LOWER EAST SIDE — Activist group Neighbors to Save Rivington House on Sunday will host an event addressing the dearth of healthcare facilities in the community and brainstorming how best to meet the needs of elderly and disabled locals.
The event, called "What's Next for Rivington House: Creating New Ideas for Community Care," will bring together experts on healthcare and disability rights and community members who have been directly impacted by the lack of long-term care options in the neighborhood for a panel discussing how best to move forward.
"It's really a forum for all of us in the community, whether electeds or neighbors or organizations that think about these things...to think about caring for some of our most vulnerable people, which are in this case elders, people who are struggling with disabilities that require 24-seven care," said Kay Webster of Neighbors to Save Rivington House.
"It's really to empower us to stop waiting for solutions to come from on high," she added.
Data shows that Lower Manhattan has been hit the hardest by a citywide spate of nursing home closures, having lost more than half of its long-term care facility beds within the last decade.
Among those losses were the beds lost in the sale of Rivington House, a nursing home for HIV/AIDS patients now being flipped for a luxury condo conversion after the city scrapped a deed restriction that had kept it a healthcare facility.
The forum will hopefully help address the fears of community members who are now left scrambling for long-term care options for their loved ones, Webster said.
"This is a crisis," she said. "We're aging, we're in need of these facilities, and we've lost almost all of them."
Panelists will include a disability rights activist, an aging and elder healthcare expert, and a former employee of both Gouverneur Hospital and Rivington House.
A second panel is slated for the spring, said Webster, with more possibly to follow.
The forum will take place at University Settlement's Speyer Hall at 184 Eldridge St. from 2 to 4 p.m.