July 01, 2016
Western New York Chapter of NYSARA Activism
OUTREACH AND INPUT
By Stephen J. Muscarella
President, WNY Chapter of NYSARA
After many years of discussing how our Alliance chapter could effectively reach out to various senior community groups the Western New York chapter of NYSARA has initiated an outreach project that they feel has potential.
Our chapter invited the Directors of the senior centers and other community activists to our annual Spring luncheon.
Six individuals accepted our invitation, and combined with our Alliance membership, participated in a lively workshop discussing senior needs and concerns in our community.
At this time, most of our Alliance membership is retired unionists who have benefit from good wages, pensions, health insurance and prescription drug benefits. We are blessed with a modicum of economic security in retirement because we are union.
Contrast this with the reports we received from our senior community directors. Poverty among the elderly, including the more affluent suburbs, is prevalent.
Transportation is another salient concern. We are told that many seniors have difficulty getting around. This coincides with our study of livable communities.
We are also told that many elderly do not utilize senior services that are available. They either don’t know what’s out there or don’t have the patients to navigate the bureaucracy involved. This population needs case managers to assist them with the process.
Senior Centers also must deal with apathetic and complacent elderly. Directors search for motivators to energize their membership.
We have been invited to visit three senior centers to follow up this initial contact. We look forward to a more in depth discussion with these directors with the goal of working with them on programs that would help our senior population.
Our chapter hopes that this foray into the senior community will yield reciprocal benefits. NYSARA will receive greater recognition among our elderly population and our retirees will be recipients of our efforts to promote senior welfare, respect and knowledge.
Additionally, we work for the recognition of the value of the aged in our society.
Letter to Western New York Chapter of NYSARA President Steve Muscarella
Ann told me how you supported quality patient care and the staffing bill Friday with your Western New York Chapter of NYSARA members. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it from a union solidarity perspective but also from a bedside nurse perspective and someone who has recently had family in the hospital.
Sarah Buckley RN
CWA 1168 Legislative-Political Action Director