Project Independence to open new office in Mineola

Project Independence to open new office in Mineola

Project Independence will be opening its fifth office in Mineola early next month as it expands social work services to senior citizens residing in their own homes in that area.

Project Independence will have part-time nurses and a part-time social workers staffing the office it is renting from the Jewish Association for Services to the Aged, according to Evelyn Roth, commissioner of the Department of Services for the Aging in the Town of North Hempstead. The office will open on Feb. 5.

“They’re a big agency serving seniors so it just made sense to co-locate there,” Roth said.

The social worker, who is being provided by Jewish Association for Services to the Aged, will be working two days each week, doing home visits, assessments, home counseling, support group services, and setting up community education programs, Roth said. The social worker will operate in tandem with two nurses from North Shore-LIJ, who also will be in that office two days a week.

“That’s going to be for the social work services to the Mineola office. We like to work with all the services in the community,” Roth said.

Project Independence is planning an orientation session about the program on the new Mineola office at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 19 at the Mineola Public Library, Roth said.

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Town Councilman Angelo Ferrara will make presentations at the meeting with elected village officials, members of local civic associations, representatives of the school district and representatives of local churches and synagogues expected to attend.

At last week’s Town of North Hempstead meeting, the town board extended its relationship with Jewish Association for Services to the Aged through the end of 2012.

The Jewish Association for the Services to the Aged has been providing services for Project Independence in Great Neck and Port Washington. The organization recently received a grant from the Manhasset Greentree Foundation to create a virtual mutual support group for Project Independence. That program would enable seniors to communicate with each other via computer.

“The people could be anywhere,” Roth said, adding that Jewish Association for Services to the Aged is in the process of finding people to facilitate the support group.

The town board also approved the continuation of an agreement with the Education and Assistance Corp., which connects caregivers to a network of respite services, providing the caregivers relief from their tasks in caring for aging family members in their homes. The EAC recruits volunteers who provide relief to the caregivers and Project Independence shares in the cost of the program.

“Then the caregivers can get out and do what they need to do for themselves,” Roth said. “The stress on the caregiver can be tremendous. So these respite programs provide an important service.”

Next up, Project Independence will be opening an office in Westbury when construction of the new community center there is finished, according to Roth. Nursing, social work services and fitness services will be provided to Project Independence clients there.

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