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Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+ A “Voices from the Field” Report Prepared for The New York Women’s Foundation Susan Leicher Thompson & Columbus,

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Presentation on theme: "Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+ A “Voices from the Field” Report Prepared for The New York Women’s Foundation Susan Leicher Thompson & Columbus,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+ A “Voices from the Field” Report Prepared for The New York Women’s Foundation Susan Leicher Thompson & Columbus, Inc. November 2014 VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

2 VOICES FROM THE FIELD SERIES The first of four Voices from the Field reports: Based on the first-hand views of leading experts Cover roles, challenges and best ways to support NYC’s low-income women and girls at four major developmental stages of their lives: −0 - 8 − − −60+ VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

3 OVERALL DEMOGRAPHICS A very different senior population than in 1965 Size, Scope and Gender Distribution: There Are a Lot of Us -1.4 million New Yorkers, 60+ (18% of the total population) -Ratio of women to men: 3:2 at age 60; 2:1 at age 80 Race, Ethnicity, and Role: The “New Face” of Aging: -40% identify as “non-white” -46% born in other countries from across the globe -Major, irreplaceable family and community roles: ∙100,000 NYC children totally raised by their grandmothers ∙Tens of thousands more virtually raised by their grandmothers ∙Thousands of dependent adult children supported by their older mothers VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

4 DEMOGRAPHICS, Cont.: Economic Status: Social Security is Not Enough -31% of seniors at or below NYC Poverty Line -Older women of color and immigrant older women most likely to be poor Health Issues: Medicare is Not Enough -Lifelong lack of access to key resources = extraordinarily high rates of disease Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation: By-Passed by Established Channels -50,000 + gender-non-conforming older women -Not a major focus for either aging service providers or LGBT providers VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

5 THE PUBLIC RESPONSE TO 50 YEARS OF EVOLUTION DFTA/aging service provider network has performed miracles to: -Extend services -Adapt services to reach new groups -Add services to address emerging needs System as a whole continues to be limited by the original framework: -Silo-ed funding and service approaches -Stagnant – or diminishing – funding streams VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

6 THE AGING SERVICES INFRASTRUCTURE Public Sector-Supported Entitlements, Subsidies and Protections Public Sector- and Philanthropically-Supported Service Community Programs Age-Friendly New York Faith-Based Service Programs VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

7 CRITICAL ISSUES ECONOMIC SECURITY HEALTH SOCIAL CONNECTEDNESS CAREGIVING VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

8 ECONOMIC SECURITY: Promising Strategies Expanding access to entitlements −Full Food Stamps enrollment = $556 million income and $1 billion for local businesses −Labor intensive; time consuming; eminently cost-effective Supporting bill management/financial literacy −Some women never acquired these skills; others beginning to lose them −Most community-based economic security programs ignore this population VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

9 HEALTH: Promising Strategies Health education programs based on older women’s input and culture −Bridge gaps/boost communication between folk and establishment approaches −Change behavior Fitness programs tailored to older women’s interests −Senior centers offer ballroom dancing, Ping-pong, Zumba, chair yoga, walking clubs −Measurably promote better health VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

10 HEALTH: Promising Strategies, Cont. Nutrition programs – core and innovative −Core: Senior center lunches, Meals-on-Wheels, food pantries, SNAP – critical lifelines −Innovative: Urban farm projects – measurably promote better health VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

11 SOCIAL CONNECTEDNESS: Promising Strategies Senior Centers reaching/engaging more underserved groups −LBT, immigrants, women with disabilities – cross cultural, cross-generational −Need more collaborative support Providers engaging older women in meaningful volunteer efforts −Best possible antidote to isolation −Require major investment – but strong returns for older women and community VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

12 CAREGIVING: Promising Strategies Older Women As Caregivers -Supporting grandmothers by better supporting grandchildren -Protecting older mothers by better addressing needs/behaviors of dependent adult children Older Women As Care Recipients -Supporting older care recipients by better supporting unpaid and paid caregivers VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

13 RECOMMENDATIONS Continue building effective programs –core and cutting-edge, e.g.: -Article 20 Housing, senior centers, nutrition and fitness programs, caregiver support programs, senior-driven volunteer programs, entitlement enrollment efforts Promote collaboration across sectors, cultures, and generations, e.g.: -Aging and youth/supportive service collaboration in support of caregiving older women -Immigrant and senior center service providers to better engage immigrant older women Encourage community providers to better reach older women Tap the views – support the strength – of these key community anchors! VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+

14 Ruth Finkelstein, Associate Director, Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center Katherine Acey, Executive Director, GRIOT (Gay Reunion in our Time) Bobbie Sackman, Director of Public Policy, Council of Senior Centers and Services of NYC Melissa Nieves, Director of Adult Education, Union Settlement Association Moderator: Irma Rodriguez, Executive Director, Queens Community House & NYWF Board Member VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Blueprint for Investing in Women Age 60+


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