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Ralston Center Aims To Help West Philadelphia Seniors With 'Age-Friendly' Initiative

by Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The non-profit Ralston Center is launching an "age-friendly West Philadelphia Initiative" to help under-served older folks get the resources they need.

Ralston Center CEO Joseph Lukach says "quality of life in aging" is an issue more relevant now than ever before.

"Even though there are many excellent resources here in West Philadelphia, many seniors find themselves unable to navigate through this complex system to be able to secure them," he said.

Ralston Center coordinates services through 40 organizations to maximize their independence, well-being, and social engagement. Lukach says the pilot project aims to supplement all of the services through a buddy system.

"We're looking to train and supervise volunteers with a licensed social worker," he said.

What is now known as the Ralston Center was founded in 1817 as the Indigent Widows and Single Women's Society, on a plot of land on Cherry Street between 5th and 6th Streets. It will be celebrating its 200th anniversary next year.

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