Life After Work
|"I've worked on political campaigns and I'm active in a number of organizations. I participate in JPAC as a member of the IFSA Steering Committee and the Intergenerational Committee, as well as attending JPAC meetings."—Muriel Beach|
When Muriel Beach, an economist who graduated from Cornell University, was in her mid-70s, she was alone, homebound, unhappy, and lacking purpose. "I was very inactive, having had two knee replacements. I was isolated and stuck in the house. A friend encouraged me to take the IFSA [Institute for Senior Action] course."
IFSA's ten-week leadership and advocacy training program helps retirees become involved in advocating for themselves and sharpens the skills of longtime community activists. It is a program of the Joint Public Affairs Committee for Older Adults (JPAC), a social action coalition of people from more than 700 senior centers and community groups throughout the City. The Trust has supported advocacy training for elders with a number of grants over the years.
JPAC and IFSA's accomplishments include helping to establish an Aging Committee in the New York City Council; advocating for a low-cost prescription drug program for seniors in the State; winning legislation limiting doctor overcharges to Medicare beneficiaries; helping pass the State Patient's Bill of Rights; and fighting against federal, State, and City budget cuts to aging programs.
Since graduating from IFSA in 2003, Muriel says she is never home. "I've worked on political campaigns and I'm active in a number of organizations. I participate in JPAC as a member of the IFSA Steering Committee and the Intergenerational Committee, as well as attending JPAC meetings."
"IFSA psychologically changed me, from being confined to my home to being willing and wanting to go out," said Muriel. "In today's world, with so many issues, it's all too easy to give up and throw the covers over your head. IFSA made me aware of existing problems and taught me how to tackle them and be effective in doing so."