabled person, or even just a family – particularly one with young children – who do not own an air conditioner, be sure to check in on them.

Additionally, the city has opened cooling centers. Most local centers are open until 4:00 p.m. today. Here are the five closest centers to the Sheepshead Bay Road area.

  • Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Senior Center – 60 West End Avenue
  • Senior Alliance Neighborhood Senior Center – 161 Corbin Place
  • Jay-Harama Neighborhood Senior Center – 2600 Ocean Avenue
  • Shorefront Neighborhood Senior Center – 3300 Coney Island Avenue
  • The Bay Neighborhood Senior Center – 3643 Nostrand Avenue

More centers can be found using this Office of Emergency Management web tool.

Don’t forget the libraries are air conditioned, or you can always sit back with a glass of iced coffee or compote at one of our local restaurants, check out the movie theater, or just meander around Loehmann’s to keep cool.

And if you plan on opening up the fire hydrants to let your kids cool down, make sure to do it legally by requesting a free spray cap from the FDNY.

Finally, review this list of symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion to make sure you know the signs and don’t overwork yourself.

Stay cool, readers. It’s going to be a long week!

East 14th and Ave. Z

East 14th and Ave. Z

In New York City, the streets are dangerous. If you are young and have all your faculties, sometimes you forget how important it is to be able to sprint or hop at the last second to dodge a speeding car or step out of the way of a bicycle. These feats of agility are not always an option to many seniors, and as a result, they are most at risk for getting killed on the streets. A study released by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign revealed that people over 60 years old are disproportionately at risk of being killed in collisions with vehicles while walking.

The key findings by the report paint clearly how in danger seniors are when they go out walking:3

  • 413 older pedestrians (60 years and older) have been killed in collisions with cars in our region from 2009 through 2011.
  • Older pedestrians in the tri-state region represent 18.7 percent of the population, but account for 33.3 percent of all pedestrian fatalities.
  • Older pedestrians in the tri-state region are more than 2.2 times as likely to be killed in a collision with a vehicle than those under 60.
  • Almost 60 percent of older pedestrian fatalities occurred on arterial roads [the most dangerous roads].

For Brooklyn specifically, 51 seniors died in accidents between 2009-2011, tying us with Queens for the highest number of deaths in the Downstate area. More importantly, that boils down to a fatality rate of 4.05 per 100,000 seniors, making the area the 8th most dangerous spot for seniors in the entire Tri-State area. Read that again: out of every 100,000 seniors living in Brooklyn, more than four will die after being hit by a vehicle. That could be your grandma, your grandpa, an aunt or uncle or a parent. Or you.

The good news here is that the number of seniors killed in collisions has actually decreased since the last study was conducted, covering the years 2006-2008. Brooklyn was ranked the 4th most dangerous in that last study. Still, seniors are still getting killed at a disproportionate rate to the rest of the population.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign has suggested a number of general solutions to address the problem, such as installing more curb ramps, making sure cross-walks are well marked, increasing pedestrian crossing islands and installing pedestrian countdown clocks.

However the problem gets tackled, the number one thing everyone can do to reduce street fatalities is to drive responsibly and carefully, an otherwise obvious observation that Southern Brooklyn drivers can’t seem to wrap their heads around.

Source: JohnnyBarker / Flickr

Source: JohnnyBarker / Flickr

Sheepshead Bites would like to congratulate Jeanine Grimaldi for getting her essay, “In Grandmother’s Alzheimer’s, Another Lesson in Family,” published in the New York Times’ From Our Children special feature. Jeanine is an occasional contributor to Sheepshead Bites, penning several essays on Alzheimer’s disease including one on Alzheimer’s Awareness month and another on Brooklyn’s fight against Alzheimer’s. She also organizes an Alzheimer’s Walk to raise funds to fight the debilitating condition.

Jeanine’s new essay, which you can read by clicking here, focuses on the struggle she and her family have in dealing with her grandmother’s battle with disease. It is a touching and lovely piece that reflects on the strength of her family and the love for her grandmother, who is a Sheepshead Bay native. Here’s the first couple of paragraphs:

“I don’t live here. This is not my house!”

My grandmother clutched the insulated lunch bag with her name written in black marker and looked through the van window at the small brick house where she has lived for over 50 years in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

It was around 7 on a Friday evening, when my family got a call from the van dispatcher. The driver had picked up my grandmother at the senior center she attends each weekday, as usual, but when the van arrived at her house she refused to get off. The home care aide waiting for her couldn’t persuade her to come inside, either. My grandmother Mary, 83, was getting agitated, and so were the other elderly passengers.

My grandmother is one of more than five million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes these patients experience sun-downing, a period of increased confusion and restlessness toward the end of the day, and my grandmother was having one of these episodes. It is hard to know how to handle these situations, but it is best to have family around because patients can say upsetting things or even become physical.

Great work, Jeanine. Keep up the good fight!

Seal at World War 2 Memorial in Washington D.C. (Source: wallyg via flickr).

Seal at World War 2 Memorial in Washington D.C. (Source: wallyg via flickr)

A new project, dubbed The Listening Project: Midwood, traces the largely unrecorded history of Midwood seniors to the days of the Great Depression, World War II and beyond. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is reporting that the project brings to life the history of Brooklyn that is otherwise lost in the face of larger historical events.

The project was put together by documentary maker and Windsor Terrace resident Dempsey Rice. Rice interviewed seniors ranging from ages 70s to 90s and captured their memories of at a time when Midwood was mainly dominated by non-Orthodox Jews, some Italian Americans and Irish Catholics. The Daily Eagle describes the history of the neighborhood’s evolution and why people move there:

As these interviews bear out, many old-time Midwood residents originally came from the rundown tenement districts of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg. Milly Barnathan recalls her early childhood on the Lower East Side: “We would look out the window and see rats in the yard. The bathrooms were in the hall, and when I had to go to the bathroom at night, I’d have to wake my mother up,” she says. When she moved to Brooklyn, she says, “Things got better.”

The project also captures what employment opportunities were like for women during the days and following World War 2:

Employment opportunities for women were limited. Simona Sperling declares, “I was always the secretarial type,” and says she had never wanted to be anything but a secretary. Her most valuable work experience, she says, came when she worked as a secretary for a lawyer and learned many valuable tools about law and business that helped her in everyday life.

A more unusual career path was taken by Stephanie Stone, who was first a “camera girl,” taking customers’ photos in nightclubs, and then a singer and pianist at the Nut Club, a tourist bar  in the West Village. During World War II, she says, “New York was wide open,” with clubs and bars open until 3 or 4 in the morning.

Interesting stuff. To visit the Listening Project’s website, you can do so by clicking here.

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