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Seniors Speak Out about Transportation, Nutrition, Lament Closed Downtown Senior Center

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Ashley Siu/WAER News
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Public transport was one of many topics discussed at the Ida Benderson Seniors Action group forum where seniors addressed their needs. Drucilla Adams has a tough time walking up hills and has been affected by a change in bus routes.

“When there’s no bus, I can’t get there unless someone picks me up.  I’m concerned because I know it’s a university section but we still are in the area and we still need some transportation on the weekends.  I don’t go anywhere on weekends; I’m like in jail.” 

Action group member Denise Nepveux acknowledges that seniors face even more challenges when mobility is compromised. Without easy transport, seniors are cut off from essential resources such as food.

“With our seniors sometimes they’ll be getting around fine for a long time and then something happens like a hip fracture and all of a sudden they have to organize how am I going to get my needs met,” said Nepveux 

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Credit Ashley-Siu/WAER News
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About 50 people attended a forum on senior needs held at Plymouth Church in Syracuse.

Other concerns people talked about at the forum include meal stamps and the lack of consultation on senior-related programs. Mary Lawler remembers the loss of community since the Ida Benderson Senior Center closed in 2011. She lost the interaction she needed the most.

“I need socialization.  I need a place where I can get a cup of coffee and sit down and talk over thigs that are on my mind.  I live alone, I have no one else to talk to and I depend on the center.  I hope we get another one.” 

At the forum, FOCUS Greater Syracuse had all seniors fill out a survey that reflects elderly wants and needs. Common Councilor Nader Maroun says perhaps this report will call for another senior center downtown.