PHA Senior Summit Focuses on responding to the needs of Philadelphias Graying Population

PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 17, 2004) - With trends showing that our population is growing older, PHA hosted a weekend gathering of senior citizens at South Philadelphias Wilson Park development in which residents and service providers shared ideas for keeping senior citizens living independently. Hundreds of senior residents turned out to see displays and listen to presentations on health, nutrition and public safety.

A highlight of the event was a town meeting where PHA Executive Director Carl Greene and Tenant Support Services Director Asia Coney led a question and answer session. Many of the questions were directed at Tom Snedden, director of the PACE (Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly) Program. He explained that the program is funded by the state lottery and is available to low-income seniors 65 and older.

Arthur Potts with Philadelphia Town Watch encouraged seniors to organize to help "be the eyes and ears" of the community, reporting any suspicious activity. Carl Greene told the attendees that the only way that PHA can continue to provide the finest affordable housing is to hear from them, the agencys customers. "We need you to tell us what we are doing right and wrong. We will respond," he said.

Greene also promised that PHA would start holding senior summits every month, so that residents from all parts of the city could participate. As for this event, perfect weather, great food and entertainment, plus extremely valuable information made it a smashing success.

PACE Director Tom Snedden urged seniors at the town meeting to enroll in the program if they havent done so already. He says the prescription drug program passed by Congress does not take effect until 2006 and is inadequate.

{Marie Emanuel, one of the seniors taking part in the town meeting, asks the panel a question as PHAs Shaun Reed (standing) and the audience listens carefully.

Arthur Potts of Operation Town Watch urged seniors to take part in the National Night Out on Tuesday, August 3rd.

Josephine Bakow asks a question about restrictions on prescription coverage in the PACE program. Bakow is the sole caretaker of her mother.