You are reading

City Council Candidate Vows to Save Seniors From Hospitalization and Save Taxpayer Money

Aleda Gagarin (Provided by Aleda for Council)

Feb. 9, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

A local candidate for city council is vowing to introduce legislation that would pay for safety modifications to be installed at the homes of low-income seniors.

Aleda Gagarin, who is running as a progressive to represent District 29, plans to call on the city to allocate $50 million to pay for the renovations that would include ramps for wheelchair access, grab bars for bathrooms and no-slip showers.

If elected, she would also push to automatically enroll seniors in the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption program that would stabilize their rent.

Gagarin–who seeks the seat that covers Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park and Woodhaven–said that the safety modifications would lower the risk of seniors getting injured from falls inside their homes that can lead to hospitalizations. She said low-income seniors are at particular risk since they cannot afford to pay for such safety measures.

“Our elders deserve to be cared for so that they can age in place, here in their communities, where they have laid their roots and built so much for us,” Gagarin said.

Falls are the leading cause of hospitalizations among seniors and cost the city around $722 million annually in hospital bills, Gagarin said, citing Department of Health and Mental Hygiene data.

Safety modifications, Gagarin said, would save taxpayer money in the long term by reducing the number of seniors requiring hospital treatment.

She said the safety modifications would also save the city on nursing home expenses since many injured seniors end up going into long-term care facilities for assistance during their recovery.

“This is a very efficient and cost-effective way that the city can help our elders age in their home and in dignity,” Gagarin said.

Gagarin said the funds would be administered through the city’s Home Repair Assistance for Seniors program that pays for home improvement work like plumbing and repairs for seniors of low or moderate-income.

She said the program would be modeled on Washington DC’s Safe At Home program that provides grants of up to $10,000 to seniors and people with disabilities for home safety modifications.

Gagarin said that seniors whose Area Median Income is at 80 percent or less would be eligible for a grant under her proposal.

“It would be such a small public cost compared to a hospital visit or nursing home costs,” Gagarin said.

Gagarin also says that she wants to protect seniors from rent hikes.

As part of her campaign platform, Gagarin would call for the automatic enrollment of seniors in the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption program.

The program freezes rent for seniors but Gagarin said that around half of eligible seniors are not signed up, citing a report by the City Comptroller.

She said that many seniors are unaware of the program or unsure of how to apply. Automatic enrollment would ensure that the program is not underutilized and seniors can live affordably, she added.

email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 
Keith Nolan

Isn’t this already included in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act? More government, just what we need.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force investigating vandalism at Forest Hills church that has been targeted in the past

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a case of criminal mischief at a Forest Hills house of worship in which a vandal threw a rock to intentionally damage its glass front door, according to authorities.

Police say that just before 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, police from the 112th Precinct were called to Grace Lutheran Church, located at 103-15 Union Tpke., after a man threw a rock and damaged the church’s front door.

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.