NATIONAL INDO-AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS INC.
Summer/Fall 2004 issue Editors: Rajeshwar Prasad & Ashwin Pandya, MD
Web site: www.niaasc.org
Toll-free phone: 866-6-niaasc (866-664-2272)
Office: 1824 Fairfax Street, Elmont, NY 11003
7 Roberta Avenue, Farmingville, NY 11738
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ABOUT NIAASC:
The National Indo-American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC), incorporated in early 1999, is a nonprofit 501C3 organization. Its mission is to serve seniors through information, referral and advocacy services. NIAASC has organized eight full-day conferences/workshops and the subjects covered included: Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare and Medicaid Basics, Long Term Care, Transportation, Family Conflicts & Compromises Faced by Seniors, Senior Housing, Respite Care, Process of Knowing and Availing Services for Seniors, Advocacy Process, Elder Law, and Planning, Development and Administration of Senior Housing Complex. NIAASC through formal surveys, informal discussions and observations, has identified problems faced by Indian seniors, their needs and aspirations in USA. It has periodically published its newsletter or progress report. Its representatives have appeared on television, and written articles of interest to seniors and their families. Its pamphlet 'How to Set Up Senior Citizen Program' is available on request. Its Board of Directors is composed of individuals with dedication and professionalism in different fields. It provides a continuity of efforts by virtue of the fact that only one-third of its Board members retire every year, though eligible to be reelected. Its membership is open to all but decision-making rests with members 50 years of age and over. NIAASC remains to be an information, referral and advocacy entity without reinventing wheels and bringing to the attention of seniors and their families services available in their local communities and encouraging them to utilize them. Its collaborative efforts extend to a number of local, national and international entities. NIAASC works closely with a number of organizations, and maintains working relationship with a number of groups.
COLLABORATION with OTHER GROUPS:
NIAASC has maintained steady
collaboration with a number of agencies: Among them are: the Indian
American Kerala Civic and Cultural Center, Global Organization of People
of Indian Origin, Senior Citizen Center of New York (Vaishnav Temple),
India Association of Long Island, Guru Gobind Singh Senior Center at the
Plainview Gurudwara, Senior Forum by the Long Island Gujarati Cultural
Society, Hindu Temple Society of North America, Asian American Federation
of New York, and Asian Americans for Equality.
Development and Administration of Senior Housing Complex:
A Brainstorming Session by NIAASC on August 22, 2004
Association for Senior Citizens
(NIAASC) held a
Complexes, on August
22,2004, at the Kerala
Center in Elmont, NY.
its mission of
through information, referral and advocacy services and
decent housing, in
years yearning to lead
rich and independent lives.
The session, attended by 26
participants, and coordinated by Dr. Ashok Satkalmi, NIAASC Vice
President, was punctuated
a specially-chosen panel of experts
actively involved in
the area of
remark, Mr. Rajeshwar Prasad, NIAASC President,
dissemination, referral and
advocacy services and how in
this brainstorming session was
conceived in response to the
community needs for housing articulated by
members in various
NIAASC meetings. Mr. Prasad also informed that the media coverage of the
proposed brainstorming session generated calls from Indian community
leaders from Chicago,
Houston, New Jersey expressing that the session could be a good starting point on senior housing subject. Mr.
E.M. Stephen , president of the Kerala Center, welcomed all participants on behalf of
the Center. He emphasized close working
relationship between NIAASC and the Center. He also informed that the
Center runs two senior programs, along with many other activities.
by Messrs. M.K.Ramasubramanian,
NIAASC Board Member and Rajeshwar
into three broad
DEVELOPMENT and ADMINISTRATION
covered by a pair
into the "expertise"
of the panelists in the subject
a free exchange of
ideas, recognizing the
the three components
in a comprehensive
PLANNING session was led
by Ms. Aleyamma Mathew
and Ms. Michelle Santantonio.Ms.
Aleyamma Mathew, Director of
Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
(National CAPACD), outlined
organizations across the
not directly involved
in Housing activities
per se, she
by virtue of
reach across the US
and how these
activities with Housing
as the cornerstone.
The queries and
discussions that followed
opportunities for follow-up.
Ms. Michelle Santantonio, Executive Director, Long Island Housing Services, then traced the historical development and advancement of civil rights issues as they pertain to immigrant, minority communities with housing discrimination as one of the thorny issues and how her organization namely the Long Island Housing Services successfully, valiantly and effectively fought to advance the cause over the last thirty years, in alliance with Human Rights Commissions. She unequivocally outlined the do's and don'ts of Senior Citizens Housing development emphasizing the need to eschew any overt/covert "exclusiveness" perceptions, however inadvertent and benign the attempts may be. She also pointed out that the rules and regulations have to be observed strictly irrespective of whether the projects are Govt. or private funded. Given the vastness and diversity of the communities dispersed in the US the Indo-American Communities involved in Housing development activities must be cautioned to be fully aware and adhere to local laws on fair housing.
(Please note that Long Island Housing Services, Inc. will be celebrating its 35th Anniversary Dinner-Dance-Fundraising on Thursday, December 9, 2004 at Villa Lombardi's in Holbrook, Suffolk County, New York from 6:00 to 10:00 P.M. More information will be made available at the NIAASC General Body meeting on October 30, 2004. Save the Date)
led by Mr. Doug
Aloise , Housing Administrator for the
Catholic Charities in
Hicksville, New York, who manages in excess of
1250 housing units
in Nassau/Suffolk Counties. Doug
stressed the importance of
zoning requirements laid
out by the local
with the Planning Board officials and
in the community
and be attentive to the sensitivities of
populace. He referred
(namely what % of income
should rent account
for in these units ) and how
requirements, exceeding this
threshold can be
met by subsidies etc.
the prevailing laws
applicable in the
Director of Planning and Development at Asian Americans for
Equality (AAFE), and a licensed architect, then
the Development segment
in this area
by virtue of
in the Asian-Americans For
Equality. Frank stressed
objectives, mission statements
Housing projects, the need
to the administrative burdens
applications (with limited
staffing resources) winnowing them down to the available housing units—often a fraction of the applications received given the inherent difficulties of laying down criteria that are deemed fair and equitable in the allocation process. Frankalso provided some insights into the Capital Outlays involved which are a function of the community neighborhoods and the sizes of the units proposed. While rental-ceiling formulas (e.g. not exceeding 30% of income) can be used as a norm in assessing the "economics" of the housing projects, these can be suitably modified using historic rents (wherever they exceeded the "thresholds") paid by the prospective applicants. Needless to say these guidelines have to be tailored to the local community conditions and needs.
led by Mr. Subash
Midha, currently CFO
Inc.. He emphasized
to take - whether we
choose the HUD-Subsidized route of
Tax shelters or private-initiatives
in the setting
up of the Senior Housing Projects. The
involved in Govt-funded
to be carefully
evaluated before embarking upon the projects.
Any covenants or
accompany such funding schemes need to be
adhered to in the
light of the
community's needs/objectives. Mr. Midha cautioned
budgeting, cost containment, staffing
more demanding than
up of the housing units.
Mr. Basant Kohli , an Executive with Metropolitan Life and AARP Ombudservice volunteer, the other panelist in the Administrative segment outlined the activities of Ombudservice (an adjunct of AARP)—one of which involves Assisted Living entailing periodic visits and inspections of the facilities.
The after-lunch session was punctuated by lively, interactive discussions on the presentations, moderated by Dr. Ashok Satkalmi. The consensus amongst the panelists was that the whole process of the Senior Housing Developments ,from conception to consummation must be thought through with clearly laid out objectives regarding location, size of units,mode of financing, adherence to local laws (zoning, fair housing statutes etc.). The panel also stressed that meeting the " unique needs" of the Indo-American Senior Communities has to conform to the need to be inclusive and this delicate balance has to be carefully preserved in the true spirit of the American Immigration experience and history.
The discussions hovered on the next steps to be taken by NIAASC building on the ideas/concepts thrashed out at the session. The group also discussed possibilities of developing retirement communities by interested individuals, who will be acting as owners. It was decided a Working Committee be set up, to be coordinated by Mr. M.K. Ramasubramanian, with the help of Board members and some of the panelists. This Committee will focus on the salient aspects of senior Housing Issue, delve deep into the specifics wherever deemed appropriate, meet with some of the panelists and other agencies deemed knowledgeable on the subject and develop a report which NIAASC could peruse and decide on the suitability for dissemination to the Community.
The panelists were
equally impressed with the group of this brainstorming session. Many of
these participants had professional background in various fields such as
medicine, insurance, health and human services, social work,
administration and management, coordination of senior programs,
accounting. Panelists confided that the work ahead is challenging but not
impossible. The success of the project requires collaboration and
partnership, and they reiterated that NIAASC in its future deliberations
on the issue of senior housing can depend on the agencies represented by
the panelists. In his
the role of
NIAASC as a
information source for the communities
projects on key
Housing. He emphasized that implementation of housing
schemes would be undertaken
by the communities involved,
as a facilitator. Mr.
Prasad stated that NIAASC has played similar role as facilitator in
various senior citizen programs, sponsored by different community
Tara Kotecha, Secretary
NIAASC, proposed a vote
in the sessions. She
underlined the cooperation extended by the Kerala Center under Mr.
Stephen's leadership. The unanimous
the brainstorming session
and the participants
left with a great sense of accomplishment. They recognized the difficult
task ahead and encouraged the NIAASC to play a leading role on this
OF THE NIAASC BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
The NIAASC Board of
Directors meets four times a year and
the Executive Committee meets in between. If you are interested to
attend the Board meeting, please call NIAASC Secretary, for date, time and
place. Next meeting will be a telephone conference. The NIAASC Board can
have a maximum number of 21 members. Currently it has 20 members.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: 2004
president (631-698-0512), Ashwin Pandya MD, vice president (516-292-9741),
Ashok Satkalmi Ph.D., vice president (718-343-9038), Tara Kotecha,
secretary (516-826-0486) and Romesh Tewari, treasurer ( 732-727-9456)
Samir K. Dutta
MD, Floral Park, NY; Sushila Gidwani-Buschi: Dobbs Ferry NY; Satpal
Malhotra: Westbury, NY; Satya Malhotra
RN: Westbury NY; Kamla Motihar: Flushing NY; Chandubhai Patel:
Bellerose, NY; Manoj K. Patel Esq.: Jersey City NJ; M.K.Ramasubramanian:
Fresh Meadows NY; Asha Samant DDS: Livingston NJ; V.N.Sehgal MD:
Jackson Heights NY; Suprabhat Sengupta: Flushing NY; Chandrakant
Shah: Floral Park NY; Vipin Shah: Old Bridge NJ;
E.M.Stephen: Elmont NY; Satish Varma MD: New Hyde Park NY.
MARK THE DATE OF OCTOBER 30, 2004 AND REGISTER TO ATTEND THE MEETING,
CONFERENCE AND LUNCHEON: HELP SPONSOR THE EVENT: Details inside
FOR THE NIAASC BOARD OF DIRECTORS: On July 16, 2004 NIAASC members
were notified that any one interested to serve on the Board of Directors
of NIAASC should so notify
the Nominating Committee ASAP. Those eligible may still send in their
desire to serve on the Board to: NIAASC at 1824, Fairfax Street, Elmont,
NY 11003 (marked Nomination Committee), latest by October 10,
2004.Nomination Committee will present its recommendations to the General
Body Meeting on October 30, 2004. One-third of NIAASC Board members retire
every year but they can be re-nominated.
BODY MEETING, LUNCHEON AND CONFERENCE
OCTOBER 30, 2004
American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center, 1824 Fairfax Street, Elmont,
Nassau County, New York
Registration, Reception and Breakfast
Luncheon, Recognition of Sponsors , Community Leaders
& Award to Honorees*
General Body Meeting, Nomination Committee Report
Annual Progress and Fiscal
Reports April 03 to March 04
Organizational Meeting of the Board of Directors
(All are invited to attend)
Election of Officers
* In 2003, NIAASC
honored two distinguished community leaders for their foresight and
commitment for seniors of Indian
origin: They were Dr.
Uma Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America,
and Ms. Chan Jamoona,
and Founder President of the United Hindu Cultural Senior Center
Subject will be "Social and
Cultural Interventions & Elderly Abuse." As always NIAASC
will have professional speaker/s for the conference, and there will be an
interactive discussion on this important issue. NIAASC recognizes that in
many cases it is the elderly parent/s who are likely to be abused, and in
certain cases it is the reverse.
NIAASC is requesting a donation of $35.00 per person for this event from
non members and $25.00 per person
from NIAASC members.
NIAASC is also requesting the following sponsorships:
Collaborative Sponsorship by nonprofit organization
Sponsorship from commercial entity
All sponsors will be
acknowledged in the program and announced at the General Body meeting.
interested in senior programs may wish to be recognized as Supporting Organizations without financial obligation. Let us know.
to the Indian American Kerala Center:
1824 Fairfax Street, Elmont, New York 11003
(Telephone of the Center: 516-358-2000). From New Jersey, Take
Verazano Bridge to Belt Parkway and follow the direction below:
Cross Island Parkway: south if you are coming from Long Island Expressway
or Northern State Parkway; north, if you are coming from Southern State
Parkway or Belt Parkway. Once on Cross Island Parkway take exit 26B for
Hempstead Turnpike (going east). On the seventh traffic light (landmark
2nd Mobile gas station), including one blinking light, make right. You
will be on School Road. Second left from School Road is Fairfax Street.
The Center is at the corner of Fairfax and School.
For further information about Sponsorship and Registration for the October 30th Program please call any of the officers of NIAASC listed under Board of Directors, or send E-mail to NIAASC@AOL.COM, or you may fill out the form(s) below and send the same with your check payable to NIAASC to NIAASC, 7 Roberta Avenue, Farmingville, NY 11738.
OF INTEREST TO SENIORS:
It is to inform you
that in Long Island and New York City following
senior programs are available for Indian seniors:
* United Hindu
Cultural Council Senior Center: Monday to Friday 10:00 AM. to 3:00 P.M.
118-09 Sutter Avenue, South Ozone Park (Queens), NY 11419, Telephone:
* Senior Citizen
Center of New York (Vaishnav Temple): 196-43 Foothill Avenue, Holliswood,
NY 11423, Alternate Saturday 2:00 P.M. To 4:00 P.M. Telephone:
* Senior Program by
the Hindu Temple Society of North America: Every Wednesday, 10:00 A.M. to
3:00 P.M., at 45-57 Bowne Street, Flushing, NY 11355, Telephone:
* Guru Gobind Singh
Senior Center at the Plainview Gurudwara: Every Thursday, 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., at Old Country Road, Plainview,
Nassau County, New York.
* Senior Forum by
the Long Island Gujarati Cultural Society: Last Sunday of each month 1:00
P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at 39 Montauk Highway, Blue Point, NY 11715: Town of
Brookhaven -- Recreation Center
* Senior Citizens
Program by the Indian American Kerala Cultural & Civic Center at 1824
Fairfax Street, Elmont, Last Monday of the month 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
* Senior Program by
India Association of Long Island in collaboration with the Town of
Huntington at 423 Park Avenue, Huntington, fourth Saturday of every month.
Telephone: 631-351-3253 or call IALI at 631-499-3059 (Mr. Uppal)
Program: Funding for this program is
provided through the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). The local AAA
receives it from a State Unit on Aging which is funded by the US
Department of Health and Human Services. The local AAA contracts with
other entities to provide the services under this program. NIAASC is
pleased to provide information from one specific program for the benefit
of seniors. Seniors should contact the local AAA to know about similar
programs in their areas. Following is an example of an ongoing program: (Adapted
from the Town of Brookhaven Flyer): Contact Person: Madeline
631-451-9092: between 9:00 & 3:00 P.M.
Town of Brookhaven residents who are homeowners or condominium owners,
apartment renters (with signed consent of homeowner) ... All of whom must
be 60 years of age or older. Priority is given to those persons with
physical or financial limitations: The Program provides household
assistance with chores that do not require the skills of a licensed
craftsperson. This is not an Emergency Service. Hours limited to 16 hours
per fiscal year.
Plumbing: Replacing washers or
faucets for kitchen sinks, wash basins and tubs. Clearing clogged sinks
and toilet drains only B.
Electrical: Repairing or rewiring lamps, replace light switches or
receptacles, including fuses; replacing frayed cords, No Appliance Repairs
except hose connection. C.
Carpentry: Install grab bars or safety rails for tubs and toilets.
Minor repairs to doors, floors, house trim etc. Install shelves. D.
Painting: Exterior: house trim, window trim, doors and overhang
on house, only when necessary. No Shutters
ceiling of kitchens and bathrooms and other ceilings where water or
structural damage has occurred. Patch walls and ceilings - no cosmetic
work. E. Weatherization: Caulking and weather-stripping of windows and
doors. F. Exterior: Minor
patching of concrete or blacktop driveways, walks and masonry foundations.
G. Crime Prevention: Installing - Door and window locks, peepholes.
H. Miscellaneous: Replacing broken window panes; installation or
removal of storm windows and screens, Repair of screens. Clean gutters and
drains (one story high only).
Process: The program
coordinator will estimate work needed and cost of materials. Materials
must be provided and paid for by eligible persons. No Tipping ... Free
Proposal to form an Indian Senior Singles Group: Soliciting Comments &
A very involved
social work professional from Texas has suggested to NIAASC to explore the
possibility of forming a Group of Single Seniors of Indian Origin, age 60
+ at the national level. The proposal underlines the suggested eligibility
requirements for such seniors: be very comfortable in speaking and writing
English; must be living by themselves meaning they are financial head of
the household; and must be able to access e-mail/website or willing to
learn. The format of membership is open for suggestions, whether it should
be an independent entity with membership dues or part of an existing
organization such as NIAASC where members identify specifically their
preference for the 'Singles' group. The Group could also be an e-mail
group so that members can communicate with one another and share their
experiences. The Group could be South Asian in composition including
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, or it could be international
composed of eligible seniors.
DO YOU WISH TO JOIN
IN FURTHER EXPLORATION OF SINGLE SENIORS GROUP PROPOSAL, SEND YOUR E-MAIL
TO NIAASC@AOL.COM AND WE SHALL FORWARD THE SAME TO THE PERSON PROPOSING
OBJECTIVES of NIAASC:
Mission of the
National Indo-American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC) is to
serve as the leading national information, referral and advocacy
organization committed to the well being and quality of life of
Indo-Americans in their senior years. The objectives include: creating
awareness of Indo-American senior issues and needs; providing information
on issues and services; advocacy at the local, state and national levels
on seniors' issues; forging collaborations with public and private service
providers; providing advisory support to Indian community, business and
professional groups in developing senior programs and services; educating
the public through workshops, conferences and seminars to address senior
issues; and working with Indian and other groups to collect and store
information regarding senior issues and problems.
Membership Benefits with
NATIONAL INDO-AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
Membership is open
to all Indo-Americans, agencies and organizations which subscribe to the
objectives of NIAASC. Members will benefit through:
* A periodical
newsletter on pertinent issues for seniors;
* Information about
services identified earlier;
* Referral to service
provider agencies in their communities;
* Advocacy on behalf
* Job opportunity
alerts for seniors;
* Workshops, seminars
and conferences to address issues affecting seniors.