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The city wants to make parts of the Northeast Bronx a little more “age friendly” to local seniors.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilman James Vacca joined community advocates last Friday to launch the first Aging Improvement District in the borough. The idea is to bring area businesses and service providers together to enhance services for local seniors in such areas as housing, transportation and health services.
“We’re trying to make it better for all of you to get around this community and to make it safer for seniors,” Vacca told about two dozen senior citizens gathered at the Sue Ginsberg Senior Center in Pelham Parkway.
Vacca decided to start an Aging Improvement District earlier this year and formed a task force to work with seniors to identify critical issues and areas that needed improvement. Aging Improvement Districts in Brooklyn and Manhattan have resulted in such perks as senior-only swimming hours at public pools, wider aisles in stores, and more outdoor seating outside neighborhood businesses.
The Bronx program is the fourth such district in the city. It covers the Pelham Parkway, Pelham Bay, Country Club, City Island, Throggs Neck, Allerton and Morris Park neighborhoods - all of which are home to a large number of seniors.
“We want to make this a better, easier, more respectful place for seniors,” Quinn said.
“And it’s not just about healthcare, but we’ll be taking a look at all the places you visit regularly,” added Dori Block of the New York Academy of Medicine, which partnered with the city to launch the effort.
Walter Sobel, 79, a local senior and Holocaust survivor, called the program “fantastic.”
“It’s going to be great, not only for me, but for everyone,” he said.
Josephine Sciucca agreed.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Sciucca, who frequents the senior center. “I think it will be really helpful for seniors who need these services.
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