Be a Hero for Local Older Adults in Need

“I don’t know what I would do without my Y family. Knowing I have that support, especially during these difficult times, means the world to me. Living alone with no family nearby can be very scary and, with the friends I have made and the constant support from the staff at the Y, I know I will never be alone.” — Gerda Cordova, 86

Gerda was missed by her friends when she didn’t show up for lunch at the Y’s Center for Adults Living Well, so they reached out to the Y’s team who immediately contacted her. Our Safe-at-Home director spoke with Gerda and recognized she was experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Gerda was consumed with fear of going to her doctor or a hospital emergency room during the pandemic, so the Y arranged and paid for her to have an in-home healthcare visit with ZiphyCare, who administered a COVID-19 PCR test that came back positive.

Older adults receive delivered food, hot meals, and other necessities.

Since her diagnosis, the Y’s staff and her friends from CALW check in with her daily by phone. In addition, hot meals and other necessities are delivered to her door to ensure she is eating and has everything she needs.

Our Safe-at-Home nurse practitioner visits Gerda weekly, continuing to administer COVID-19 tests and checking on her health and wellbeing.

After several weeks, Gerda is on the mend and gaining her strength back. She can’t wait until she’s well enough to return to the Y to enjoy lunch and activities with her friends.

The Y is able to provide vital services to local older adults, like Gerda, through the generosity of our donors and funders. Your contribution can help make a profound difference for our vulnerable neighbors.

Gerda moved to Washington Heights in 1965 and has been an active member of CALW since her retirement 15 years ago. Like many older adults in our area, she lives alone, has no family nearby, and narrowly covers her monthly expenses.

Our support extends beyond responding to crises. For several years, Gerda has received Safe-at-Home bi-weekly housekeeping visits. Earlier during the pandemic, she participated in our weekly reflections group by phone. She eventually returned to meet with the group in person when the program reconvened onsite. She has enjoyed participating in the Y’s pen pal program between local older adults and children, and she has connected weekly with a social work intern for support.

The Y is committed to enhancing the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds in our community. With 29% of older adults in Washington Heights and Inwood living below the poverty line, your donation can help the Y continue to be a lifeline for our vulnerable neighbors.

Thanks to our generous donors and funders, Gerda isn’t facing her obstacles alone. Your support can ensure that the Y is there for Gerda and other local older adults who are facing isolation, food insecurity, COVID-19, and other challenges with nowhere else to turn.

About the Y
Established in 1917, the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood (the Y) is Northern Manhattan’s premier Jewish community center — serving an ethnically and socio-economically diverse constituency — improving the quality of life for people of all ages through critical social services and innovative programs in health, wellness, education, and social justice, while promoting diversity and inclusion, and caring for those in need.

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