For Immediate Release Media Contacts: Collin Nash and Sid Nathan
Project Independence Meets with Members of Mineola Community in Anticipation of New Satellite Office
January 19, 2012 (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead – As Project Independence, North Hempstead’s groundbreaking “aging in place” initiative, continues to expand its reach across the Town, Supervisor Jon Kaiman hosted an informational session last week to get feedback, shed light on the program and pave the way for the opening of the new Mineola satellite office.
The projected February opening of the Mineola satellite office will bring the number of Project Independence locations to five, which also include Great Neck, Port Washington, Roslyn, and New Hyde Park.
“We really value your input…your suggestions are crucial in helping us improve,” Supervisor Kaiman told attendees, made up primarily of Mineola residents and community group leaders. “Criticism is not always a bad thing. It often helps us realize what we’re doing well and what areas we most need to focus on, so that we can best meet the needs of the community.”
Project Independent’s new Mineola office, which the Town is leasing from the Jewish Association for Services to the Aged, is scheduled to open on February 5th. It will be staffed by both part-time nurses and a part-time social worker. According to Evelyn Roth, commissioner of North Hempstead’s Department of Services for the Aging, staff will be responsible for home visits and counseling, assessments, support group services, and setting up community education programs.
“I am extremely pleased that residents of Mineola and Williston Park will be able to utilize the many services provided with this program,” said Councilman Angelo P. Ferrara, who represents the 3rd Legislative District of North Hempstead.
With the Town’s senior population growing—residents aged 75-84 increased 40% while those older than 85 increased 60% according to the last national census—the Town developed Project Independence to help support and empower seniors by providing an array of services through partnerships with government, service providers, businesses and the local community.
By simply dialing 311, a resident can connect with call-takers who will help them find answers to a particular question, track down information or get access to valuable services such as health screenings, immunizations and information about managing medications. Project Independence also offers caregiver support, social and recreational activities, support groups, as well as volunteer opportunities.
The Supervisor also spoke about the recent collaboration between Project Independence and various cab companies throughout North Hempstead to establish a town-wide transportation program for seniors. Under their current agreement, seniors can call 311 to schedule a taxi to pick them up and drop them off at little cost to the passenger. According to Kaiman, since this exchange allows the Town to gradually phase out their private fleet of buses, “it will ultimately save taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars”.
The ultimate goal of Project Independence is to set up a network of eight locations throughout North Hempstead. In addition to the Mineola office, the Town is also in the process of creating a hub in Westbury, which will open once construction of the new community center there is finished later this year.
There’s even talk of expanding the program throughout New York State and possibly beyond. “This can be a national model for dealing with senior populations,” said Supervisor Kaiman. “By helping people age in place, here’s an opportunity for the government to truly give back to those who helped make our community such a great place to live.”
Supervisor Jon Kaiman speaks to the Mineola community about Project Independence’s new Mineola satellite office.
Madeline Maffetore AARP, Manny Grillo, Commander of Mineola VFW Post 1305. (Standing L to R) Dave Keefe, Sgt. John Grieschen, NCPD 3rd pct., Nancy Gaines, Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Ruth Kasdan, Leisure and Golden Age clubs, Nora and Mike Coniglio, VP & Pres. Mineola Leisure Club, Joanne Fitzgerald, Golden Age and Leisure Clubs, TNH receiver of Taxes Charley Berman attend a meeting on Project Independence’s new Mineola satellite office.