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New resource center for older adults opens at Southwest YMCA

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YMCA of Greater Rochester
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WXXI News

  The YMCA of Greater Rochester celebrated the opening of its fifth Resource Center for aging adults at its Southwest Family Branch in the 19th ward on Wednesday.

In partnership with The United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, Foodlink, and Lifespan, the Resource Center will offer access to space for senior members to combat isolation, as well as help them access food, and expand the center’s health and wellness programming. 

George Romell, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Rochester, said each partner organization individually brings something to improve the quality of life for people in the neighborhood.

“When you look at all of the resources around estate planning, how to prevent scams, how to pick the right Medicare and what to look at when elder abuse happens. Lifespan is the perfect organization to do that. And that is what makes this so special,” Romell said.

In recent years, the YMCA has made efforts to increase senior services at its urban locations. Romell said they hope to offer these services at all YMCA locations.

“I really believe they should think a senior center is not a specialty but something that is normal,” said Romell.

Bill McDonald of United Way of Rochester and the Finger Lakes said the YMCA had done an excellent job addressing social and health inequities older adults experience. He said by concentrating resources in urban communities they hope to see some positive outcomes. 

“We know for example, that loneliness and isolation is the equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, as far as the negative impact on your health, said Mcdonald.” So we’re hoping through these kinds of partnerships to turn that around. And we think it will.”

The center’s programs will focus on physical and mental health and provide critical life information for older adults.