Listening Group Discussion

The NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) is asking for feedback from Older Adult Centers across the city to determine what services and programs their members value most. They are also looking toward the future, and especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, want to know what you would like Bay Ridge Center to look like when we re-open and in the years ahead.

BRC’s Executive Director, Marianne Nicolosi and Deputy Executive Director Todd W. Fliedner host the discussion Wednesday afternoons in September 2020.





a. Comprehensive model: Aims to offer a wide range of activities and services of broad appeal, sometimes on weekends and outside of regular business hours, to people of varying ages and interests within the community; this is often referred to as a “multi-generational model.”


b. Wellness Center model: Highlights access to fitness centers and activities, such as evidence-based health promotion workshops, to promote strong positive physical and mental health outcomes. Often includes coordination with healthcare professionals and other partners.


c. Lifelong Learning model: Focus on intellectual stimulation and creative/art activities that are culturally and linguistically diverse. Often partners with other off-site organizations (such as libraries and arts organizations).


d. Continuum of Care model: Focused on providing health and wellness activities throughout the aging life span, tailoring activities and opportunities to older adults as they ‘age-in-community’ and transition from all levels of fitness, ability, and frailty. Often comprehensive collaboration with inter-disciplinary institutions and providers.


e. The Café model: Provides a restaurant-type setting for all ages, but also hosts activities and programs to enhance the physical and mental well-being of older adults.


f. Next Chapter model: Similar in some ways to the Lifelong Learning model, the Next Chapter model is distinguished by its emphasis on helping members explore possibilities to increase their financial security and independence. This is done through fostering older individuals’ use of their skills and experiences to take on paid work, engage in civic activities, or participate in specialized volunteer programming. Some centers may also wish to create a learning institute as a centerpiece of this model to help participants enhance skills post retirement.


g. Entrepreneurial Center model: Use of diverse funding sources—such as philanthropic and other private funding or offering opportunities to generate income based on the skills of older adults—to help centers become more independent and provide more long term sustainabilitiy. May also offer non-traditional hours to meet diverse consumer needs.


h. Older Adult Centers without walls: Utilizes existing community resources to enhance the service model, expose centers to individuals who wouldn’t otherwise attend a center event, and avoid duplication of programs/services. For example, a library that hosts a film appreciation event could co-sponsor that event with the local center and offer the center a table for information at the event. For reciprocity, the center would then host an event at their facility and invite the library to co-sponsor the event for center members and perhaps other interested community members.


If you would like to read DFTA's document with an overview and history of the major components of the existing Older Adult Center program, as well as the planned changes, click here for the full Concept Paper for Older Adult Centers. (12-page PDF)