PBS: NY Age Friendly Program Delays Need for Assisted Living

A program launched in New York City in 2009 to allow seniors to remain independent rather than seek institutional alternatives says it is seeing success after just a few years in operation. 

The initiative, Age-Friendly New York City, launched with $4 million in funding from several sources including the mayor’s office, City Council, New York Academy of Medicine and several grants, now counts 1,000 businesses under its umbrella and improved outcomes for New York residents who are remaining in their homes into their 80s and 90s. 

“What we’re really trying to do is change the culture of the city as a whole,” says Linda Gibbs, New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services in a recent segment by PBS on the program. “The world is fundamentally a changing place—we’re living longer, we’re living healthier and older New Yorkers now are here in numbers that have surpassed anything in history.”


The city now counts one in six of its population as seniors. Tracing the experience of one senior couple at ages 85 and 93, PBS highlights many of the services and benefits that are available under the program, which has effectively helped them remain in place rather than move to a senior care community. 

“Being able to get about is essential to staying out of assisted living,” Gibbs tells PBS. 


View the segment

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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