• Last Friday the 36th Congressional District’s Senior Action Committee met at the Grace Harewood Senior Center on the edge of Bed Stuy and Clinton Hill in Brooklyn. About a hundred Seniors enjoyed home baked breakfast as they listened to speakers working to build something that’s coming to be known as an Age Friendly Community.

    First came an explanation of Medicaid and Medicare eligibility. Seniors were able to clarify some complicated questions about eligibility and benefits provided by Medicare, which supports Americans who are over 65 years old or disabled; and Medicaid, which provides supplementary assistance to low income Americans (click here for more resources).

    Then came the speaker who brought the house down. She was Brenda Watts-Larkins, educator, activist, born and bred Bed Stuy resident, and newly minted Ambassador with the Age Friendly New York City initiative.

    Ms. Watts-Larkins talked about her 88 year old mother, who was diagnosed with MS in the 1970’s and has been able to remain at home ever since, supported by family caregiving.

    Then she reminded us that 12% of Bed Stuy residents are 65 years old, and riffed on how the community should accommodate Seniors with improvements to infrastructure, transportation, business, and continuing education.

    She went on to talk about how our ‘Seasoned Citizens’ can unite to support the next generation.

    “Talk to your babies,” she begged. “Talk to your grandchildren.” She talked about how intergenerational communication can help prepare today’s youth for the challenges of the world, and keep them away from trouble.

    “Intergenerational…that’s right!” one of the Seniors affirmed.

    Ms. Watts-Larkins got a standing ovation. It looks like the Age Friendly Community Ambassador program is on the right track!

    So what does an age friendly community look like to you? Share your thoughts here:

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    This entry was posted on Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 6:38 pm and is filed under Policy & Business, Stories & Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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