Recognizing very little is known about the homeless aging population and far less about those aging in place within supportive housing, the CSH New York City Supportive Housing Aging Learning Collaborative has released “Home to Stay: Creating Quality Supportive Housing for Aging Tenants Core Competencies Checklist & Resource Guide.” The Learning Collaborative developed this new Guide to call attention to the unique housing and service needs experienced by aging formerly homeless adults. It also provides promising approaches for improving supportive housing providers’ capacity to deliver and coordinate flexible and responsive services to aging residents with complex health and social support needs.
The guide serves as a 3-in-1 resource for New York City supportive housing providers:
- A self-assessment guide for agencies to assess their readiness to respond to the needs of aging adults, from physical space as well as program design aspects.
- A compilation of accumulated promising practices for serving aging tenants, including effective socialization strategies, care coordination, staffing models, and other issues/areas important to aging tenants and the providers who serve them.
- A guide to NYC-specific resources to promote healthy aging in place in supportive housing.
“Our mission at the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) is to work for the empowerment, independence, dignity and quality-of-life of New York City’s diverse older adults and for the support of their families through advocacy, education, and the coordination and delivery of services. This City’s large older adult population is one of the most diverse in the nation with wide-ranging service needs. Through the provision of DFTA services, we aim to address the social, culture and care needs of all of our City’s aging, especially the most vulnerable among us. The DFTA-related resources provided in the CSH Core Competencies Guide will expand providers’ awareness of and access to critical supports that promote healthy aging in place. We encourage the expansion of partnerships with community-based organizations for the provision of programs and services to foster independence, safety, wellness, community participation, and quality-of life.” -Karen Taylor, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Community Services, NYC Department for the Aging
“The aging process never stops, until it does with conclusive finality. Each person experiences a shifting relationship to health, physical capacity, emotional status, and community shaped by the dynamic interplay of class, race, ethnicity, and gender. Complicated enough with advantageous alignments; a deal more dicey if histories of homelessness and chronic mental health conditions are factors. Project FIND, where I work, has a unique focus on older adults, partnering in keeping them housed, independent, connected and respected. One of our residential programs, the Woodstock Hotel, is designed to be responsive to the needs of 280 formerly homeless or very low income persons over the age of 54. Poverty and homelessness often accelerate the aging process, but they do not alter core universal imperatives for friendship, engagement, respect, accommodation. The CSH Core Competencies Guide touches on many of the considerations provider agencies will encounter as their tenants reach their golden years.” -David Gillcrist, Executive Director, Project FIND
“Age-friendly NYC is a partnership of the Office of the Mayor, the New York City Council, and the New York Academy of Medicine that works to maximize the social, physical, and economic participation of older people to improve their overall health and wellbeing and strengthen communities. Some of the improvements made by Age-friendly NYC include a reduction in senior pedestrian fatalities by 11%; increased walkability through the addition of public seating; new programming for older people at parks, educational, and cultural institutions; and a better consumer experience offered by many local businesses. Access to safe, accessible, and affordable housing has been a priority for Age-friendly NYC since its inception in 2007. Age-friendly resources included in this guide are intended to help supportive housing providers in addressing the broader determinants of health for their aging tenants to mitigate the risks of falls, polypharmacy, and elder abuse; prevent/reduce social isolation; and promote increased physical activity and healthy choices.” - Lindsay Goldman, Director, Healthy Aging, Center for Health Policy and Programs, The New York Academy of Medicine
“We undertook the mission of compiling this Guide book because the Learning Collaborative has realized there are good practices and resources out there, it’s just that no one has zeroed in and pulled them together in one clear document. Our goal is to shine a spotlight on what is working and share this information with as many providers as possible. We chose to include check lists as a way to make the Guide tangible and convenient for providers. We also are hopeful the many resources cited will come in handy. The bottom line is always about improving the overall quality of life for aging tenants in supportive housing and those now homeless who should be in supportive housing.” -Kristin Miller, Director, CSH Metro (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania)
The Core Competencies Checklist & Resource Guide is made possible through the generous support of Mizuho USA Foundation, Inc. of Mizuho Bank, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.