Hard hit nursing home dancing COVID19 away

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VALATIE, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The month of June marks Elder Abuse Awareness Month. This year the event honored the resiliency and spirit of seniors, especially in the wake of the coronavirus.

Each June over the past five years, George’s Justice: The Mid Hudson Elder Justice Center and the Hudson Valley Academy of Performing Arts have held an elder empowerment event celebrating safe seniors with music and dance.

During the pandemic, the Grand Barnwell Rehabilitation Center has been hit hard. Many residents have overcome the virus and organizer Kathryn Salensky says this event honors all survivors.

“These people have been locked in their rooms and surviving on a day to day basis. They are all at an older age, and they are confronting such a lockdown. It is so hard to see their friends die, and for many of them it is like being in another war,” said Salensky.

Debra Hughes is the Director of the Hudson Valley Performing Arts Center. Hughes says this event was a way to dance COVID-19 away.

“It feels great you know to give back to other people. It’s always a good thing and I really hope we can brighten the residents day,” said Hughes.

For a nursing home that has been hit so hard by the virus, they are dancing the pain away.

“We just have to dance what else are we going to do right now,” said Hughes. 

“We are here with you, we stand with you, and we appreciate all the seniors in our community,” explained Salensky.

The George’s Justice Center opened the first senior scam hotline in New York in 2016. Operated by Attorney Kathryn Salensky, the hotline helped hundreds of seniors and resulted in a heightened awareness of elder scams. It also educated seniors how to avoid and report elder crime.


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