Posts Tagged ‘elderly’

Irish Consulate Teams with Project Irish Outreach

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Thanks to significant support from the Consulate General of Ireland, Project Irish Outreach has offered the Irish community settled in New York City and Westchester County frontline advice, counseling and support services for more than 26 years.

Catholic Charities staff are located in Aisling Irish Community Center in Westchester County and at the Catholic Center in Manhattan. Project Irish Outreach provides specialized services to address the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable Irish emigrants.  Services include information and referral, immigration legal assistance and/or representation, social services casework, pastoral services, maternity services, ministry to Irish prisoners,  healthcare information and referral and general support services for individuals, families and the elderly.

Are you an Irish emigrant looking for help?

Please call us at 914-237-5098 or email us at

Trying To Put Words Into Action

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Read Monsignor Kevin Sullivan’s speech at the 2013 Pierre Toussaint Scholarship Dinner :


Thank you.

Tonight, with dubious judgment, you graciously present me this medallion named after a black immigrant, slave and saint.  This white, free-born Amercian sinner is appreciative, humbled, inspired and burdened.

I accept this medallion on behalf of Catholic Charities’ thousands of trustees, staff, volunteers and benefactors, who provide help and create hope to New Yorkers in need – non-Catholics and Catholics alike – black, brown, yellow and white, overwhelmingly poor and vulnerable, each made in the image of God, worthy of dignity, life and love.

I commend Brother Tyrone and the commissioners of the Office of Black Ministry for devoting the proceeds of this dinner to advancing the education of future leaders, both here and in Haiti.  Nothing is more important.

This 50th anniversary year of the March on Washington compels us tonight to not avoid the issue of race, and I include ethnicity.

That we have – and need – a black ministry office, testifies that race continues to haunt us as both society and church.

That we have a large and expanding Catholic Charities bears witness to our failures to implement the dream of many – including Martin Luther King, Pierre Toussaint, Dorothy Day, and not least, an itinerant preacher from Nazareth named Jesus.

Catholic Charities serves overwhelmingly, the poorest and most vulnerable of our society.

Catholic Charities serves overwhelmingly, black and brown New Yorkers.  To not correlate these two is to perpetuate the inequality that makes us less as a nation and less as a church.

Pierre Toussaint’s cause for sainthood is so compelling: personal responsibility and social responsibility, the dignity of work, a vibrant faith that integrates the worship of God and love of neighbor.

We are beneficiaries of Pierre Toussaint’s legacy.  We must accept being its burden bearers.

As a society we need to affirm and advance the dignity of work: in cleaning our buildings, teaching our children, driving our buses, caring for our elderly and infirm, on 700 street corners across this nation where 120,000 day laborers gather – and even far away, in the garment factories of  Bangladesh where workers earn $32 a month.  And yes, even in the neighborhood hairdressers, and the butler in the White House.

As a church we cannot remain satisfied with periodic liturgies that celebrate diversity in song and vestment.  These are necessary and life giving, and insiring.  And it is good and holy that “his eye is on the sparrow and he watches over me.”  But let us also make sure that his eye is on board rooms and markets, workplaces and jails.  Let us make certain that he watches over those places, as well.

As Catholic Charities, we must stop smugly touting the diversity in our waiting rooms filled with black and brown families.  Our boast should be that our board rooms and executive management meetings, our investment managers and vendors are black and brown.  Not yet, I am afraid to say, but I too, have a dream.

And to our neighbors of all faiths and no faith who say “amen” to these points, we invite you one more step.  We will pray and we will worship.  We need a God to inspire, support, and challenge us forward – a God whose image within us and everyone else needs to be acknowledged.  And we say to our neighbors, who may not share all our values, we need to be respected, allowed to be inspired by our faith, and exercise those values as together we create the common good.

I appreciate being here with so many who share an ardent desire to make our diverse world more compassionate, equal and just – especially regarding race.   You and I know that actions that put flesh on that ardent desire get a bit uncomfortable, and generate heat.

Let me end by sharing a refrain from a song by Pink that has haunted me for the past few months:

“Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame,
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned,
But just because it burns
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die.
You gotta get up and try, try, try.
You gotta get up and try, try, try.
You gotta get up and try, try, try.”

Fellow beneficiaries and fellow burden bearers of Pierre Toussaint and many others, we gotta get up and try.

Thank you.

My Run for Life.

Friday, September 13th, 2013

By Jerome Protasio

Many people ask why I’m running the 2013 NYC ING Marathon.

My reasons are many.  I’m over 50 years old and need help lowering my cholesterol.  Losing weight, of course, is an added bonus.  But what really ties it all together is the Marathon’s motto, “Run for Life.”

As a member of Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life (CFC FFL), I am committed to help strengthen families and fight for life.

I’ve run marathons in the past to support many causes.  These include providing shoes for needy children, saving mangroves and raising awareness on the evils of drug abuse.

But I am particularly interested in helping people with their temporal needs; feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, providing children and the elderly with the support they need.

I have been active with evangelization work for the Catholic Church for nearly 25 years.  I help run Christian Life seminars that assist participants in renewing our understanding of and God’s call to us as Christians.  Running for Catholic Charities whose mission is uphold the dignity of each person as made in the image of God by serving the basic needs of the poor, troubled, frail and oppressed of all religions, fits perfectly with my mission to evangelize.

It also fits just right with my urge to run in the NYC ING Marathon.

Help support Jerome’s ING NYC Marathon campaign. Click here to find out how:

Hear the Voices of Help and Hope

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Hear stories of hope — directly from just a few of the people whom Catholic Charities has helped over the past year. This short film premiered at our Annual Gala Benefit on March 21, 2012 in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf=Astoria.

This year’s gala was a record-breaker in terms of both fundraising and attendance. Nearly 1,000 guests helped to raise more than $2.5 million to provide help and create hope in the lives of our neighbors in need.

The “Elder Boom” and the Call for Care

Monday, October 17th, 2011


By Marianna Reilly

According to the Census Bureau, the number of adults aged 65 and older will more than double by 2030, rising to a total of 88.5 million, or 19% of the U.S. population. And don’t just expect short-term growth – now that the life expectancy of women is 80.6 years and 75.5 years for men, adults 85 years and older are expected to be the fastest-growing elderly demographic in the next century.

How should we be thinking about (or rethinking) public policy in light of these demographic shifts?  Dr. Martha Bial, director of Fordham University’s Japanese and American Institute in Gerontology and faculty research scholar at the Ravazzin Center on Aging, recently spoke with Catholic Charities executive director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan about this important topic on JustLove, Catholic Charities’ weekly Sirius/XM Radio show.

 Social Security

“The elder boom has enormous implications for the funding of social security, and implications for how to keep pensions sustainable.” said Bial. “When social security was first put into effect, the average life expectancy was 65. It was supposed to be a very short-term thing. But now, people are generally living healthier. The average life expectancy is now around 82 years.” Bial noted that increasing the retirement age would have repercussions throughout the employment landscape, for all ages – affecting the ways we think about the elder work force, what is expected from workers, and the availability of jobs.

Japan as Model for Elder Care

Bial said that much can be learned about handle an aging population from Japan and other Asian countries, where an increase in women working and a shrink in the size of households is leaving many elderly adults without caretakers. “It used to be that there would be many multigenerational households in Japan,” said Bial. “Traditionally, an elder widow or widower would move in with married children… but now that’s happening with less than half of Japanese families.”

“[Japan] moved from a young society to an old society faster because they have a very low birth rate and almost no immigration,” said Bial. “The United States has some of these same issues, but we have a large immigrant population that provides a lot of the elder care.”

The “Well Elderly”

In addition to thinking about Social Security, Bial encourages us to also consider the “Well Elderly” – older adults from ages 65 to past 100 who are healthy, active, and still have a desire to work. For this group, we should think about their sources of income and safe, adequate housing. Employers should be proactive in creating flexible employment policies, she said, so that if elder employees’ stamina or desire to work decreases, employment requirements can be adjusted.

And as a related issue, we should consider making more public transportation options available for the members of the elderly workforce who might not be able to drive. This will enable them to make the contributions to society that they are still able to make.


The Caretaker’s Guide

There are many resources available online for caretakers of the elderly. If you are caring for a family member, we encourage you to seek support and guidance from a large, vibrant community that is eager to help.

Share your own favorite resources with us by leaving a comment – we look forward to keeping this guide as complete and up-to-date as possible.


Catholic Charities Case Management and Senior Centers

Case Management

Call 888-744-7900 or submit a request for services online through the Catholic Charities Help Line. From 2010 – 2011, Catholic Charities case managers provided assistance to 78 seniors in need.

Senior Centers

Catholic Charities senior centers serve an average of 185 seniors each day. Contact one of the centers below to take advantage of activities and resources, and to join a vibrant community of older adults.

Catholic Charities Community Services Senior Guild, 120 Anderson Ave., Port Richmond, Staten Island. Call: 718-448-5757.

West Brighton Senior Center, 230 Broadway, West Brighton, Staten Island. Call: 718-727-9763

Stapleton Senior Center, 189 Gordon Street, Staten Island. Call: 718 876-5660


Government Sites

Usa.Gov Caregivers’ Resources

Find a nursing home, assisted living, or hospice; check your eligibility for benefits; get resources for long-distance caregiving; review legal issues; and find support for caregivers.

US Administration on Aging

Statistics, facts and program results, in addition to information on emergency preparedness, national benefits programs, and long-term care planning.


Health and wellness information for older adults from the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine.

Includes interactive tools for planning and paying for long-term care and nursing facilities, and for choosing among drug plans.


Online Communities for Caregivers

Family Caregiver Alliance Programs on information, education, services, research and advocacy support the work of family caregivers. Includes caregiver tips, personal stories and photos, fact sheets and publications, discussion groups and newsletters.

Family Caregiving 101 Resources, FAQ, and quality information on how to deal with the challenges of caregiving.

CARING.COM Advice, articles, and an extensive directory of senior living resources. Also features a guide to Alzheimer’s care.

Children of Aging Parents. Support groups, both online and face-to-face. Newsletter focuses on interpersonal matters like stress among siblings, caregiver depression and getting through the holidays.

The New Old Age blog (New York Times)

Most adults over age 80 will spend years dependent on their baby boomer children for their basic needs. “The New Old Age” explores this intergenerational challenge.


Housing and Living

National Center for Assisted Living

Take the easy 12-question “Needs Assessment” quiz to evaluate your care needs.

The Senior Living Guide

Includes easy-to-navigate directories for active adults, retirees, Alzheimer’s patients and more.


Research and Articles

The Ravazzin Center at Fordham University

The Center has engaged in a variety of research projects designed to examine the role of social work in helping older adults and family members understand end of life issues and planning tools.

Geriatric Mental Health Policy and Practice

A collection of articles by Michael B. Friedman, social advocate and Columbia University Professor in the field of geriatric policy and practice.