NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Meadow Lane Senior Apartments, a new independent senior housing complex at United Hebrew of New Rochelle, has received a $250,000 grant from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation that will support its $6 million construction. The project adds 32 low-income apartments – 24 one-bedroom units and eight studios – to United Hebrew’s senior housing stock, which also includes Soundview Apartments ’ 135 spacious units. The purpose of the Weinberg Foundation is to assist low-income and vulnerable individuals and families through nonprofit grants to direct-service providers.
Meadow Lane helps fill a growing need in the region, which has seen a dramatic decrease in programs and housing options for low-income seniors, while the aging population has increased and greater numbers of older adults have chosen to “age in place.” United Hebrew is uniquely equipped to serve those seniors by offering them independent senior housing on a campus which offers services to them as their healthcare needs change. But the trends have created a backlog; the wait list for the Soundview independent senior living apartments on the campus has grown to more than 300 people. The wait to get in is more than three years. The new complex expands United Hebrew’s ability to accommodate them.
“I feel very blessed that I’ve got this place to live in,” says Flora Fuentes, who moved into Meadow Lane in January. “It’s the perfect place for me. It’s quiet and I feel comfortable here.”
The 62-year-old home care aide had been living with her daughter for almost three years. At Meadow Lane, she has already made friends who share coffee in each other’s apartments, and says people have plenty to do. They enjoy an independent lifestyle, and often meet in the community room, where they play games, hold events, and celebrate birthdays. “Everybody here is smiling and friendly when you see them walking the halls,” she says. “Everyone is very nice.”
Meadow Lane is the latest addition to United Hebrew, and part of a transformation of its 7.5 acre campus of comprehensive care that that now includes a state-of-the-art skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, an award winning assisted living facility, and a new memory care facility devoted exclusively to the care of those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Additional funding came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s section 202 program supporting housing for very low-income elderly and from private donations.
“This Weinberg grant means more to us than just the financial support it offers,” said Rita Mabli, President and CEO of United Hebrew. “It helps us to provide the best care possible to a growing number of residents, and to serve as a model eldercare community for Westchester County, the greater New York area, and the nation. We are very grateful to the Weinberg Foundation and look forward to working with them in the future as we provide for the housing needs of the seniors in our community.”
The grant for Meadow Lane is the second gift that United Hebrew has received from the Weinberg Foundation. The first, a $1.5 million challenge grant, helped to build a new, state-of-the-art skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, which opened in 2009. Meadow Lane was created in the building that housed United Hebrew’s former skilled nursing center, a four-story, 82,000-square-foot building that also includes Willow Gardens Memory Care, Westchester’s first nonprofit assisted living facility devoted exclusively to caring for those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
Meadow Lane residents, like their neighbors in the Soundview apartments, will benefit from the Telehealth Intervention Program for Seniors (TIPS) that allows nurses to monitor their vital signs – blood-oxygen level, blood pressure, pulse and weight – from remote locations. This will allow residents to receive some preventive medical services, health education and other services where they live, helping many to remain independent longer.
Studies show that telehealth services such as remote patient monitoring and personal emergency response improve health and quality of life while reducing emergency room visits and repeat hospital stays. They also result in significant health-cost savings to individuals and institutions alike.
Those benefits are especially important in Westchester, where 75 percent of the residents 65 and older are affected by multiple chronic health conditions, according to 2012 data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The county’s seniors are treated in emergency rooms and return to hospitals within 30 days of discharge from a first visit more frequently than state and national averages.
United Hebrew hopes to eventually establish Meadow Lane as a technology hub with links to medical, wellness and social services for seniors in nearby Section 202 buildings as well as those living on campus. Activities such as health programs and exercise sessions at Meadow Lane could be simulcast in the community rooms in neighboring buildings via linked-in communications systems so that seniors throughout the region could benefit from them.