AlphaCare’s ‘Wellness and Resource’ Initiative Is Keeping Seniors Active In East New York

On Thursday, June 22nd, AlphaCare continued their Wellness and Resource Series of events with a Diabetes Awareness Health Fair for senior citizens at the Brooklyn Sports Club in East New York, Brooklyn. Joining forces with Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, the purpose of the event was to bring various community resource partners onto one platform in order to increase the awareness of the services available to Seniors throughout Brooklyn. Some of the community partners that AlphaCare collaborated with were Access-A-Ride, Brookdale Hospital, Clear Caption, Department of the Aging, SNAP-Met Council, NYPD Community Affairs, New York for Seniors, New York Life, EPIC, and many others. From 10am to 3pm, the seniors in attendance enjoyed healthy refreshments, cooking demonstrations, Zumba, prize giveaways, live entertainment by the Dancers of BRC, and got a chance to play AlphaCare’s new Wheel of Health game.

“We love arranging these events for seniors in all areas of Brooklyn because it’s important that they are well informed about the right resources.  Not all seniors are digital savvy due to the generation that we live in at this current time,” said Cindy Lai, Director of Communications and Marketing. “We are promoting a healthier lifestyle for seniors so they can live longer for their families but they must remember everything they do affects them as a whole. ”

“I really had a good time at the fair; it was fantastic”, said fellow attendee Michele Brown. “I would like to call myself the dancing machine and the DJ was playing the jams. I had a good time for a great cause”.

To stay up to date with upcoming AlphaCare events throughout New York City, go to

AlphaCare Bringing Wellness & Resource Series To East New York On Thursday, June 22

 AlphaCare is bringing their citywide Wellness and Resource Series (for seniors) to East New York, Brooklyn, Thursday June 22, 2017, at the Brooklyn Sports Club.

Last month the series kicked off with the Diabetes Awareness Health Fair at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration. The upcoming event in East New York will also be a Diabetes Awareness Health Fair, which is a partnership between AlphaCare and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, who has been a champion in the fight against diabetes.

Former Congressman Ed Towns, from East New York,  was the special guest host and the kickoff event, and he will be the host of the event in East New York as well. Watch the video from last month’s event.

Partners include Brookdale HospitalAccess-A-RideNew York LifeAmerican Diabetes AssociationNYC ID, and more.

What: Diabetes Awareness Health Fair

When: Thursday June 22, 2017

Time: 10am-3pm

Where: Brooklyn Sports Club – 1540 Van Siclen Ave. Brooklyn NY, 11239

Seniors are encouraged to attend this free event.

For more information contact Beatrice Morton of AlphaCare at

June 22nd Wellness Resource Series Event Flyer

Wellness Fair At Brownsville Recreation Center

It was a nice midweek reprieve for the seniors who came out for a Senior Fair / Black History Month event at Brownsville Recreation Center (BRC). Guests enjoyed continental breakfast and refreshments as they were entertained by performances by active BRC members. BRC boasts one of the largest senior membership in the five boroughs with over 1,000 regular attendees.

After a welcome address by Recreation Director Vivian Jett-Brown, various senior groups took the floor to impress the audience with their skills. A small Tai Chi class illustrated the graceful movements of the centuries-old, stress-relieving discipline, and the Golden Nugget Seniors Helping Seniors ensemble demonstrated dance routines practiced in their weekly sessions. “These seniors are as young as the spring is long,” said Ms. Jett-Brown, a 19-year veteran of the BRC staff. “We have such a robust offering [of classes] here, including yoga, swimming and ballroom dance. Plus they go on trips and put on plays. They get to stay active and have fun.”

Representatives from SUNY Downstate Medical Center manned a table packed with pamphlets regarding HIV prevention, sexually transmitted diseases, and safe sex practices. Marian Searchwell, Program Coordinator, shared a startling local statistic: in New York City, the rate that seniors (ages 65+) acquire sexually transmitted diseases is at an all-time high. The SUNY program is working with city and state health officials to re-educate seniors, many of whom do not consider themselves an “at-risk” population.

Did you know Internet-enabled caption phones are available free of charge for users with hearing aids? Dorothy Bruns of Clear Captions demonstrated the features of the Ensemble phone, which displays text of conversations in near real-time on a large color touchscreen. The sleek, high tech-looking device is really user-friendly, and compatible with all carriers, in any state. Several seniors spoke with Ms. Bruns about setting up future in-home product demos and installations.

Other senior fair participants included AlphaCare, MTA Access-A-Ride, NYPD Community Affairs, New York Life, FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit, Department of Aging NYC, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Elmy’s Special Services and Centers Plan for Healthy Living and Department of Health & Mental Hygiene NYC.

Brownsville Recreation Center- (718) 345-2706

1555 Linden Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11212

New Orleans Comes To Brooklyn At Tilden Center’s Mardi Gras Event

Photo: Assemblywoman Latrice Walker with attendee

By: Angella Brown

The good times rolled in at Tilden Senior Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn on Mardi Gras, where over 150 lively seniors gathered to celebrate Fat Tuesday, before Lent, with a festive luncheon. A richly decorated dining room at the center welcomed guests for a taste of Louisiana home cooking. Every attendee also received colorful party favors, noisemakers, and authentic beads like the kind freely thrown on New Orleans’ famous Bourbon Street every year during this time.

The full menu was a treat for the Fat Tuesday revelers: fish gumbo, cajun chicken wings, potato salad, collard greens, cornbread and rolls. For dessert, there was traditional king cake, a sweet pastry colorfully decorated with the jubilant royal colors of purple, green and gold sugar.

Prior to lunch, guests had a chance to mingle and snap selfies while wearing zany accessories like bright feather boas and glittery fancy hats. A live band provided entertainment: jazzy, traditional second line numbers that urged guests to get up out of their seats and dance! There was also time to visit the Alphacare table and pick up information and free swag. Community Outreach Manager, Beatrice Morton was delighted to be in attendance. “Once again, Alphacare is a proud sponsor of the Mardi Gras celebration at Tilden Senior Center,” said Morton. “Special thanks to director Wanda Burris and all her volunteers, for helping to bring a little New Orleans to Brooklyn.”

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (District 55), pitched in to help even before the crowds began to arrive: she helped the volunteers organize and bag party favors. “This is one of my favorite events at Tilden,” she said. Miss Burris is originally from New Orleans, so her Mardi Gras style is authentic. With her personal flair, she really brings it for Fat Tuesday!

It was immediately clear this annual fete is a labor of love for TSC Director, Wanda Burris. Born and raised in New Orleans, Miss Burris finally left the Big Easy for Brooklyn after historic Hurricane Betsy in 1965. After stints in construction and banking, Miss Burris joined the TSC staff as acting director in 1992, at the request of a local pastor working with seniors in the community. Miss Burris is proud of the now 700+ senior membership of TSC, saying: “These seniors are active! We go on bus trips, cruises…we’ve been to Nashville, Atlanta, the Caribbean…we stay on the move.” The Mardi Gras event, which has grown steadily every year, has taken more and more of her time, but Burris feels this is her calling. “I love what I do. I am a child of God, and I feel I will do His will, do it ‘til He says I’m done.”

Mardis Gras Tilden Center Director

Above: Wanda Burris, Senior Center Director


Tilden Senior Center – (718) 498-2990

630 Mother Gaston Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11212

Successful Health Fair In Sunset Park

By: Simone LeConte-Parker

New York City is full of things to do and attending the Second Annual Community Health Fair in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, proved to be a good choice. Presented by the Office of Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, in conjunction with the New York City Department of Health, this fair provided a myriad of resources for attendees. There was a steady stream of people at the Sunset Park Recreation Center, who were eager to obtain health-related information, speak with vendors, and utilize other services provided at the event.

Some of the available services included blood pressure screening, free rapid HIV testing, and health insurance enrollment. March was Tuberculosis Awareness Month so free and confidential tuberculosis (TB) testing was also available. According to the New York City Department of Health, getting tested is important because TB can be prevented and cured.

Carmen Calderin, Director of Constituent Services for the Office of Assistant Speaker, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, stated that “there is a high rate of TB in Sunset Park communities.” With a diverse crowd present for the event, including Asian and Hispanic individuals, several of them were able to get tested. Ms. Calderin added “we are so excited that the information we sent out into the community helped us get a good turnout.”

Another highlight was the availability of free information provided by some organizations to help seniors stay on top of their health care. One such organization is United Senior Citizens of Sunset Park, /which is funded by the NYC Department for the Aging. They provided information for seniors and some of their members even participated in the free testing. Also present at this event was AlphaCare. They provided resources for seniors to help keep them active in their communities. Through AlphaCare’s Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plan, they focus on the unique challenges of dealing with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities.

This Community Health Fair provided something for everyone including the very young. Parents were able to obtained information on free Child ID Kits. Children were even able to entertain themselves with free balloons and school supplies while parents and grandparents gathered useful information and free giveaways from various vendors.

Applications for Senior Housing in East New York Available Until Jan 14


The window to submit an application for affordable senior housing is closing soon, on January 14, 2017. Fifty-three new one bedroom apartments for low income senior citizens are coming to 137 Jamaica Avenue. One and two person households are eligible to apply. According to Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, one person households may have a maximum annual income of $31,750 and two person households may have a maximum income of $36,250.

Applications are available here online, in person at the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation office at 2966 Fulton Street,  by calling 212-765-7900, Ext. 304 or emailing

Applications must be mailed back to the post office box listed on the first page and must be postmarked by January 14, 2017. New tenants will be selected by lottery.

4th Annual Senior Concert Held at Amersfort Park in Brooklyn

On Aug. 19, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Assembly Member Helene E. Weistein sponsored the 4th Annual Senior Concert at Amersfort Park. Attendees enjoyed live music, including performances by Philip Howard NORC Senior, and the Midwood Neighborhood Steel Pan.

“I look forward to our senior concert every year,” Council Member Williams said. “The concert gives me the opportunity to get face time with the elders of our community and thank them for their contributions. Elders are the backbone of the community, and a source for a wealth of information. They remain one of the more engaged groups in the community, with them turning out in droves on elections day and community forum s. It’s important they are given the special attention they deserve.”

The concert was coordinated in partnership with Millennium Development and the Brooklyn Arts Council. The event was free and open to the public. Each year, this concert has been a way to thank elders of the 45th District, who in countless ways, have trail blazed a path for our community to enjoy the many freedoms we have today.

“I am happy to help present music in beautiful Amersfort Park, a valued recreational space for the residents of Flatlands,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams said. ” It is important and mutually rewarding to provide Brooklyn’s seniors with opportunities such as these to enjoy the arts and socialize with their neighbors. As we build our borough into an even safer place to raise healthy children and families, they are the cornerstones that have provided the foundation upon which our future success will grow.”

Photo credit: Ernest Skinner, NYC Council

Q & A With Brookdale Chairman of Dept. of Medicine Dr. David Rose

By Julia Chance

What are some misconceptions about senior health care?

The thing that concerns us the most is that when people feel well, they feel as though they don’t really need to go to the doctor. There are many illnesses that don’t have symptoms early on. The three common ones are heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The most devastating illness in this community is heart disease and stroke. Both of those illnesses start really in middle age but don’t become manifest until older age, so if we can detect these problems early we can prevent a lot of illness. Just a simple annual physical examination can detect and prevent a lot of those things.

Another major illness is cancer. The population in this community (Brownsville and East New York) is more averse than other communities to getting cancer screening.

Why do you think this population does not get regular cancer screenings?

I think it’s a lack of information and quite honestly a lack of a trusting relationship with a primary care doctor. If people have a good and long-standing relationship with the primary care doctor, they will come to believe that the doctor really does care about them.

What do you see seniors getting right about health care?

I hate to sound sexist, but I think that the women get it right more than the men do. When I say that people are resistant to going to the doctor and getting preventive care, I’m talking mostly about the men. We’re all living longer, and I think that they realize that part of it is due to modern health care.

How One Brooklyn Senior Center is Bridging Cultures

In the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sunset Park, the NYU Lutheran Sunset Park Neighborhood Senior Center has been serving its senior community for over 30 years. The center offers a wide variety of free programs, activities, and support services. The center is open to seniors residing both in and outside of the neighborhood, servicing over 800 seniors each year..

The Sunset Neighborhood Senior Center prides itself on its wide cultural diversity, which strongly reflects the neighborhood’s large Hispanic and Asian population.

We have the Asian community and we have the Hispanic community, two communities with completely different cultures and languages,” comments site director Darin Martinez.

“A diverse organization is one that values people from all backgrounds,” she goes on to say “and that is how we do it here at Sunset Park Senior Center.”

Programs Offered

Sunset Park Neighborhood Center offers three main types of programs: Health and Wellness, Recreation, and Support Services.

Health and Wellness

The health and wellness programs and activities feature health professionals, consultants leading health education classes, health screenings, and exercise activities.  Additionally, the NYU Lutheran Nutrition and Dental Department staff provide presentations every 3 months.  

Crowd favorites at the center are the yoga and tai chi classes every Wednesday at 11 a.m, and traditional Chinese tai chi classes every Friday at 10 a.m. Nice weather also brings out the center’s walking club, and musical therapy brings back the best music from back in the day every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 p.m., with live music on Thursdays.


Recreational activities include computer classes, crafting classes and day trips.

Support Services

The center’s onsite case assistant offers support services Monday through Friday, counseling on an array of subjects and issues. The counseling allows seniors to receive confidential assistance on everything from health insurance to home attendants to immigration. Support services are available for any senior who comes to the center. Other support services include classes in different subjects, such as English Language classes.

4520 4th Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11220

Tel. (718) 210-1050

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday

NYU Lutheran Sunset Park Neighborhood Center

Summer Issue of the New York for Seniors Magazine Distributed at the Gospel Concert at Wingate Field

The Summer 2016 issue of the New York for Seniors Magazine comes out today (Monday August 8, 2016).  The magazine will be distributed at your local Senior Center in your neighborhood, this week, as well as various religious institutions and elected officials’ offices.

The magazine will also be distributed at the Health Fair prior to the start of the Gospel Concert at Wingate Field, at the MLK Concert Series, on Monday August 8, 2016.  The Health Fair begins at 6pm and the Gospel Concert starts at 7:30PM.  Stop by the New York for Seniors table to pick up the latest issue.  We will be next to the AlphaCare table.

Details about the MLK Concert Series can be found here.

New York for Seniors Magazine & Website Launch With Event at Boro Hall

The New York for Seniors initiative celebrates the lives and legacies of NYC’s senior population.   The initiative includes the New York for Seniors print magazine, the NY for Seniors website and New York for Seniors series of events.

New York for Seniors was created to keep NYC’s senior citizens updated and knowledgeable on key resources, health options, healthy living tips and lifestyle activities.  ‘New York for Seniors’ is a movement that galvanizes the community toward improving the quality of life for our NYC senior population.

In the launch issue you will find Exclusive interviews with Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Queens Councilman Daneek Miller, Dr. David Rose, the Chairman of Medicine at Brookdale Hospital, and more.

There will be a New York for Seniors Launch Event at Brooklyn Borough Hall, June 22, 2016.  There will be a live jazz band and free refreshments.  The New York for Seniors team will be on hand to discuss how your organization can be featured in the New York for Seniors print magazine or on the website.  Space is Limited!!!!   Event Information & RSVP Here

We would like to thank AlphaCare, GrowNYC and Borough President Eric L. Adams for supporting the launch of the New York for Seniors initiative.

3 Movement Exercises You Can Do in Your Apartment or Home

For Balance

This exercise is extremely simple and only requires a sturdy chair. Begin by standing with the chair either in front or behind you:

• Stand on one foot while holding onto the back of the chair. With your back straight, balance on one foot for about 10 seconds. • Repeat 10 to 15 times. Then repeat with the other leg.

For Flexibility

Working on your flexibility helps in relaxing and stretching the body, giving your movements more fluidity when doing daily activities, such as getting dressed or reaching for something on a shelf.

• If standing, begin with both feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart. If sitting, start with both feet flat on the floor with your back straight.

• Without tipping your head forward or backward, turn your head to the side until you feel a slight stretch. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

6 |

For Strength

This exercise focuses on strengthening your grip and is great for those who have issues picking up, holding onto, and opening things. Begin with a small foam or foam-like ball, such as a tennis ball, and hold it in your hand:

• Squeeze the ball as tightly as you can for 3 to 5 seconds, then relax your grip slowly. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Then switch to the other hand.

• Repeat twice with both hands.

Safety Tips

These exercises should be incorporated into a thirty-minute or longer workout, done 2 to 3 days a week. Always make sure to speak with your doctor before performing any exercise that affect areas prone to pain, such as any areas that have had surgery.

– Nikkia Rivera