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Hofstra University Study Shows North Hempstead’s Project Independence has Positive Impact on Senior Lives

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Hofstra University Study Shows North Hempstead’s Project Independence has Positive Impact on Senior Lives
National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra evaluates Project Independence’s Programs and Activities

Westbury, NY
–Today, North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the North Hempstead Town Board welcomed Dr. Marc Silver of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University to announce the results from an 18-month study of North Hempstead’s Project Independence.

Project Independence is the Town of North Hempstead’s innovative ‘aging in place’ initiative, which is one of the few programs of its nature in the entire nation. One of its objectives is to allow seniors to stay in their homes longer by connecting them with local health care resources in addition to social, educational and recreational programs.

Dr. Silver said of the study, “Project Independence represents a relatively novel approach by providing, in the suburban context, a comprehensive array of social services to seniors. Our latest research findings indicate that Project Independence has a positive impact on seniors in the Town by increasing their personal sense of social psychological well-being, and by increasing seniors’ confidence that they will be able to remain in their homes for as long as they desire.”

“Project Independence helps to enable seniors to live as independently as possible,” said Supervisor Kaiman, who spearheaded the program back in 2009. “Our residents want to stay in their homes, and by utilizing programs offered by Project Independence such as our taxi transportation for food shopping and medical appointments or our visiting nurses, residents are able to do so.”

The study was accomplished using a questionnaire that was mailed to 370 random seniors in the Town between the ages of 62 and 99, who may or may not have had any relationship with, or knowledge of the Project Independence program. 198 usable responses were produced, and analyses indicated that Project Independence had a positive impact on the lives of seniors in the Town. The study was conducted using criteria that measured a respondents’ awareness of Project Independence programs, use of Project Independence programs and ability of Project Independence programs to aid respondents in their daily lives.

Findings revealed that Project Independence’s activities and services helped to increase senior residents’ sense of well-being, and made them more confident that they would be able to remain in their own homes, and meet daily challenges.

"The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University was pleased to once again provide an objective evaluation of a program that is clearly innovative and forward thinking and operated with great care and expertise by the Town of North Hempstead,” said Larry Levy, Executive Dean of the National Center of Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.

This was the third study of Project Independence completed by Hofstra University. The first two were done in 2010 and looked at the shopping and medical transportation programs. Responses were overwhelmingly positive; riders appreciated the ease of scheduling rides via the 311 system, the helpfulness of the cab drivers and the cost savings realized via the medical taxi program.

To take advantage of Project Independence and the wide range of programs and services that it offers, please call 311 in the Town of North Hempstead. For information for those outside of the Town call 516-869-6311.

Click Here to view the full study

Click Here to view the PowerPoint presentation

Dr. Marc Silver addresses the North Hempstead Town Board during a Special Work Session on July 29th.
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