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Take Charge!

Take Charge!: The Complete Guide to Senior Living in New York City

John Vinton
Copyright Date: 1999
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Take Charge!
    Book Description:

    Publisher Description not available

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-4509-0
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. Choices in Life Enrichment

    • 1 Arts and Entertainment
      (pp. 2-5)

      Most neighborhood senior centers and libraries present free daytime events, including live performances; classes in art, writing, and acting; videos and films; and readings, talks, and discussion groups. Calendars of these events are available at each center and library. The libraries of New York City also provide books-by-mail services (see “Library Books for the Homebound” in chapter 7).

      For the locations of senior centers: 212/442-1000,

      The Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) sponsors a wide variety of Sunday arts workshops at Intermediate School 41, 100 West 77th Street, Manhattan.

      For information: 212/273-5304 (Sundays, 212/579-5748)

      SAGE is a...

    • 2 Recreation and Travel
      (pp. 6-22)

      P&R operates 25 recreation centers for people of all ages. Some of these centers host senior clubs, senior aerobics classes, old-timers basketball, and other seniors-only programs. Most centers also host senior-friendly activities such as billiards, shuffleboard, Ping-Pong, table games, quilting, arts and crafts, bingo, yoga, tai-chi, swimming, sing-alongs, computer instruction, and ballroom, African, folk, and line dancing.

      For information about P&R recreation centers and their programs:

      Bronx 718/430-1838

      Brooklyn 718/965-8995

      Manhattan 212/360-8131

      Queens 718/263-4121

      Staten Island 718/390-8023

      P&R also operates four seniors-only recreation centers:

      Bronx Owen Dolen Senior Center, 718/822-4683

      Brooklyn Fort Hamilton Senior Center, 718/439-4296

      Manhattan J. Hood Wright...

    • 3 Learning Opportunities
      (pp. 23-29)

      Most of the city’s neighborhood senior centers and public libraries host free talks, classes, discussion groups, readings, and other learning opportunities. Calendars of these events are available at each center and library. New York City libraries also provide books-by-mail services (see “Library Books for the Homebound” in chapter 7).

      For the locations of senior centers: 212/442-1000, www.

      SeniorNet is a national not-for-profit membership organization for people age 55 and older. It sponsors computer classes for beginners and advanced users at six senior centers in the city. The classes last three to six weeks. Tuition ($30–$50) varies by senior...

    • 4 Job Training, Employment, and Volunteer Opportunities
      (pp. 30-37)

      Four national programs funded by the federal government operate in New York City:

      1. “Title V,” which refers to the Senior Community Service Employment Program authorized under the Older Americans Act

      2. the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA)

      3. the Foster Grandparents Program, a division of the National Senior Service Corps (NSSC)

      4. the Senior Companions Program, also a division of NSSC

      For information about NSSC: 202/606-5000 (TDD 202/565-2799),

      This program operates in all five boroughs and is available to people age 55 and older. In 1999 the annual income limit was $10,065 for a single person, $13,565...

    • 5 Preventing Abuse and Crime
      (pp. 38-51)

      1. name calling, threats, humiliation, indifference, and other forms of emotional pain

      2. slapping, cutting, burning, pushing, and other forms of physical pain

      3. withholding food, water, medicine, eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures, and other necessities

      4. confining someone to home, locking him/her in a room, or tying him/her to a bed or chair

      5. preventing visits from family and friends

      6. stealing cash, credit cards, and personal belongings

      7. sexual assault

      8. abandonment

      1. anger over caretaking responsibilities

      2. unreasonable demands and abusive behavior by the patient

      3. retaliation for past grievances

      4. greed

      1. a family history of neglect...

  5. Choices in Housing and Long-Term Care

    • 6 Standard Housing
      (pp. 53-89)

      Most housing in New York City is nonsupportive—that is, it is built and managed for the general population and does not provide support services such as housekeeping or personal and medical care. However, many governmental and private programs help seniors who live in nonsupportive housing to meet their changing needs and maintain independent lifestyles. Such programs provide home repairs and modifications, financial assistance for fuel and utility bills, safety inspections, tax breaks, and rent increase exemptions. (Seniors in nonsupportive housing can also take advantage of the home care and community support services described in chapter 7.)

      Below-market rents are...

    • 7 Home Care and Community Support Services
      (pp. 90-127)

      Home care provides varying degrees of personal assistance and medical care. For people with serious disabilities who wish to remain at home, the use of home care services may make it possible for them to remain in the community instead of being transferred to an adult or nursing home. Home care has the additional advantage of being less expensive than institutional care. The cost factor is especially important for couples who need to pay for two separate housing facilities if one spouse lives in an institution and the other lives in the community.

      A Consumer’s Guide to Home Care and...

    • 8 Supportive and Long-Term Care Housing
      (pp. 128-153)

      Senior housing that incorporates support services falls into three main categories:

      1.Congregate housingprovides separate apartments or cottages for each resident plus group services such as meals served in a dining room and social activities. Housekeeping and transportation services may be included in the monthly charge. Varying levels of personal care and medical care may also be included; if not, they are usually available for additional fees.

      2.Personal-care housingprovides rooms or apartments, meals, housekeeping, laundry, supervision, and nonmedical personal care such as help with bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and mobility.

      3.Medical-and personal-care housingprovides nursing and...

    • 9 Paying for Long-Term Care
      (pp. 154-169)

      Most of what is called “long-term care” is not medical care. It does not require the skilled medical services of doctors, nurses, home health aides, and therapists. Instead, it consists mostly of help with routine day-to-day activities such as housekeeping, shopping, cooking, eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and mobility. Unpaid family and friends are the chief providers of such care. When long-term care is provided by professionals, it is paid for from a person’s (or family’s) private funds and from the sources described below.

      Long Term Care: A Guide to Planning for Your Future.Available from the Health Insurance Information Counseling...

  6. Healthcare Choices

    • 10 Healthcare Programs
      (pp. 171-209)

      Medicare is the national health insurance program for people age 65 and older, the disabled, and some 200,000 people with end-stage kidney disease. About 39 million people are covered. In 1997 the average beneficiary nationwide received about $5,000 worth of Medicare services.

      The benefits under Medicare are grouped into two sections: Part A and Part B. Part A is paid for by a 1.4 percent tax on all wages (2.9 percent for the self-employed). This money is held in the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund. Part B is paid for partly by monthly premiums (25 percent) and partly by general...

    • 11 Self-Help Healthcare
      (pp. 210-253)

      Most people in their 60s enjoy good health. Those who develop serious disabilities usually do so only after they reach their mid-70s. The most frequent health problems in late life are arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, hearing loss, and diabetes. The following information will help you maintain good health and find healthcare resources if problems occur.

      Older Adults’ Health and Age-Related Changes: Reality Versus Myth.Available free from the American Psychological Association, 202/336-5700

      Successful Aging.Available for sale from Pantheon Books, 800/733-3000

      Daily physical activity is fundamental to well-being. Whether light or strenuous, exercise reduces the structural and functional...

  7. Financial and Legal Choices

    • 12 Income Programs
      (pp. 255-282)

      Social Security is an insurance program that provides retirement, disability, and life insurance benefits for most U.S. wage-earners and their families. In 1999 the average monthly benefit for a retired worker is $780. The maximum monthly benefit for a worker retiring in 1999 at age 65 is $1,360.

      Some 4.4 percent of wage-earners are exempt from the system, principally federal employees hired before 1984, railroad workers, and members of religious organizations who have taken a vow of poverty.

      Retirement benefits are available to wage-earners and their dependents if the wage earner:

      1. worked part-time or full-time for at least 10...

    • 13 Money Management
      (pp. 283-325)

      You have four basic choices in the ownership and management of your financial and other property:

      1. maintain total and exclusive ownership and management of some or all of your property

      2. share with others the ownership and management of some or all of your property

      3. retain exclusive ownership but transfer to others the management of some or all of your property

      4. transfer ownership of some or all of your property to a trust and specify whatever management arrangements you wish, including self- or shared-management

      In cases of incapacity two other possibilities exist:

      5. representative payee (a person...

    • 14 Legal Services
      (pp. 326-331)

      The first time many people need to see a lawyer is after the age of 60. The concerns seniors need help with include:

      estate planning and administration, including wills, trusts, gifts, life insurance, and other means of transferring and distributing assets

      planning for possible incapacity, including advance medical directives, healthcare proxies, and powers of attorney

      entitlement programs, pensions, and benefits, including eligibility criteria, ways to maximize benefits, and the filing of claims and appeals

      life, medical, and long-term care insurance, including advice on coverage and the filing of claims and appeals

      long-term care, including the types of care, placement in...

  8. Choices at the End of Life

    • 15 End-of-Life Healthcare
      (pp. 333-339)

      Your end-of-life choices include who will make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself and what kinds of care and/or treatment you do or do not want to receive.

      Advance directives are instructions for healthcare workers and others about how you wish to be cared for. They take effect if you are unable to provide this information for yourself when it is needed.

      There are three kinds of advance directive: a healthcare proxy, a living will, and a do-not-resuscitate order. The laws governing advance directives vary by state. If you regularly spend time in more than one...

    • 16 Assisted Death and Suicide
      (pp. 340-343)

      Do-not-resuscitate orders and the removal of life support systems allow death to occur sooner than it might otherwise. These passive methods of hastening death are legal and frequently used. To actively hasten death with drugs, gas, or other means is illegal in New York State but sometimes used in secret on behalf of people who suffer from catastrophic and incurable medical conditions.

      Information and opinions on assisted death are available from:

      Choice in Dying, 212/366-5540, DeathNET, deathnet/

      Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization, ergo/

      The Hemlock Society, 800/247-7421,

      The International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force,



    • 17 Disposal of Remains
      (pp. 344-359)

      Three procedures are required by law when death occurs: the filing of a death certificate with the city’s Department of Health, proper disposal of the remains, and a legally valid distribution of the deceased’s property.

      A death that occurs in New York City must be reported to the Department of Health within 48 hours. If the deceased was alone at the time of death, the report must be filed within 48 hours of discovery of the remains. The report document is called a “certificate of death.”

      If the death is from natural causes and occurs in a hospital or nursing...

    • 18 Distribution of Property
      (pp. 360-370)

      The only way to safeguard your wishes for the distribution of your money and personal possessions is to plan the distribution now while you are alive. (Professionals in the field call this “estate planning.”) Proper planning helps ensure that your preferences for distribution are honored. It also saves money, time, and other hardships for beneficiaries. Planning is essential for those who want to leave money and property to friends, charities, and domestic partners.

      Planning can include (1) gifts made while living, (2) shared (or “joint”) ownership of property, (3) “payable-on-death” bank accounts, (4) instructions contained in a will, and 5)...

  9. Appendix: Multilingual Help and Informations
    (pp. 371-386)
  10. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 387-394)
  11. Index
    (pp. 395-400)
  12. About the Author
    (pp. 401-402)