Community Engagement in Area Agencies on Aging is a three-part video series highlighting three aging services organizations in New York that are meeting the needs of traditionally underserved populations in their communities.
The video series was funded by the Building Resilient Inclusive Communities (BRIC) program in New York and produced by NYSOFA in partnership with Dr. Melicent Miller, a health equity specialist and the President and CEO of Health Forward LLC, who hosts the series. BRIC is a project of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, and its goal is to help organizations improve safe access to physical activity, promote healthy eating by improving nutrition security, and reduce social isolation and loneliness.
Part 1: Onondaga County chronicles efforts by Onondaga County Department of Adult and Long-Term Care Services to serve the local Vietnamese population. At the heart of the county’s engagement effort is a special relationship that the office has forged with Mr. Vinh Dang. A prominent member of the Vietnamese community, Mr. Dang has strengthened the agency's connection with the Vietnamese community through Onondaga County’s "neighborhood advisers" program.
Part 2: Westchester County highlights the work of Westchester County Department of Senior Programs & Services in responding to the unique needs of specific communities. The county’s regional task force structure, telehealth, and chronic-disease self-management programs use peer-to-peer methods that help individuals see themselves in a shared experience with others also coping with chronic illness. The county also discusses the importance of direct participation in cultural events, trusted institutions, and other opportunities for community engagement.
Part 3: Suffolk County features the work of Suffolk County Office for the Aging and the LGBT Network to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ+ older adults through specialized services. LGBTQ+ adults are twice as likely as their peers to live alone. Many experience social isolation. This population is also less likely to access many services for the aging, including senior centers, meal programs, and other supports. Suffolk County Office for the Aging and the LGBT Network are working together to overcome these disparities.