Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman speaks in Mineola, on Jan....

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman speaks in Mineola, on Jan. 12. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County has added a new liaison office and bus service for the county’s growing senior citizen population, County Executive Bruce Blakeman said Thursday.

The announcement comes days after a report in Newsday detailing findings by the Center for an Urban Future, a New York City-based think tank, which released a study showing Nassau’s senior citizen population grew by more than 51,000 from 2011 to 2021, increasing the need for support services.

Blakeman said the new liaison office will network with all government agencies in Nassau County. He said the office will “break down the silos and barriers [to make sure seniors] have access to everything Nassau County has to offer.”

The liaison office is comprised of one representative from each county department, who will serve as a point person on senior issues, interfacing with the Office of the Aging, county spokesperson Chris Boyle said. It will function at no additional cost to county residents.

The bus service, which became operational Thursday, will be paid for through state and local grants. It will transport seniors from the Glen Cove Senior Center, which will operate the program to county buildings offering support services and on leisure trips, Boyle said.

New York's “65-and-older population is over three and a half million people right now,” Blakeman said. “That’s larger than many states.”

The county executive made the announcement during a news conference at the Glen Cove Senior Center, where he was joined by Mayor Pamela Panzenbeck and representatives from AARP. Blakeman noted that the senior center is one of 18 in Nassau County.

Beth Finkel, state director for AARP, noted that her organization has more than 250,000 members in Nassau County. She said the new liaison office can help improve communication between various agencies seniors utilize, including the Department of Health, libraries, college campuses and parks.

“Everybody will be coming together and talking about what is best for Nassau County residents and we couldn't be more thrilled,” Finkel said.

The Center for an Urban Future study noted that more Long Island seniors are living in poverty. In Nassau County the older adult population grew by 25% from 2011 to 2021, with the number of seniors living in poverty increasing 66% from 12,366 in 2011 to 20,473 in 2021.

As a result, the EAC-Network’s Meals on Wheels program delivered 130,000 meals to Nassau County residents ages 60 and up in 2022, the nonprofit told Newsday. It also served more than 6,000 seniors and handed out 20,000 meals last year at the four senior centers it operates under contract with Nassau County in Point Lookout, Hempstead Village, Port Washington and North Merrick.

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