SNAP - Caring for senior citizens – QNS.com

SNAP - Caring for senior citizens

Finding that there were no services for seniors in its community, the northern jurisdiction of Community Board 13 established Services Now for Adult Persons, Inc. (SNAP) in 1980 in Bell Park, in Queens Village.
Since then SNAP has evolved from a four-man information and referral service, operating out of donated office space at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center to a program located in three sites with a staff of 30, which offers a wide range of services that address the needs and concerns of the community's elder citizens and their families.
SNAP currently provides 260 home-delivered meals seven-days-a-week; its four transportation vehicles provide approximately 1,600 transportation trips a month for errands and shopping; 1,000 seniors a month lunch at one of the organization's three sites; and 350 people each utilize the organization's telephone reassurance program by which healthy seniors check in by telephone with homebound elders.
These services are extremely vital due to the increasing life span of Americans. The 2000 census reveals that seniors have a high rate of suicide and finding that a quarter of older adults with chronic illness suffer with clinically significant depression. The same census lists over one million older citizens as residing in New York City. Of those, approximately 305,000 live alone and 374,000 live in Queens. SNAP is critical towards the reconnection of eastern Queens' elderly to their community.
&#8220I am proud of the work we do,” says SNAP's Executive Director, Linda M. Leest. It is an important job in keeping people from isolation. For an older person it is the worst thing - no one comes to your door, no one calls - it the most detrimental thing to health.”
According to SNAP, &#8220it is believed that less socially integrated individuals are not as healthy and therefore more likely to die. Therefore opportunities that support social integration like attending a senior center and the development of friendships with a group of one's peers, are important components in the maintenance of senior community residents and their quality of life,” Leest said adding that many seniors meeting at the organization's various functions have become couples.
SNAP has teamed up with Queens United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), providing day programs and family support services for 21 developmentally disabled senior citizens from all over Queens.
In order to provide elderly caregivers one day a month relief from their task, SNAP runs a Caregiver Program which serves over 200 families. The program provides one-to-one counseling and workshops on other available services.
In additional to its main office in Queens Village, SNAP is located in Jamaica and Rosedale. Those interested in further information can call 718-454-2100.

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