At our four Older Adult Centers (OACs) we provide thousands of older adults on Manhattan's West Side with a great variety of activities, all designed with the goal of healthy aging. Center members are encouraged to be physically active, and we offer them many ways to keep moving: classes in yoga, strength training, salsa, tai chi, martial arts, qigong and walking clubs. Some of our seniors are frail and recovering from strokes or surgery. Others are very fit.
In addition to general fitness classes, we offer activities such as gardening, knitting, and art classes that help maintain and improve fine motor coordination. Brain aerobics, chess, computer classes, writing circles, and discussion groups keep people mentally active.
Many older Americans live alone, yet the benefits of socially engaging with other people are well known. People find companionship in our classes, meals, and activities such as parties, movies, board games, and sing-alongs.
Access to regular nutritious meals is another core service. Roughly 215,000 breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served annually at our four centers. Services are available to anyone 60 years of age, and meal and activities contributions are voluntary.
Our three supportive housing residences provide safe, permanent, affordable housing to people who were formerly homeless or living in sub-standard quarters. Social services are integrated into every aspect of our programs. Many of the people who live in our residences have persistent and serious medical problems. Although people can be as young as 55 to qualify for housing at our residential buildings, the actual age distribution is skewed towards seniors between the ages of 73 and 85. Negotiating medical care and interpreting medical information are a constant fact of life for older adults. After a serious ailment, a resident may require the help of health aides to continue living in one of our buildings.
Social workers on-site at our residences and centers provide counseling, case management and other support. Homeless seniors have access to showers in our Woodstock OAC, and are encouraged to participate in our activities and start the process of finding housing assistance.