Successes of FY2016
LiveOn NY’s mission is to champion the rights of older adults to make New York a better place to live. Founded in 1979, we began as an organization dedicated to advocating for policy change to further the interests of senior centers and agencies in New York City. Today, we are at the forefront of shaping the future of aging by developing new ideas that take the form of advocacy, policy and program development and incubation. We have a membership base of over 100 organizations that provide more than 800 community based programs, which range from individual community-based centers to large multi-service organizations. Our policy, advocacy and research focus on issues critical to older adults such as affordable housing, elder hunger, economic security and community services. The direct services we provide have an immediate impact on older adults such as bringing specific benefits and entitlements to those in need. We also support community programs by providing capacity building assistance, educational opportunities and serving as an incubator where aging services can come together to share information and exchange ideas. Highlighted accomplishments in the last year by program area include:
ADVOCACY & Policy
City and State Budget
Engaging and Educating Policy Makers and All New Yorkers to Shape Policy in Support of Older Adults
Over 350 older New Yorkers through 130 member programs participated in LiveOn NY’s 21st Annual Advocacy Day at City Hall to advocate for a “Fair Share for Seniors” in the city budget. They met with 45 City Council offices.
Launched the $35 million “Fair Share for Seniors” campaign highlighting the vital need to grow funding for the aging network in areas including case management, caregiving, adult day services, transportation, meals, senior center rent, Innovative Senior Centers, social workers in senior centers and senior housing buildings, 6th weekend meal, elder abuse services and other areas.
The Fair Share for Seniors” campaign resulted in winning $33 million for the City’s DFTA budget, including:
- over $8 million for senior center programs such as congregate and weekend meals, rent, transportation and adult day care,
- $1.8 million baselined funds for the Case Management system, aimed to eliminate waiting lists of the over 1400 homebound seniors who need help and
- $1.5 million baselined funds for elder abuse multi-disciplinary teams, this new program is in addition to the $2 million in baselined funds for elder abuse prevention and victim services.
Launched a Salary Parity for Case Managers Campaign requesting the mayor add $12.2 million in the City budget so that Case Management agencies can increase salaries of Case Workers to bring them in line with other social service agencies. The Case Management Salary Parity campaign resulted in $4.8M in new baselined funds to increase salaries for case managers to address high staff turnover. The full amount needed, $7.3 million, will be funded as of FY18.
Hosted a two-day Legislative Conference in Albany to launch a groundbreaking $177 million statewide budget request aimed at modernizing and shaping the future of aging services in New York.
Elder Abuse Victims and Prevention Services
Changing Systems to Prevent Abuse
LiveOn NY convened over 50 thought leaders and key stakeholders from various disciplines to participate in a two-day facilitated discussion with the goal of localizing the issue of elder abuse and building broad based consensus for practical, attainable goals and policies in New York City.
The NYPD Training Division asked LiveOn NY to help develop a training video on Elder Abuse, which will be shown now during Roll Call and other NYPD trainings to officers.
LiveOn NY is working with Judge Deborah A. Kaplan from the Office of the Statewide Coordinating Judge for Family Violence Cases due to the increase in elder abuse victims being seen in court and in recognition that older victims have different needs.
Aging Network Systemic Issues
LiveOn NY compiled input from members and drafted submitted a memorandum and comments to DFTA Commissioner Donna Corrado on the proposed DFTA Senior Center/Case Assistance standards, which have not been updated in decades. LiveOn NY also recommended DFTA consult a work group of members to discuss the proposed standards before final adoption.
The LiveOn NY Action Committee meets monthly to discuss systemic issues affecting the entire aging network, as well as holding bimonthly task force meetings with the Department for the Aging (DFTA) on the STARS software system for Case Management and Congregate Meals.
Affordable Senior Housing
Identifying Needs and Impacting Policy
LiveOn NY and its Affordable Senior Housing Coalition was instrumental in the recent historical passage of the citywide Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) text amendment. The passage was the result of several years of hard work by LiveOn NY and the Coalition. ZQA contains key provisions to modernize the 60-year old zoning code with a specific focus on making it more flexible to build affordable senior housing.
LiveOn NY recently released two groundbreaking studies which were regularly reported in the press and cited by City Council members and the Administration during public hearings and public commentary.
- "Through the Roof" which was a survey of current senior housing buildings that showed there are an estimated 200,000 seniors citywide on waitlists for affordable senior housing waiting on the average of 7 years.
- “Paving the Way for New Senior Housing” was an in depth feasibility study that found 39 underutilized senior housing parking lots that could provide space to build over 2,000 new units of affordable housing for seniors if zoning regulations were changed.
LiveOn NY and Enterprise Community Partners recently released a report titled “Reducing Rent Burden for Elderly New Yorkers: Improving the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program”, available online at www.liveon-ny.org. The report calls for a two-pronged approach to strengthening the SCRIE/Senior Rent Freeze program including capping rents at 1/3 of seniors’ household income and a city-funded robust SCRIE outreach and public awareness campaign.
CAPACITY BUILDING & TRAINING INITIATIVES
Trainings & Workshops
Improving Services through Professional Development
Each year, LiveOn NY presents a variety of educational events, trainings and workshops focused on innovative ideas, best practices and real life skills designed to educate senior service professionals and enhance the quality of services provided by New York’s aging services network. Highlights include:
- Hosted 50 in-person workshops and 10 webinars providing professional development.
- Active monthly committee & coalitions meetings to work on issues faced by members and seniors across the City and State.
- Annual Conference & Vendor Expo: The 2015 Annual Conference was extremely successful. It was held at a new location, the Marriott Marquis in Times Square on January 20th and hosted 417 attendees. The keynote speaker, Ana Oliviera, President & CEO of the New York Women’s Foundation provided an inspiring presentation. There were 15 workshops and new this year, a poster session that received great feedback.
- Statewide Webinar Education: Thanks to a State funding mechanism subcontracted through the Association on Aging in New York, we provided 15 workshops that had roughly 350 participants throughout the State. Topics included time management, clinical information and program resources.
Capacity Building Technical Assistance
Professional Services for Executives & Administrators
LiveOn NY provides free customized capacity building assistance to community based aging service providers to enhance their ability to deliver quality programs and services to meet the evolving needs of older New Yorkers. Assistance is customized to meet specific needs, and is delivered by qualified professionals under the supervision of LiveOn NY. This assistance is often focused on management or fiscal issues. Managerial technical assistance might include advisory board development, board of director’s trainings, development of bylaws, personnel policy reviews, strategic planning, or fundraising and marketing training. Fiscal technical assistance might include training in DFTA financial management, cost allocation, or year-end closeout; bookkeeping systems, audit preparation, nonprofit tax compliance, payroll tax compliance, or guidance on capital/onetime payments and renovations.
Helping to Prevent Falls Among Older New Yorkers
In the last year, LiveOn NY created a falls prevention program that uses the Evidence Based Program, A Matter of Balance, to educate older people on falls and balance. Our program also coordinates informational fairs, screenings from geriatricians and optional home visits to further prevent falls in the home. In the past year, LiveOn NY hosted 4 general education sessions, screened 125 older people on falls risk, hosted 4 (8 week) Matter of Balance classes, linked 100 older people up to geriatricians, provided 15 in-home falls assessments and provided $7,500 worth of minor home modifications to people in need.
Mental Health First Aide
Creating Tools to Serve Older Adults with Mental Health Needs
Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. LiveOn NY is proud to have a certified trainer on staff through a grant with the Mental Health Association of NYC.
Benefit Outreach Program
Ensuring Economic Security for Older New Yorkers
The Benefits Outreach Program partners with member agencies to conducts screenings and application assistance at senior centers, NORCs, Libraries, and other locations throughout the five boroughs. This year we grew our full benefits offerings with application assistance for all major benefits for seniors: SNAP, SCRIE, Medicaid, MSP, LIS, and HEAP. In the past year we served over 3,000 new clients.
Senior Medicare Patrol
Helping to Empower Older Adults to Prevent and Address Fraud
Through a joint initiative with SAGE, the federally funded New York Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) is part of a nationwide, grassroots education and assistance program working to empower seniors and caregivers to protect personal information and Medicare benefits by learning to detect mistakes or potential fraud in Medicare payments. LiveOn NY now has a toll free hotline where seniors can report suspected abuse and receive information on resources.
Aging Mastery Program® (AMP)
Redefining Meaning and Knowledge about Later Life
LiveOn NY is excited to partner with the National Council on Aging to bring The Aging Mastery Program® (AMP) to New York State. The Aging Mastery Program® is a 10 week education series that combines goal-setting, daily practices, and peer support to help participants making meaningful changes in their lives. The goal is to change societal expectations about the roles and responsibilities of baby boomers and older adults to create fun and easy-to-follow pathways for getting more out of life. LiveOn NY is an integral part of the evaluation process to determine whether or not AMP becomes designated as an Evidence Based Program. This is a local project that will have national significance. Currently, LiveOn NY is partnering with 7 member agencies to implement the AMP within their communities.
Addressing and Preventing HIV and AIDS
For the last 9 years, LiveOn NY has served as a subcontractor and partner to the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA) to head their efforts on HIV/AIDS within the population of older New Yorkers. In addition to developing curriculum appropriate for older adults and providing technical assistance to member agencies on the issues, LiveOn NY is targeting neighborhoods with a high rate of older adults living with HIV/AIDS to conduct outreach, neighborhood engagement and targeted education. Additionally, LiveOn NY has been asked to work closely with ACRIA on the End the Epidemic Taskforce for Older Adults to address the needs of older adults in the NYS blueprint to End the AIDS Epidemic by 2020. The original Blueprint was released in early 2015 and largely did not address the needs of older adults infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. The EtE taskforce for older adults was founded after two meetings with Alphonso David- Counsel to the Governor. LiveOn NY was named as a member of the core steering committee for the task force and will be joining ACRIA, the AIDS Institute, HousingWorks, SAGE, GMHC, Statewide Senior Action, and AARP in monthly meetings to make recommendations to the governor for the blueprint. LiveOn NY was also asked to co-present the recommendations to the AIDS Advisory Council in August. They are the body that will chose to accept or reject those recommendations as a part of the larger blueprint.
Advocacy “Goes Viral”
The Senior Activators Corp is a training program that empowers older adults to get involved in advocacy and policy. It trains them on the issues as well as how to reach out to local elected officials, train their peers and conduct grassroots advocacy. The program has a component that focuses on elder abuse so that they can serve as ambassadors within their local communities. In the last year, 57 Activators were trained and participated in bringing policy information into their communities. This program is providing real opportunities for engagement and civic action.
The Marketplace@LiveOn NY
Purchasing Power through Numbers
This group purchasing program was created to enable LiveOn NY’s member organizations to save money on essential goods and services by streamlining the purchasing process and harnessing their collective purchasing power. Marketplace members have saved on services ranging from food and kitchen equipment to office supplies and printing services to capital equipment and delivery vehicles to all types of insurance, and more. New in the last year and working with our GPO partner MedAssets, we launched a pilot to work with meals programs (either at senior centers or home delivered meals programs) to test out a new software package that will allow each agency to a) input all recipes to calculate nutrients, b) easily customize those recipes to create disease or condition appropriate meals (ex: diabetes vs. heart healthy vs. low sodium), c) manage their food inventory and c) calculate the true cost of each meal. This software is used by the VA, hospitals throughout the country, the US Marines and other “feeding” services that routinely customize each meal. We see this as a first step to positioning the community based meals programs for the future so that they can provide the best meals to older people in NY.