We care for Chinatown’s seniors
New York City’s Chinatown is home to thousands of older adults. Most of them speak no English, so they are often invisible to social service and health networks—and often, these older adults are unaware of the programs that may benefit them.
VNSNY has a special presence in Chinatown to address the health and social welfare of these seniors.
VNSNY’s Chinatown Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NNORC) staff touched the lives of over 700 Chinatown seniors in 2019. Many of these seniors live in aging, walk-up tenement buildings, which can lead to isolation, loneliness, and despair as well as threaten their health and well-being. Since most of these seniors speak no English, they are often invisible to social services and health networks—which is why our special outreach efforts are so important.
Through the Chinatown NNORC, established over a decade ago, VNSNY and its Chinatown partnering organizations work collaboratively to ensure that local residents aged 60 and over are connected to the health, social, and translation services they need in order to successfully age in place. Many of our programs emphasize health and wellness. These numerous services provide important connections to NNORC members in their native languages, facilitated by bilingual staff who understand the culture and needs of these seniors. Community partners and donors help the Chinatown NNORC provide these vital services.
In its storefront space at 7 Mott Street, which it shares with the VNSNY Chinatown Community Center, our NNORC offers recreational activities and a variety of other services. For those seniors who are too frail to visit the Center or are homebound, NNORC staff call on them in their apartments to address social and health concerns and assist members in making their homes safe and hazard-free. The NNORC team, which includes licensed social workers, a registered nurse, and an activity coordinator, provides NNORC members with a wide array of services both at the Center and in their homes. These range from weekly support groups and education, recreation, and exercise classes to on-site blood pressure screenings and a fall prevention program. The NNORC has also created task forces to respond to the unique needs of the Chinatown community, such as implementing advance directives and addressing mental health. All of our services are provided free to members and are either non-billable or reimbursable.
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