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Mission Statement

The SUN Advocacy Committee is an initiative of the Senior Umbrella Networks of Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk. Its purpose is to educate the community through service, education and leadership by identifying current issues affecting the senior population, thus empowering seniors and inspiring professionals to advocate on their behalf. A consortium of medical providers, caregivers and industry professionals promote optimal guidance and information through the use of educational materials funded and distributed through SUN.
This information is brought to you by the SUN Advocacy Committee of Senior Umbrella Network, an organization of professionals who service the senior communities of Long Island and New York City with chapters in Suffolk, Nassau, Queens and Brooklyn.

Advocacy Committee Members:

Caryn Isaacs, Co-Chair Advocacy Committee

Lisa Penziner, Co-Chair Advocacy Committee

David Hamond, Chair List Sub-Committee

Beverly Silver, Chair Letter Sub-Committee

Vicki Ellner, Chair SUN-Brooklyn

Maureen Nickel, Co-Chair SUN-Queens

Pam Winter, Co-Chair SUN Nassau

Stephanie Pacchiano, Advocacy Representative SUN Suffolk

Harvey Altman

Deidre M Baker, Esq

Ben Berlin

Sharon Cohen

Nadia Campbell-Mitchell

Nina Dobris

Paul Feigenbaum

Debbie Ginsberg

Wendy Goidel

Anthony J. Lemma

Mathew LiVecchi

John Michielini

Laura Simon

Bruce Ritter

Rick Scher

Jeri Selvin

2017 Advocacy Committee Campaign

Our member, George Fehling, President of Ramps/Lifts for Better Living,  passed away last year.  His last wishes were to see a bill passed that would help people to pay for modifications made to their homes to make them more accessible. and to help all disabled people to have access to their homes and the outdoor. 

George was able to see the bill, sponsored by David Weprin, passed.  The bill has been reintroduced in the Assembly and has been introduced in the Senate. 

Here is a sample draft that you can use to contact your assembly person and State Senator.  

The Advocacy Committee will help to pass Bill # A06243/1388B through Education and Cooperation with like minded organizations.


Home modifications may involve converting or adapting your environment so you can live independently. Examples of home modifications include replacing regular door handles with ones that open by using a push button; adding handrails on both sides of a staircase and outside steps; installing stair lifts,  ramps or elevators for so you can come and go from your home by wheelchair or scooter;  modifications to interior passage doors providing enough room to pass through with a wheelchair or walker; building a walk-in shower;  reinforcing bathroom walls to allow for the installation of grab bars and lowering kitchen counters; installing light switches and outlets in locations accessible to disabled persons. These types of home modifications enable people with disabilities and older adults to “age in place”.


These home modifications are not covered by any type of insurance or government benefits. The costs for many minor home modifications and repairs can cost between $150 and $2,000. Major renovations can run into the tens of thousands. 


The purpose of this legislation is to help seniors and their families offset some of the costs associated with these home modifications.  Giving a tax credit for the work will enable more families to afford the modifications and will enable more disabled persons and elderly to remain safely in their homes.  This legislation can help many people including workers and the economy.

Please come back here to see a list of companies and organizations that will help us to spread the word about this bill. Please contact our Caryn Isaacs, Co-Chair of the Committee, if you would like to hear more about how your organization can help.  

2014 Advocacy Committee Campaign


If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

1260260933ZQT9GPfraud2fraudsterAnxious Senior Woman

Beware of strangers attempting to get personal information or money, including:
· Requests for money in advance disguised as deposits, taxes or handling fees.
· Any request for credit card, Social Security or bank account numbers.
· Beware of phone calls or mailings offering risk free investments, sweepstakes, charities, lotteries, credit card applications requiring money, get-rich chain letters, Medicare discount cards, “miracle” health products, “free” medical alert services and inheritance taxes due.
· Solicitations disguised as invoices requesting additional money due for various services or charities you supposedly pledged to donate to.
· Anyone who shows up at your door with “low-cost” or “no-risk” offers or items for sale that require immediate payment or deposit.
Never feel pressured to make an immediate decision. Guard your personal information.
·Be cautious with anyone who shows a new interest in your finances.
· Always destroy bills, receipts and private records that contain your name, address or account numbers on them before discarding.
· Direct deposit to your bank account all your monthly checks.
· Carefully read your statements and bills for unusual changes.
· Speak with someone you trust before giving out personal information or money.
· Never rush to send any cash or wire money even if someone says it is for a relative; investigate first.
· If you are told to act immediately or “miss an opportunity,’ it is most likely not legitimate.
· Only purchase items by phone or computer if you have initiated the transaction.
If you think you may be a victim of fraud or have suspicion of a scam:
· Do not blame yourself, you are not the first person this happened to.
· You may want to contact the police or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission  877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357).
· For credit card or insurance fraud call 888-567-8688.
· Check charities online at charitywatch.org or charitynavigator.org
· Check sweepstakes at fakechecks.org


2013 Advocacy Committee Campaign
(Information below directed towards seniors)

Driving Retirement — Is It For You?
Did you know?

Statistically seniors have fewer accidents than the general population. The down side is that drivers over 70 have a much higher fatality rate in high impact collisions, no matter who is at fault.

As we age, our reaction times are slower and brain signals are often impaired. For example, this can cause us to actually step on the accelerator when our intention is to apply the brake.

An honest self-assessment of your driving is important for your wellbeing as well as the safety of those in your community. Consult with your primary care physician to evaluate health issues that may impair your driving ability.

Warning signs of diminishing driving skills
• Abrupt lane changes, braking or acceleration.
• Reluctance of others to be passengers when you drive.
• Having trouble seeing or following traffic signals, road signs and pavement markings.
• Drifting into other lanes.
• Getting lost more often.
• Having trouble seeing or following traffic signals, road signs, and pavement markings.
• Misjudging gaps in traffic at intersections and on highway entrance and exit ramps.
• Other drivers honking at you.
• Failing to use turn signals or leaving signal on after completing a turn.

What are my options?
To retire from driving is not giving up independence. It may merely be an inconvenience. It may be difficult to recognize that an activity which has been a major part of your adult life may no longer be safe. Fortunately, there are alternatives. Maintaining your quality of life by attending social events and activities that have meaning to you are extremely important. The following are some of the steps you can take to empower yourself and remain independent.

◦ Consider a consultation with a Certified Driving Professional. They can complete a hands-on assessment of you and your vehicle. Simple adaptations to your vehicle or adjustment to your driving habits may make all the difference.
◦ Surprisingly, exercise has numerous benefits for senior drivers, including safer driving and adding time to your driving longevity.
◦ Perhaps a mature driver workshop is the right option. These are offered at community centers, libraries, houses of worship, AAA or senior living communities.
◦ Look for transportation alternatives such as senior transit buses, senior centers with door to door transportation and private agencies that provide drivers.
◦ Consider moving to an area where you can walk to stores or possibly move to an independent senior living community.

(Information below directed towards caregivers)

Is it Time For Your Loved One To Retire From Driving?
Loved ones play an important role in the safety and well being of the senior driver in their life. If you have concerns about your loved one’s driving, it may be time to discuss driving retirement.

If not handled properly, forcing an older driver to give up the keys involuntarily can trigger depression and isolation. This, in turn, can eventually lead to a more rapid deterioration in physical and mental health. It is important to understand when and how the conversation should begin. Do not wait for the older driver to get into an automobile accident or receive a traffic violation. When observing and assessing your loved one’s driving, try to differentiate between everyday mistakes and more serious safety risks.

Warning Signs:
• Frequent close calls.
• Finding dents and scrapes on the car.
• Having trouble seeing or following traffic signals, road signs, and pavement markings.
• Slow reactions to unexpected situations, trouble moving foot from gas to brake pedal.
• Gets easily distracted or nervous while driving.
• Having difficulty turning around to check over his or her shoulder while backing up or changing lanes.

What now?

Now that you are familiar with the warning signs, what is your next step?
• Together with your loved one, consult with their primary care physician to determine health issues and medications that may impair their driving.
• Start the conversation on a positive note. It is important to maintain the individual’s dignity and self-assurance.
• Keep conversations brief and over time. Focus on skills, not age. In the course of the conversation, cite specific examples such as, “ I became particularly concerned when you turned left in front of an oncoming car.” NEVER says, “Your driving is poor and you’re going to get into a bad accident.”

What are your Options?

Once the older driver recognizes that adjustments need to be made, a plan should be established.
• Exercise has numerous benefits for senior drivers and can add time to driving longevity. Make sure your loved one consults with their doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.
• A mature driver workshop may be the right option. These are offered at community centers, libraries, houses of worship, senior living communities or AAA.
• Consider a consultation with a certified driving professional. They can perform a hands-on assessment of the individual as well as an assessment of their vehicle. Simple adaptations to driving habits may make all the difference.
• Look for transportation alternatives such as taxis, local government sponsored senior transit buses, senior centers with door-to-door transportation and private agencies that provide drivers.
• Consider moving your loved one to an area where he or she can walk to stores or possibly move to an independent senior living community.

This information has been brought to you by the advocacy committee of Senior Umbrella Network, an organization of professionals who service the senior communities of Long Island and New York City.

Please click on the links below for:

SUN Medication Management Card

SUN Fraud Prevention Card

SUN Safe Driver Card

SUN Loved One Time to Retire from Driving Card

SUN Elder Abuse Brochure

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