By Connor Adams Sheets
The Flushing House is keeping its seniors engaged in all things technological with the help of a $5,000 state grant provided by state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside).
The home, the largest nonprofit, independent living retirement residence in the state, was able to expand its multimedia center via the Local Initiative Funds provided through the state Office for the Aging.
The money upgraded what was previously just a room with two computers into a state-of-the-art facility for learning computing skills and applying them on a daily basis.
The grant paid for a large-screen, high-definition television, four flat-screen monitors and new computers, five computer desks, a Nintendo Wii Fit Balance Board for exercising and other ancillary equipment. The home, built in 1974, plans to add two more computers in the future in order to accommodate the growing computer needs of its residents.
“Just imagine residents on the Web cam chatting with family across the globe, using the Internet for bill paying, surfing the Web for fun or finding relatives on social network sites,” Joshua Lutz, activities leader at Flushing House, said. “With the $5,000 grant from Ms. Carrozza, we were able to upgrade our current computer center to do all this and more. With the large screen TV, we can switch to a computer for training so our residents can see exactly what is happening on the trainer’s desktop. Residents can take part in virtual bowling on the same TV, and with the Nintendo Fit balance board we’ll have afternoon exercise programs on the same TV and at night movie showcases.”
College and high school students have been volunteering at the home in order to teach the senior residents how to do what they want to be able to do on computers and the new facility will only make it easier for them to do so.
“They have a waiting list to take the classes. The inter-generational aspect is very attractive in that we have young students who are technologically savvy teaching and mentoring the seniors, who of course are loving it,” Robert Salant, Flushing House’s director of community relations, said. “What Ann-Margaret Carrozza did with her $5,000 grant was bring the center up to present day.”
Carrozza gave thanks in an open letter earlier this month to the people of her district for supporting her during her 14 years of service in the state Assembly. She made a point of saying how glad she was to boost local services with funding she directed.
“I am also proud of the millions of dollars in state funding that I have been able to steer toward our local hospitals, nursing homes, schools, libraries, and senior centers in Northeast Queens,” she said in the letter.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4538.