Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) has launched a new program for seniors with developmental disabilities. The Lifelong Enrichment Program (LEP) will provide social activities, wellness counseling, and an opportunity to explore the transition from vocational employment into retirement. The program is funded by the NYC Department of Mental Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and Department for the Aging (DFTA), with the support of Council Member Stephen Levin and the New York City Council.
“Thanks to advances in medicine and healthcare, more older Brooklynites are able to plan for long retirements after their working lives, remaining active and engaged well into their golden years,” said BCS Executive Director, Marla Simpson. “We hope to expand this innovative program to serve more seniors with developmental disabilities, as they too, transition from their supported employment careers into retirement.“
Unlike other seniors, adults with disabilities may not have adult children to step in and provide support. According to the Association on Aging with Developmental Disabilities, the cost of long-term care for seniors with developmental disabilities can be anywhere from $6,500 to $12,500 per month. This motivated BCS and the DOHMH, with the City Council as a key partner, to work collaboratively to create the Lifelong Enrichment Program to help these seniors better transition into this period of their lives.
“Every person deserves the opportunity of a smooth transition from their working life into a retirement that is active and fulfilling,” said Council Member Levin, who will observe a wellness class and meet participants Friday, March 7th. “I’m proud to support the Lifelong Enrichment Program that will assist seniors with developmental disabilities with this transition and thank Brooklyn Community Services for all of the amazing work they do.”
“Our goal is to help seniors with developmental disabilities live more enriched, fulfilling lives,” said LEP Program Director, John Scarimbolo. “Whether it’s gaining computer literacy skills, or learning how to budget, make simple healthy meals or explore cultural activities in their communities, we hope our seniors will have the knowledge to transition into this next phase of their lives smoothly.”