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North Hempstead Introduces Project Independence

                                     Immediate Release Contact: David A. Chauvin

January 27, 2006 (516) 869-7794

North Hempstead Introduces Project Independence

Town’s New Program a First for State Suburban Communities

New Hyde Park, NY- Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Councilwoman Lee Seeman, State Senator Michael Balboni, and State Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli announced today that the Town of North Hempstead will be the first suburban municipality in New York State to offer a new program called Project Independence, a new initiative designed to help senior residents remain active members of the community. The Town has partnered with FEGS Health and Human Service System, one of the largest not-for-profit human service agencies, North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System and other local health care and social service providers to bring this project to the residents of North New Hyde Park.

“Project Independence will help seniors to continue to remain in their homes and familiar neighborhoods with a sense of security,” commented Supervisor Kaiman. “It will improve access to social, health and recreational services while making the transition for our residents into their golden years an enjoyable one.”

State Senator Michael Balboni said, "The introduction of the successful Project Independence will allow many area seniors to remain independent and

integrated into our community. The benefits of this cost effective

program will be plentiful; reducing return visits to the hospital and maintaining seniors in their homes where they feel most comfortable. North Hempstead seniors deserve this welcome choice."

“Project Independence offers a means of preventing or delaying placement in a long term care facility,” said Assemblyman DiNapoli. “Seniors can remain in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own homes.”

The major goal of Project Independence is to help residents remain in their homes after retirement. The program is offered to anyone age 60 or over that lives in Northern New Hyde Park between Jericho Turnpike and Union Turnpike. Project Independence services include healthcare monitoring and screening, connections to benefits and services, home maintenance assistance like lawn mowing and minor repairs, transportation services, counseling, meal preparation and nutrition assistance as well as social and recreational opportunities. Volunteers from within the community and from the rolls of program participants themselves are a key component of the program.

“By providing this wide range of services in the community, we can help these folks stay healthy and self-sufficient longer, avoid costlier health and social services in the future, and will allow our community to continue to enjoy intergenerational diversity and richness,” added Councilwoman Seeman. “I encourage our senior citizens to take advantage of a great program that has a lot to offer.”

“FEGS is pleased and proud to work in partnership with the Town Of North Hempstead, North Shore-LIJ Health System, many other community groups and, in particular, the residents, to ensure a seamless continuum of care that will meet seniors' needs as they define them, and enable individuals to remain in the homes and community with which they are familiar and comfortable,” added Kathy Rosenthal, L-CSW, Vice President, Long Island Regional Operations, FEGS.

More than 10 community based organizations, businesses, healthcare providers and schools are already involved in the open and ongoing program planning process.

Residents seeking more information about Project Independence or interested in volunteering for a planning committee can call Commissioner Madge Kaplan or Project Independence Coordinator Caisy Goldschmidt of the Community Services Department at (516) 869-7793.

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