Today, nearly 20% of all New Yorkers are aged 60 and over, demonstrating a need for leaders who will protect and advocate for the needs of their community. The issues that seniors face have been brushed aside by politicians in Albany for too long, but Ann Brancato vows to change that.
While Directing the Center for Aging at Bronx Community College, Ann developed a Homecare Program for the Frail and Elderly, which was later written into the United States Congressional Record. Ann has firsthand knowledge about the challenges that this community faces, and she knows how to serve those who need her most.
One tremendous problem that elderly New Yorkers are susceptible to is the risk of financial exploitation at the hands of scammers. Senior citizens control 70% of the nation’s wealth, so the need to enact legislation to prevent exploitation is imperative. Ann has a plan to establish a multidisciplinary comprehensive task force to act as a resource for defining issues, developing action plans, and providing direct assistance to elderly folks for protection against financial fraudulence.
On the opposite end of this issue, economic insecurity is still an issue that burdens many older people in New York State – notably elderly women. Many older women age into poverty, given the compounding effects of gender disparities in the workforce and societal norms that position women as the primary caregivers of families. We must ensure that our mothers and grandmothers live in financial security, having access to all the resources they need to live happy and healthy lives.
Healthcare and medical service costs also impose incredibly high burdens upon the elderly community: a challenge that no New Yorker should face. To address this, Ann is an advocate for developing affordable prescription plans for seniors 65 years and older with limited incomes to allow greater options for purchasing prescriptions at reduced costs. Ann also supports allowing the purchase of prescriptions from designated Canadian sources, which are often substantially more affordable than U.S. name brand and generic drugs.
Another paramount challenge that we must address for the elderly community is access to home care services for those who are ill or suffering from disabilities. Ann will advocate for increased funding for home care services for frail, elderly folks, notably in programs that assist in payment, for these services. Financial support for senior’s families will make it easier to avoid institutionalization in nursing homes- many of which have questionable services that would be much better administered at home. We must also work with healthcare professionals to create resources and strict guidelines for the training and education of people providing home care services to the elderly. This training should include general care guidelines focusing on maintaining the dignity, independence, and control of seniors over their health and lives.
No one should be left behind or forgotten by society, leaders, and their community – especially not those who have lived long and fruitful lives. Ann vows to bring her experience and energy to Albany to protect and fight for the elderly community in New York.