Bensonhurst seniors turn out for CenterLight PACE health fair

woman getting blood pressure taken at centerlight health fair
CenterLight PACE offered free health screenings and educated local seniors about their healthcare options at a fair in Bensonhurst on Nov. 11.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

The state’s largest provider of all-inclusive health care for the elderly, CenterLight Healthcare PACE, held a health and wellness fair in Bensonhurst on Saturday to bring awareness to local seniors about their options for long-term care.

The Nov. 11 health expo at the Salvation Army Senior Center on at 18th Avenue and 73rd Street offered senior attendees and their families insight into Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and CenterLight’s one-stop health care centers that allow its members to age safely at home.

crowd at centerlight health fair
The event drew a large crowd of older Brooklynites, who learned about services offered by CenterLight and other local providers. Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Several other health care providers were also in attendance, offering seniors further health advice and free blood pressure screenings. 

Executive vice president of CenterLight PACE, Shaun Ruskin, said the fair aimed to build on CenterLight’s initiative to bring healthcare to the community with an emphasis on health education.

“PACE is a program that allows individuals that need long-term care services to stay in their homes and communities as opposed to living in a nursing home or assisted living center,” Ruskin told Brooklyn Paper at Saturday’s fair. “We at CenterLight PACE bring the services to our seniors and it feels so good to be in Bensonhurst to bring this information to the community.”

Those age 55 and over, who often qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, can access PACE’s comprehensive services under one roof with CentreLight, according to Ruskin. Members can have an appointment with their primary care physician, attend physical therapy, and be directed to mental health services in one place on the same day.

CenterLight also offers transportation to its centers, meals, English language classes, computer lessons and a range of recreational activities to keep their members socially engaged and avoid isolation — plus home care services for older Brooklynites who need help with personal care, preparing meals, shopping, and more. 

 Ahead of Saturday’s fair, healthcare providers gathered at CenterLight Healthcare PACE’s location in Flushing to discuss the upcoming event.

woman standing at table at health fair
CenterLight offers a range of health services all under one roof. Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Speaking on Nov. 2, the vice president of Specialized Programs at CenterLight, Amy Mung, noted that many older Asian-Americans are missing out on preventative healthcare while other older immigrants are often uninsured without knowing they qualify for coverage.

CenterLight brought their health fair to Bensonhurst to bring awareness to local residents, 43.9% of whom identify as Asian and where those aged over 55 make up 28% of the population — per the latest census data.

Mung said Saturday that the CenterLight team commit themselves to providing the best quality service to its participants, and are planning future health and wellness fairs in the near future to further spread awareness of the many healthcare options available to Brooklyn’s seniors. 

“We are planning to hold a lot of health events, and we want to use the platform to provide health education and elevate health awareness,” she said.