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New South Asian senior care facility opens in Jamaica

Dec. 21, 2023 By Ethan Marshall

The elderly care organization CenterLight Healthcare PACE held a grand opening on Tuesday, Dec. 12 for a new facility in Jamaica that aims to meet the social and cultural needs of South Asian seniors.

The new facility, called the South Asian Cultural Alternative Care Setting, is located at 97-35 Allendale St. and offers a range of medical, social and cultural services.

(L to r) CenterLight Healthcare PACE Chief Medical Officer Ziad Farah, MD, Queens Community Board Chairperson Rev. Carlene O. Thorbs, NYS Sen. Leroy Comrie and CenterLight Healthcare PACE President and CEO Tara Buonocore-Rut at the grand opening for the new South Asian Alternative Care setting. Photo courtesy of CenterLight Healthcare PACE

PACE centers provide primary care like including physician, nursing and social services, restorative therapies, personal care,
supportive services, nutritional services and counseling, recreational therapy and meals. However, alternative care settings like this facility are more attractive for participants who prefer a smaller, more intimate setting to receive on-site socialization, social services, personal care services, therapeutic recreation and meals.

“We saw a distinct need to offer culturally sensitive services to the South Asian population and the opening of the new South Asian Cultural Center will offer our CenterLight PACE participants an opportunity to share in activities, meals and just be together and socialize,” said Tara
Buonocore-Rut, President and CEO of CenterLight Healthcare PACE. “The addition of this Alternative Care Setting (ACS) will help us achieve our goal to improve the overall health and well-being of our participants who continue to live independently at home and in their communities.”

Over 100 programs and activities will be provided by this facility each month. This includes cultural celebrations like Holi, Diwali and Eid. Access will be provided for dedicated prayer, meditation and Wudu rooms. The daily menu offerings of the facility feature traditional South Asian food. Yoga, meditation, canvas painting, cooking classes, jewelry making, crafts, herbal teatime, sewing, crocheting and English as a second language classes are among the daily activities available there.

“Physicians usually talk about medications, doctor visits and tests, but social interaction is so important for overall health and well-being. Our senior participants need a sense of purpose and a sense of being. And that’s what our centers are all about,” said Ziad Farah, MD, CenterLight Healthcare PACE Chief Medical Officer. “This Alternative Care Setting caters to the diverse needs of the South Asian community.”

The new facility will initially be open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Monday through Friday schedule offering will be coming in the future.

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