September 22, 2022
First-of-its-Kind, Interagency Cabinet Will Collaborate on Current and Future Services, Projects, and Policies for Older Adults to Ensure Age-Inclusivity
Cabinet Members Include a Cross-Section of City Agencies Covering Public Safety, Social Services, and Housing
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced today the formation of the New York City Cabinet for Older New Yorkers, a first of its kind multiagency collaborative created to support services, projects, and policies benefitting older adults across New York City. Yesterday marked the first meeting of the cabinet — the first of its kind across the entire country — which will allow city agencies to seek coordination and efficiency across departments, leverage resources, and shape current and future services to better serve older adults, ensuring that New York is an inclusive city for all ages.
“One in five New Yorkers is 60 or older, so, as a city, we need to rethink how we serve this important population and make sure that everything we do is designed to be age-friendly,” said Mayor Adams. “The New York City Cabinet for Older New Yorkers will also eliminate silos among city agencies when it comes to serving our elderly population. Older New Yorkers helped build this city, and they deserve the best from it, especially its government, every day.”
“New Yorkers over the age of 60 are the city’s fastest-growing population, and to better serve New Yorkers today and in the future, it’s critical to bring all the city’s talents and resources together,” said First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo. “The New York City Cabinet for Older New Yorkers has an opportunity to do that for the city. Their work will not only better serve older adults, but it will also help future generations as everyone benefits in an age-inclusive city.”
“Older adults are oftentimes the cornerstone of the family,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “They are our moms, dads, grandparents, brothers, and sisters. The city must be a place that serves, supports, and protects them, and that is why the formation of the Older Adult Cabinet is so important. It will enable the city to work collaboratively, resolve issues efficiently, and provide a forum to elevate issues facing the community. New York City is the home of so many cherished older adults, and the cabinet will work to ensure that it is a place that is and remains age-inclusive.”
“By 2040, the older adult population in New York City is projected to grow to 1.8 million,” said New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. “The creation of this groundbreaking cabinet, which brings together the collective expertise of key government officials and breaks down silos between agencies, ensures we are prepared to meet the needs of the older adults of today and of the future — making New York a model age-inclusive city.”
Chaired by DFTA Commissioner Cortés-Vazquez, the cabinet includes members from 17 agencies, comprising a cross-section of city agencies that provide services to the city’s 1.6 million New Yorkers over the age of 60. Cabinet members cover multiple facets of city services and resources, including public safety, housing, transportation, health, and social services. Collectively, these city agencies will work together to eliminate silos and create joint action and innovation to ensure that New York is a city for all ages. As part of the cabinet, city agencies will collaborate in eliminating age-related barriers and inequities in services and develop cross-agency solutions to address challenges facing older New Yorkers. The cabinet will also review current and future city initiatives and projects to ensure they are age-inclusive and accessible to adults over 60.
“All of the amazing things our city has to offer should be accessible to all, regardless of their age,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “To stay healthy, older people should have activities that bring joy to their lives, keep them connected to others, and reduce isolation and loneliness, which is a threat to individual and public health in an aging world. As a city, we must remove barriers that keep New Yorkers from doing what they love. We’re proud to serve on this cabinet, to lift up our commitment to the long-term health and well-being of all New Yorkers, and to work with DFTA and other partner agencies in this much-needed effort.”
“The New York Police Department remains committed to giving older New Yorkers everything they deserve by working collaboratively, and tirelessly, with our government partners in this important new mission,” said New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “In every neighborhood throughout New York City, the women and men of the NYPD are proud to protect and serve older New Yorkers — who are our friends, neighbors, parents, and grandparents — and the department embraces this multiagency enhancement of that commitment.”
“Many New York City residents are aging in place at public housing developments throughout the five boroughs and are in need of coordinated health, social, and financial services,” said New York City Housing Authority Interim CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “Convening a collection of voices from across city government to foster a more informed dialogue about the needs and contributions of our senior residents will enable the authority and the city to build a sustainable strategy capable of improving the quality of life for all older New Yorkers.”
“We’re excited to join the Cabinet for Older New Yorkers and work in partnership with all city agencies to ensure New York City is the global leader for age-friendly cities,” said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “This will translate into a city that is user-friendly regardless of your age, including the housing and community support we all need.”
“As the city’s population continues to age with many relying on DSS’s essential benefits and services, we look forward to partnering with our sibling agencies to ensure equal access and opportunity for older New Yorkers,” said New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. “The New York City Cabinet for Older New Yorkers will leverage the best of our collective agencies to serve older adults with care and compassion. Our goal is to ensure that New York City is a leader in creating age-inclusive programs and supports.”
“Schools are the centers of our communities, bringing together students, staff, families, and New Yorkers of all ages,” said New York City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks. “Whether parents, teachers, food service workers, school safety agents, custodians, or the multitude of other roles in which they support our youngest, our older generations serve as vital members of our school communities. The Department of Education is proud to be working closely with our agency partners across the city to ensure that our older New Yorkers receive the supports they need and deserve.”
“NYC Health + Hospitals serves thousands of older New Yorkers every day,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “We look forward to collaborating with our sister agencies to promote the health of older adults.”
“New York City Parks has strived to ensure that our programs, facilities, and open spaces are accessible and inclusive for all New Yorkers, crossing the barriers of age and ability,” said New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to be a part of the New York City Cabinet for Older New Yorkers and look forward to exploring how we can better serve this vital community.”
“During challenging economic times, scammers and other predatory businesses often prey on seniors, but, here at DCWP, we are committed to educating and protecting our city’s older adults,” New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “Thank you to Mayor Adams, the Department for the Aging, and our fellow agencies for embarking on this innovative and collaborative cross-agency initiative.”
“Although DYCD is known primarily for serving young people, our agency also supports programs targeting the over-60 set,” said New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Keith Howard. “We look forward to continuing our Foster Grandparent Program partnership with DFTA that connects older New Yorkers with volunteer opportunities and to expanding the My New York Story initiative, which fosters positive relationships between seniors and youth through storytelling, creative writing, and other shared activities. DYCD is proud to be a member of the New York City Cabinet for Older New Yorkers, and we are excited to team up with our sister agencies to make New Yorkers’ golden years their best years.”
“Older New Yorkers paved the way for our future generations, and they deserve to live in a city that will continue to serve them as they grow older,” said New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “The Department of Cultural Affairs is honored to join this important interagency initiative to break down barriers and deliver older residents the services and programs they need. We look forward to working with our partners to ensure that older New Yorkers have every opportunity to experience, create, and contribute to our city’s extraordinary cultural life.”
“As part of our ongoing efforts to bridge the digital divide, New York City is committed to increasing access to connectivity, devices, and skills training for our residents older than 60 to unlock all the social, health, career, and public safety benefits technology can offer,” said New York City Chief Technology Officer and Office of Technology and Innovation Commissioner Matthew C. Fraser. “I am honored to serve on the Cabinet for Older New Yorkers and look forward to working closely with my fellow members to deliver programs that will enrich the lives of our elders.”
“I am proud to be a member of the New York City Cabinet for Older New Yorkers to create safe and all-inclusive spaces for New York City’s older population,” said Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro. “Our office is dedicated to bridging the gaps present between members of the older community and their access to the necessary resources needed to thrive in New York City. Regardless of your age or immigration status, this administration is committed to ensuring that New York is an inclusive city.”
In addition to DFTA, the Cabinet for Older New Yorkers includes the following city agencies:
The cabinet will meet periodically throughout the year to address challenges and build partnerships to meet the unique needs of aging New Yorkers.