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Over 63,000 older New Yorkers enrolled in innovative communication program: How does it work?

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), in partnership with the Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY) and Blooming Health, has successfully enrolled over 63,000 older adults in 19 counties in a program designed to provide instant communication about important local events and notifications.

This initiative, which began in September 2022 and is set to continue through September 2024, aims to facilitate targeted communications through text messages, voice calls, emails, and offers support in over 70 languages. The program is particularly focused on conveying critical information such as weather events, program benefit application deadlines, and event reminders.

NYSOFA Director Greg Olsen highlighted the program’s success in scaling up community engagement efforts and its vital role in keeping older adults informed and connected. The program has led to significant increases in social engagement and access to benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). AgingNY Executive Director Becky Preve emphasized the importance of real-time communication in addressing health and safety concerns and benefit programs, while Blooming Health Co-founder and CCO Kavitha Gnanasambandan noted the platform’s effectiveness in reaching older adults, especially those in rural areas and facing technology and language barriers.

The impact of the Blooming Health platform has been substantial, leading to a three-fold increase in older adult engagement with provider services, a five-fold increase in the number of older adults applying for SNAP benefits, and significant improvements in the time taken for SNAP benefit application submissions. The platform allows for efficient communication without the need for broadband internet or smart devices and has been instrumental in better managing health risks and addressing social determinants of health among the elderly population. Counties interested in joining the program can learn more at Older adults in participating counties can enroll for these personalized communications by contacting their local office for the aging.

Categories: New York StateNews