Watch CBS News

Senior Citizens Benefiting From Medical Care Service In NYCHA And Privately Owned Buildings

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Expert medical care was delivered to the doorsteps of seniors in the city on Thursday.

From vision screenings to vaccines, the program made a world of difference, CBS2's Dave Carlin reported.

Michael Simmons admitted he neglected his health and took his eyes for granted. But a vision care program set up in the lobby of his New York City Housing Authority senior building in Washington Heights saved his sight.

"These do make a difference. I'm not gonna lie to you. They do make a very big difference," Simmons said.

The 67-year-old retired private investigator has new eyeglasses free of charge, and that's not all.

"They gave me a pressure test," Simmons said.

Glaucoma was found. He now takes medicine, thanks to eye doctors who came to him.

Medical experts say delivering screenings and care to elderly vulnerable populations where they live makes all the difference.

"They don't have access to adequate eye care," resident coordinator Bianca Lopez said. "We actually get to make sure the services are brought to tenants who can't come out and who are afraid because of the pandemic."

Now, privately owned buildings in the city also make screenings, lab work and vaccinations more convenient. At Manhattan Plaza in Hell's Kitchen, with a large population of older New Yorkers, getting a vaccine booster was as easy as coming to the ground level of the building. The boosters went into hundreds of arms on Thursday, said organizer Marisa Redanty.

"Without having a car, without having someone to bring them there, without having someone to walk them there, they can just go in their own building," Redanty said.

Back in Washington Heights, advice was offered from leaders of PACT Renaissance Collaborative and Columbia University Ophthalmology, which partnered on the vision program.

"If you have diabetes or you have hypertension or you have any other chronic medical conditions and also if you're over 40 and you're African-American or Hispanic, you absolutely get an eye exam every year because you don't have any symptoms if you have glaucoma," Columbia's Dr. Lisa Hark said.

She said to see to it that you get checked.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.