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News from Gale Brewer

New seniors report part of Age-friendly Manhattan initiative

My newest report, based on over 1,000 responses from senior New Yorkers, “Steps to a more Age-friendly Manhattan,” proposes dynamic solutions for addressing the needs of our older adults, researched and written in partnership with The New York Academy of Medicine.

The report is part of my office’s Age-friendly Manhattan initiative, covering everything from transportation to housing to community support and health services.

Key findings from “Steps to a More Age-friendly Manhattan” include significant health disparities reported by Latinx New Yorkers– the majority of older Latinx New Yorkers reported poor health (72%) compared to Asian Americans, who reported good health (93%). Neighborhoods with the largest concentrations of older people reporting ambulatory difficulty have only one or no subway stations compliant with the Americans for Disabilities Act. Seniors also reported poor availability of benches, particularly in the Upper East Side and Manhattanville. During a time when the MTA is making news by removing benches from subway stations, our recommendation is that not only must the MTA and DOT install more benches at subway and bus stations, but also that all subway stations should be made ADA-compliant.

In Washington Heights, Chinatown, and Central Harlem, the housing cost burden was the greatest issue for survey participants residing in those neighborhoods compared to other neighborhoods. The majority of seniors who reported unavailability of public transportation lived in Midtown or Lower Manhattan. And close to half the respondents reported that mental health services were not readily available.

As NYAM President Dr. Judith Salerno said, “Manhattan’s 65+ population is on track to increase 19% by 2030. We need to listen to and address the needs of this population, and we commend Borough President Gale Brewer for her ongoing commitment to improving the lives of Manhattan’s older adults. In partnership with the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, The New York Academy of Medicine and our Center for Healthy Aging are working to ensure that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy everything that Manhattan has to offer.”