At Risk Seniors Lose Psychiatric Help
By Howard Schwach
After more than a dozen years of providing psychiatric help to troubled senior citizens with dementia and Alzheimer's disease, the Neponsit Adult Care Center has abruptly dropped the service, critics say.
Since 1995, those critics say, Dr. Ronald Brenner came to the center, first at the Neponsit Day Care Center on Beach 148 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard and, after that facility was closed down, to the present adult cay care center at Sands Point Medical Building at 230 Beach 102 Street on a bi-weekly basis to service the frail and mentally challenged seniors.
The program provided treatment for and psycho-pharmaceutical intervention for more that twenty elderly patients twice a month, a source said..
Arthur Geller, whose aunt used the program for many years, told The Wave that the program was terrminated by the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) without warning in November of last year.
After numerous telephone calls from relatives of those who were being treated, however, the program was reinstated the following month but then terminated for good in February of this year.
Patients were told that they would have to travel to other hospitals in northern Queens and Brooklyn for treatment, something that Geller says is a major hardship.
Officials at HHC declined to comment on individual cases, but said that the Adult Day Care Center was funded by Medicare for each elderly person who attended its programs and then by Medicaid for Dr. Geller's patients, in many cases the same people.
The HHC officials said that was deemed to be double-billing and ended the program.
Officials at the Adult Day Care Center declined to comment for this story but did say that they did not expect the program to be reinstated.