Richard’s Almanac: Senior Services Office is here to serve



I had a conversation last week with Sy Weissman, the current head of the Senior Citizens Foundation. He is the current president because at the last meeting of the Foundation, Sy stepped down after many years of leadership. He cited health reasons and the desire to get new blood into the organization. A new president was elected.

A few days later, he told the board members that the newly-elected president would not be able to serve.

So Sy is back to being president and actively trying to find a successor.

In the meantime, his COPD flared up and he had to be hospitalized. He is now back home recovering.

When he first returned home, he discovered he needed to make use of the benefits available to seniors on the Island.

His daughter Judy contacted Henrietta Roberts  at the Senior Services Office and explained her father’s immediate needs. He was weak and needed some assistance for daily activities like moving around the house and getting in and out of the shower.

The center provided a “Cadillac of walkers,” as Sy calls it, complete with a seat, storage space, hand brakes and a parking brake. Henrietta also arranged for a shower chair for the tub and grab bars to be installed on the walls in the bathroom.

Bruce Jernick showed up at his house and took measurements in  the bathroom. He returned a few days later and installed grab bars in both showers in Sy’s house.

“The work took about three hours,” he said. “It looks great!” I saw the bars and they appear to be of good quality and installed in a workmanlike fashion.

“The best part is I only had to pay $80 for the materials,” he said. He did not have to pay for the labor.

He added that there is a vast number of tasks that can be done for seniors; the only cost is for the materials.“Rich or poor, these services are available free of charge.”

He also noted that numerous appliances including walkers, canes and other equipment are available at the Senior Center for use by Islanders free of charge. You just need to sign them out. Call Ms. Roberts at the Senior Center at 749-1059 for more information.

On another subject, Sy and I talked about beefing up membership on the Senior Citizens Foundation board. Membership is open to all Islanders regardless of age.

“Maybe that would help us get new perspectives,” he said.

So, the Foundation needs new members and a new president.

Anyone with ideas, please call me, the secretary, at 749-0832 or e-mail [email protected]