The ill and elderly need to connect with others

By Shelley Wagar Sabo and Jane Ginsburg

Sept. 11-17 is National Assisted Living Week, celebrating all adult care and assisted living communities across the nation. New York has more than 540 such communities, providing quality care and services to the elderly, frail, disabled and mentally ill.

This year’s theme from the National Center for Assisted Living, “Keep Connected,” highlights the importance of AC/AL residents staying connected to their local community and their families and friends. Adult care and assisted living providers enhance their residents’ lives through modern day technology-based programming at all ability and need levels.

A host of software programs offer residents with impaired cognition and those with disabilities the opportunity to fully engage in leisure and educational activities that enhance their quality of life. Seniors are the fastest-growing group of internet and social media users today—using it to reconnect with people from their past, bridge generational gaps and find online support for chronic disease management.

Approximately 40 percent of assisted-living residents have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. The New York State Center for Assisted Living is pleased to collaborate with the Coalition of New York State Alzheimer’s Association Chapters to bring attention to the 390,000 New Yorkers who suffer from this disease and their caregivers. By 2025, approximately 460,000 will have Alzheimer’s—an increase of almost 20 percent in less than a decade. By 2050, the number of people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s may triple.

During this special week, we invite you to learn more about the work we do in AC/AL communities and the impact of Alzheimer’s disease. Please join us in celebrating these communities, their residents and families, dedicated staff and volunteers.

Shelley Wagar Sabo

New York State Center for Assisted Living

Jane Ginsburg

Coalition of NYS Alzheimer’s Association Chapters

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