Topic Proposal

October 6, 2010

The community that I plan on working with for this project, is not an ethnic, religious or social status community. It’s a community that consists of seniors of all ethnic backgrounds, religions and social statuses. At The Rock Health and Fitness Health Club, where I am currently employed, there’s a special program for senior citizens called Silver Sneakers. There are a group of experienced instructors and trainers in Silver Sneakers who know how to specifically work with the seniors. The seniors who are part of Silver Sneakers get a discounted rate of $45.00 a month or get free membership if they get the proper approval from their insurance. They must, however, attend at least two of the weekly classes and visit the gym twenty times a month. At these classes, the seniors get to socialize with one another, which I think is the most important part of the gatherings since most of these seniors don’t have much family and are lonely. They also get health consultations, exercise, one on one counseling with the instructors, information on how to get access to other programs and coupons amongst other benefits they get as well. Overall, the program is a great opportunity for the seniors.

But a major issue is that most of the seniors end up not attending their classes because of transportation trouble and end up getting kicked out of Silver Sneakers. It’s a shame because for many of these seniors, the trip to the gym is their only reason to get out of the house and Silver Sneakers is a great way for them to take care of themselves and socialize with others of the same age. A lot of these elderly people don’t have families they can turn to, so for them, being a part of Silver Sneakers is like being a part of a family. Obviously, I can’t help every single senior that’s part of Silver Sneakers, but even if I help out just a few of these people, I think I can make a difference. I plan on contacting a private transportation system that is exclusively for seniors and people with disabilities and see if I can work something out. I can make the information available to the seniors at the gym by putting up posters and pamphlets. I can also privately talk to some of the members with transportation issues and see where else they have trouble getting to so I can see if the private bus service can help them outside the gym. I can also help them get reduced fair metro cards and help them figure out the bus/train routes they need to travel to get to the gym.

The way I plan on going about with my project is by first, speaking to some of the Silver Sneakers members. I want to gather as much information about them as possible so I can see who has transportation issues, how far away from the gym they live and how beneficial the transportation guide would be to them. Then I’m going to contact a few private transportation services and get the information available to the seniors via posters, pamphlets and word of mouth. I will be willing to assist anyone of the seniors who wish to use the bus service and help get them set up. I want to contact the New York City Department of Transportation, MTA, Super Shuttle (a private van service), NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission and other private transportation providers.

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3 Responses to “Topic Proposal”

  1.   jk25 Says:

    I have budded heads with the MTA and am very grateful that I drive my own car now. You should definitely make use of them and any other form of transportation possible in order to assist these senior citizens. They have no one else they can turn to and it would be a great thing to add purpose to their lives. They deserve to socialize with peope their age and continue to interact in activities that they enjoy and gain friendship in process. Senior citizens sometimes need a boost to keep going and this program sounds like a great opportunity for them to have a good time. It looks like you have an organized, well thought out plan. You might even consider displaying your new plan on a big poster board with all the information and necessary steps required in order to recognize and fulfill the goals you have set out.

  2.   nvargas101 Says:

    Senior citizens are what we will be in generations to come, who knows if you taking action at your gym could change the mta’s system or other systems to help us when we become elderly. I think this is a great idea. I think you could also contact access a ride, where I used to work (at a doctors office) a lot of the patients used that system, they pay like 2 dollars each way though, and its unreliable sometimes they would be up to a hour late picking up the person.

  3.   gvassaliko Says:

    I think this is a great topic and a great opportunity to make a difference in your community. The program is great but as you said definitely lacks transportation support. If you are able to set up some kind of program for these seniors, it will be great to make a difference and just seeing how much of a difference you make will be so rewarding in itself.

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