New York’s Largest Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly Pivots to Serve Self-Isolating Participants During a Challenging 2020

BRONX, N.Y. (PRWEB) January 25, 2021

The Friends of CenterLight Foundation today announced that it was able to serve its members with new services and programming during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. The Friends of CenterLight Foundation is part of CenterLight Health System, which operates Teamcare, New York’s largest Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), and one of the oldest such programs in the United States.

CenterLight serves New York’s most vulnerable older adults. They comprise low-income seniors who would typically turn to CenterLight’s centers every day for services such as meals, recreation, medical care and transportation.

Each day, CenterLight delivers highly-personalized care to thousands of participants across the New York metropolitan area through the combined talents, expertise and dedication of its Interdisciplinary Team (IDT). The IDT includes but is not limited to a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a doctor, a social worker, a nurse, a therapeutic recreation specialist, a dietician, and IDT Manager at Teamcare. In 2020, the organization marked 100 years of serving New York seniors in need.

Help For Food Insecure Participants

In March, when the pandemic first struck New York, CenterLight was forced to close its centers to all activities except medical care. The Foundation worked to help pivot programming in a way that engaged members who remain in self-isolation.

The Foundation took over a center that was temporarily closed to its participants and re-configured it to create the Wallerstein Food pantry. This pantry was quickly stocked with dry goods, paper goods, pastas and cereals, canned soups, and fresh produce. Once a week, CenterLight’s staff would collect names of its members who had become food insecure due to the pandemic and deliver a week’s worth of food throughout New York City and Westchester County. The food is delivered via the transport vehicles that CenterLight would normally use to take members from their homes to the centers daily. This program continues, and the Foundation intends to keep it running throughout 2021.

Easing Isolation Among At-Risk Elderly

Aside from daily medical care, socializing and recreation is a critical part of the eldercare that members received daily when the centers were open. With participants home quarantining, the Foundation recognized and immediately acted upon the need to offer recreational experiences to help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Staff quickly began offering a 5-day a week program of virtual experiences for members to enjoy. These activities included: Together in Music, Guided Meditation, Sit and be Fit, Bingo, How to Make Chocolate Brownies, Book Club, Crafts Hours, Name that Tune, Yoga and Comedy Time. Each week, a new schedule for virtual activities is created and sent to all members and staff

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