The City of Glen Cove has become a Nassau County Age-Friendly Center of Excellence and is now one of five Centers of Excellence in New York state. For seniors like 82-year-old Shirlie Pinckney, it’s a relief.
She depends on her oxygen tank and travels with it extensively. If she’s running errands alone, Pinckney struggles to open non-automatic doors around the city. And since she can’t drive, friends and family help her to get around, but she said she wishes there were more resources available to help her go to places that are far from home, like the restaurants and parks at Garvies Point. At her age, she feels that it’s important for the youth of Glen Cove to consider making the city more accessible.
“They may have all they need now but think of what’s going to happen in the future,” Pinckney said.
To recognize those needs, the city unveiled the first of three signs at the ferry terminal on Nov. 17 and a commitment to improving the lives of its aging population. Other signs will be placed at the Locust Valley entrance to Glen Cove, near Skunks Misery Road and at the bifurcation towards arterial highway and Cedar Swamp Road.
“The older residents are the people who actually built our communities,” said Carol Waldman, former Glen Cove Senior Center Executive Director, and Nassau County Age-Friendly Liaison. “They paved the roads, they taught our children, they built the businesses, and they deserve to have a safe and stimulating environment in which to grow old.”
Funding to create the Nassau County Age-Friendly Center of Excellence came from a New York State Office for the Aging planning grant that was awarded to the Nassau County Department of Human Services Office for the Aging. The program expanded into Glen Cove in 2017 with help from the Glen Cove Senior Center. The organization works to improve the quality of life for seniors by helping with access to information, services and community events, transportation and affordable housing opportunities.
Age-Friendly Glen Cove aims to create a community where people can thrive as they grow older and prioritize the inclusion and participation of older adults in all aspects of life and to address things that hinder quality of life and are often overlooked.
Future projects of the organization will look at curb-cuts on sidewalks, ADA compliance in city buildings, implementing more automatic doors and expanding transportation to more parts of the city.
Presently, the organization has established their Center of Excellence based out of the senior center where they have established their timebank and Walk with a Doc programs.
Vincenza Caruso, an administrator of Age-Friendly, said timebanking offers a bartering system for participants to exchange services like cooking, painting and teaching skills on a time credit basis. Participants can save money for these services where they would otherwise have to pay for. It also allows for networking and socialization for those who can’t leave their homes.
Their Walk with a Doc. program, spearheaded by Dr. Barbara Keber, chair of family medicine at Glen Cove Hospital, offers a more personable approach for seniors who are anxious to speak openly with their doctors during visits. Once a month, Glen Cove seniors meet with Keber to learn about relevant health topics. Afterwards, they walk with other medical professionals from Northwell for a one-on-one conversation about health. Keber emphasizes that better health is more than just speaking with doctors, it’s about creating a healthy space for all community members.