Two of the city’s eight newly “Innovative Senior Centers” opened in Queens this week, as announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Department for the Aging Commissioner Lilliam Barrios-Paoli at the Selfhelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center in Flushing on Tuesday.
Enhanced programming includes robust wellness programs, additional access to healthcare services and arts and cultural programs.
This also marks the nation’s first-ever senior centers with programming specifically for the LGBT and visually impaired communities.
“We have changed our new senior center models with not simply expanding their programs and services, but with reimagining centers for the 21st century senior,” Bloomberg said. “Our Administration will take on this challenge as we have always done, by focusing on innovation, demanding accountability, measuring results and consistently improving to meet the needs of our city’s older New Yorkers and make ours truly a ‘City for all Ages.’”
Marian Lewek, coordinator at the SNAP center of Queens Village, is especially excited about welcoming Mindy Lesser, a nutrition therapist and former worker in the medical field.
“Seniors can’t just worry about their physical health,” Lewek said. “They have to be worried about getting out and maintaining mental health.”
The Rosenthal center has also revitalized its health and wellness programs by offering virtual classes for homebound participants.
Both Queens centers are offering vegetarian meals for the surrounding Hindu community, with guest chefs coming to the SNAP center each week.
The Rosenthal center’s new programming is now available every other Saturday.