Assemblymember Didi Barrett hosts a roundtable on Aging in Place in rural communities

Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D, Columbia - Dutchess) announced that she hosted a roundtable on Aging in Place in rural counties with local leaders, and special guest, Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz, the Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Aging Committee. This region has among the oldest population in the state and the roundtable was an opportunity to familiarize the leadership of the Aging Committee on the specific issues facing this population here in Columbia and Dutchess counties.

“Older residents in Columbia and Dutchess counties face distinctive challenges that must be recognized by the state. These include access to food and medicine, inadequate transportation and social options, and lack of quality broadband to communicate with others; oftentimes they are facing these issues alone, geographically isolated and on a fixed income,” said Assemblymember Barrett, a member of the Committee on Aging. “I organized and hosted this roundtable for the Chair of the Aging Committee to hear firsthand some of the unique challenges we are facing in this rural region with the goal of developing policies that will directly address these issues.”

"Helping older adults to stay in their own homes and remain a vital part of our communities is one of the greatest challenges facing our State, especially as the population of seniors continues to increase," said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Assembly's Aging Committee. "I commend the organizations that attended this roundtable for their valuable input that will help guide us in providing the supports that our seniors need to maintain their independence and age in place with dignity."

Assemblymembers Didi Barrett and Steve Cymbrowitz were joined by over thirty-five leaders and stakeholders representing offices and organizations currently working on senior related issues. Successful Aging in Place must be multi-faceted and interdisciplinary and the roundtable was designed to bring regional leaders from both the public and private sectors to create a meaningful dialogue on how best the state can address these issues. Aging in Place in Brooklyn, which Assemblymember Cymbrowitz represents, is significantly different than in the Hudson Valley and New York should be developing state policies that recognize the needs of rural as well as urban and suburban New Yorkers.

“I thank my colleague Assemblymember Cymbrowitz, for joining us in Pine Plains and for listening to the challenges seniors face here in the Hudson Valley,” noted Barrett. “It is absolutely vital that we support our aging population in this beautiful region and ensure they have the necessary services and supports to stay happily and safely as part of the communities they love and call home.”