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Brooklyn Geezer Project Set to Help Seniors

October 9, 2013
It takes a village: The Geezer Project

It takes a village: The Geezer Project

An innovative program is about to be launched in the Clinton Hill and Fort Greene sections of Brooklyn. The “Geezer Project” utilizes the help of volunteers to assist seniors with their day-to-day lives so they can stay in their apartments and neighborhoods and grow old with dignity.

So far there are 70 people who have signed up as volunteers. As soon as the project gets underway, members of the project will be a monthly fee and then have access to a wide variety of support.

“Pet care, grocery shopping with or without you, home repair support, snow removal, gardening,” are only a few of the helping activities available, according to Beverly Emmons, a senior involved in the project.

Not only do the seniors get help, but they are also able to help the younger folks when needed. For instance, mothers of young children can “rent a granny,” and “granny” will love to help.

“Everybody has a lot to teach each generation and I can learn a lot from younger people,” Patricia duBose, 67, said.

The main objective of the program is to help seniors live out their lives at home instead of becoming isolated as they get older. One woman in the program explained how moving her parents to a nursing home had devastating consequences.

“They just went downhill so fast when they weren’t where their friends were, they weren’t where they had any agency over their own lives in the same way,” Barbara Plimpton said.

In many ways the Geezer project has the potential of turning the bustling neighborhoods of Clinton Hill and Fort Greene into friendly villages.

“The older people are cooking, the children are running around. And so if you need something on an emergency basis, there’s someone who’s there to help you,” 83-year-old Hyacinth Graham explained.

When the Geezer project launches in the next few months it will join already existing similar programs throughout the country.

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