Exposing a Hidden Harm to Health and Finances
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Exposing a Hidden Harm to Health and Finances


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Ms. P came to the Economic Security Initiative Clinic at Lenox Hill wanting to find ways either to increase her income or scale back on her expenses. She receives $700 in Social Security, Food Stamps, and Medicaid benefits.

A holistic assessment helped her case worker gain a better understanding of Ms. P’s situation. During the assessment the volunteer learned that Ms. P was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s. Her cognitive impairments were starting to impact her daily functioning, as often she forgets questions asked a few moments earlier. However, Ms. P is able to meet her needs by writing daily reminders to herself of all the tasks she needs to complete.

An exploration of the Ms. P’s financial situation revealed a very high heating bill, approximately $2,700 a year. Ms. P was in need of a new boiler, as her present boiler was releasing black soot in the air and needed to be emptied every day.

Aging in place is extremely important to Ms. P, having lived in the same house all her life. The house was originally built by her grandparents in the 1920s. Thanks to the connections of a Lenox Hill advisory council member, Ms. P got help to apply for private funding to purchase a new boiler for $6,750. Now she is able to save thousands of dollars a year and improve her quality of life, all while staying in her home.


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