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Gramatan Village Visits Chagall Exhibit at The Jewish Museum in NYC PDF Print Email

Jan. 22, 2014:  On Tuesday, January 14, Gramatan Village members visited The Jewish Museum in New York City to see the exhibit Chagall: Love, War, and Exile, on display until February 2, 2014. 

The Gramatan Village members were joined by members of two other aging-in-place organizations, At Home on The Sound of Larchmont/Mamaroneck and Staying Put in Rye of Rye/ Harrison and surrounding areas.

The Jewish Museum's website states: "For the first time in the United States, artwork by Chagall from the 1930s and 1940s is gathered to reveal a lesser-known side of the artist. Beginning with the richly evocative paintings of his years in France, the exhibition illuminates an artist deeply responsive to the suffering inflicted by war and to his own exile and personal losses. By the late 1940s, Chagall returns to colorful, joy-filled work celebrating love." 

Gramatan Village, a nonprofit organization formed by a group of local residents, provides individuals and their families in the greater Bronxville area with information and access to services so that they may continue to live safely and confidently in the community they love. Additionally, social events and educational community presentations are planned to keep our members engaged and active. For more information, please call 914-337-1338.

Pictured here: Gramatan Village member Mary Jane Vanderburg viewing a book about Chagall.

Photo courtesy Kathryn S. Urbina, Member Services/Program Coordinator, Gramatan Village

Getting the Best Health Care As You Age, Topic at Gramatan Village Seminar November 3 PDF Print Email


Nov. 13, 2013:  On Sunday afternoon, November 3, Gramatan Village hosted a talk by Dr. Mark Lachs, director of geriatrics for the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, which attracted a large, attentive crowd to the Bronxville Public Library's Yeager Room.

With the aid of cartoons, graphs, and a lot of humorous patient-related anecdotes, Dr. Lachs spoke about the challenges and opportunities of aging, information that is summarized in his book, What Your Doctor Won't Tell You About Getting Older: An Insider's Survival Manual for Outsmarting the Health-Care System.

Dr. Lachs urged everyone to "take responsibility for your own care". You should be especially alert during "care transitions" when moving from one health care place or provider to another, such as going from the hospital to your home or from a specialist to your primary doctor. This is a dangerous time when information can be lost. How not to be a victim of care transition? Assume your medical records will be lost, do not rely on electronic records, and carry a "greatest hits" list with you, including all your vital information, such as a photocopy of your most recent EKG.

Dr. Lachs also warned family members to look out for delirium--a sudden disturbance in a patient's thinking ability, involving confusion and disorientation--which is epidemic among hospitalized older adults, and he outlined proven interventions that can prevent or reduce the condition.

Not only hospitals can make you sick. According to Dr. Lachs, your home can make you seem sick. One patient who kept falling went through batteries of expensive tests, but when Dr. Lachs visited her home he noticed that her armchair and her carpet were the same color. Adding a different color cushion helped her sit without falling. He went over numerous other simple, inexpensive fixes that can keep older people safely at home.

Perceptions about aging also contribute to a person's well-being. Concepts such as "as you become older you become less useful," "it's normal to become disabled as you age," and "things keep getting worse as you age," can shorten a life by as much as seven years. The aim of Dr. Lachs and other geriatricians is "not to add years to your life but to add life to your years."

Dr. Lachs's final admonition was: "The meek do not inherit the earth. You need to be proactive and take responsibility for your own care. If you want to find your best primary care provider, simply look in the mirror!"

Dr. Lachs's talk will be broadcast on the Bronxville cable channel; to request a copy of the presentation, send an email to CLOAKING .

Pictured here:  Dr. Mark Lachs.

Photo courtesy Julie Dalton, Executive Director, Gramatan Village 

'Salute to Seniors' a Smashing Success on Saturday, September 28 PDF Print Email


Oct. 2, 2013:  If you ever organize an event on a Saturday morning starting at 9:00 am, you may also want to order a sunny, crisp, picture-perfect fall morning and have Mayor Mary Marvin as the master of ceremonies.

There were over 100 attendees at village hall. Some arrived in style via the Tuckahoe Trolley, thanks to the generosity of the Village of Tuckahoe.

The mayor set the tone by saluting our community's senior citizens for not only the important role they play, but also the significant contributions they make to Bronxville. 

Each of the speakers who followed also paid tribute to our seniors. Remarks were shared by Irma Damhuis, co-chair of the Senior Citizens Council; Nancy Hand, co-chair of Gramatan Village; Jeff Rohr, president of The Community Fund of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe; Tracy Conte, vice president of marketing and development at Lawrence Hospital Center; and Bronxville Police Chief Christopher Satriale

NYS Assemblywoman Amy Paulin presented a proclamation. Other VIPs in attendance were Rev. Dr. John Hartwell of Village Lutheran Church, Gabriella Radujko, director of the Bronxville Public Library, and New York State Senator George Latimer.

Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond, Eastchester councilmen Glenn Bellitto, Joe Dooley, Luigi Marcoccia, and Fred Salanitro, and Gilda Press, director of senior programs and services for Eastchester, also attended.

The village provided cider and doughnuts from the Bronxville Farmers’ Market immediately following the opening ceremony.

Evey Riccobono, the energizer bunny and also the exercise instructor for the Bronxville Senior Citizens, then led the group to Bronxville High School’s front lawn, where there was a tai chi demo. From there, the crowd meandered into the business district, where there were several information tables with senior-related information and chair massages. 

Throughout the village, businesses made the day all about seniors by offering "silver specials." 

By 1:30 pm, after enjoying a leisurely lunch (some having power-shopped in town and now ready to get off their feet), the crowd headed to the Bronxville Public Library, which hosted the movie Quartet, a free raffle, and yet another light refreshments break. 

Immediately following, the crowd of 75 enjoyed a Frank Sinatra impersonator. Some brave souls headed back to town to take advantage of the early bird specials.  

Sponsorship by Lawrence Hospital Center and the Rotary Club Foundation made the entire day a reality. We are grateful to our local businesses and organizations for embracing Salute to Seniors day.

The Salute to Seniors committee was a joint effort of members of the Senior Citizens Council, Bronxville Senior Citizens, and Gramatan Village.

Pictured here: Senior citizens gather in front of Bronxville Village Hall while listening to Chief of Police Christopher Satriale speak.

Photo by Mary Liz Mulligan, Member, Board of Directors of Senior Citizens Council and Gramatan Village

Julie Dalton, Executive Director of Gramatan Village, Helps People to 'Age in Place' in Bronxville PDF Print Email


Sep. 25, 2013:  A little more than five years ago, Gramatan Village, an organization designed to keep Bronxville-area people "aging in place," was begun.  At its helm since year two has been its executive director, Julie Dalton, developing its programs and procedures and carrying out its mission to enable people in the greater Bronxville area to remain in this community in their older years.

Recently, MyhometownBronxville sat down with Julie in the Gramatan Village office on Pondfield Road to ask her questions about the organization and to ask where she sees it going. Following are the answers she provided.

How did you come to focus on senior citizens' care?

I’ve always been interested in helping older people have a better life. I first earned a certification from the University of North Texas as a certified aging service specialist, a certification which must be updated every two years by showing you are current in the latest developments in aging services, presenting at conferences, and publishing.

Then around 20 years ago I met a mentor in New York City who introduced me to a whole gamut of home- and community-based services for older citizens. After a number of years managing programs, I became the COO for Aging in America Community Services, an organization which serves over 5,000 people.  The services provided included: case management, elder abuse counseling, meals on wheels, intergenerational programs, social adult day care programs, senior centers, and a variety of health and wellness programs. 

Why did you choose to come to Bronxville?

Gramatan Village was just beginning at the time I interviewed. It offered an incredible opportunity to create something from the ground up. I knew that this village and Gramatan Village were on the cutting edge of providing services for older Americans. I was also acquainted with the services in Southern Westchester. It was the perfect place for me. I take great pride in the fact that we were the first "aging in place" organization in Westchester. Now there are 10 in Westchester.

What was the biggest challenge getting started? 

Our founders knew they were committed to making this organization a reality but weren’t sure how to begin. There was no service delivery model and no overall plan of action.  So I began by writing the initial plan for how we would get started. I also needed to learn the players in the community. We are here to coordinate and connect, so that was very important to do early on. One of our best resources is that we know who the good providers are in the community. That took time to learn. 

Gradually, we added the programs we have today: care coordination where we assess the needs of an individual, referrals to reliable pre-screened service provides, links to government services, and referrals for housekeeping services, financial services, attorneys, nutrition services, and other senior centers. We also provide referrals to individual counseling for Medicare and Medicaid and recommend home maintenance workers such as plumbers, electricians, and computer technicians. Gramatan Village members also receive discounts from local merchants and some service providers.

Most important, we work one on one with our members. We do the leg work either to find a service provider that can meet their needs or in some cases do it ourselves. Some of the services are income based. Others are available to anyone.

What are you most proud of accomplishing?

One of the best things we’ve done is to provide nutrition education seminars. We noted that among our socially isolated members, there is a lack of good eating habits. We also instituted yoga classes to improve their mobility. We work hard to assist members behind the scenes to stay and live in their homes. At the same time, members need to get out of the house and socialize with others. To this end, we are providing some wonderful social and cultural programs. Earlier this year we went to the American Museum of the Moving Image. Members could go into a sound box and voice over scenes from a movie. One of our members voiced over Marilyn Monroe in Some Like is Hot. She did a great job. Socialization is very important for older people.

How is Gramatan Village unique?

Gramatan Village is part of a national movement of communities across the country that has chosen to establish grassroots membership organizations to enable seniors to stay in their homes safely and confidently as they grow older. They are formed by local people, are self-governing and self-supporting, and seek to consolidate and coordinate services for their members. They look for opportunities to collaborate with existing resources in the community and work one on one with their members. It is a holistic approach.

Today there are about 100 villages across the country in this movement. We share best practices and use the peer network to assist one another. Last fall I presented at a national conference. While there I learned a lot from other presentations.

Whom does Gramatan Village serve?

Gramatan Village serves residents of the greater Bronxville community, including the zip codes of 10708 (Bronxville), 10707 (Tuckahoe), 10552 (adjacent Mount Vernon), and the 10708 PO in Yonkers. We serve people 60 years and above plus their families, with a greater focus on those 85 years and older, who often need more care.

How does Gramatan Village coordinate with other community organizations and services?

We collaborate on special outings, work with the Bronxville and Tuckahoe senior citizens organizations, make referrals and receive referrals from other senior providers, and work with the Eastchester Department of Senior Programs and the Offices of the Aging in Yonkers and Mount Vernon. We also work with The Wartburg in Mount Vernon for short-term rehab referrals and recommend skilled nursing assistance, independent housing, assisted living, low-income housing, home care, and adult day health care.

What do Gramatan Village volunteers do?

We have a good number of volunteers who assist with non-skilled services. For example, they provide rides to appointments, run to the drug store to get a prescription filled, make phone calls to shut-ins, or take people for a walk. Volunteers have removed air conditioners and given advice on using a computer, an iPad, or an iPhone. They also help in the office and are very important in fundraising. And our volunteers are of all ages. This summer, Kylie Regan, a junior at Bronxville High School, helped us organize outings. 

How can volunteers get involved?

People can stop by the office on the second floor at 85 Pondfield or call the office at 914-337-1338. You can also go online to our website at  

How can someone join?    

The best thing to do is call the office (914-337-1338), where someone is available to describe the services and give you the options for membership. Or go online to learn about Gramatan Village at In addition, every third Thursday of the month, there is a session at the Bronxville Library where members are present to describe the services offered by Gramatan Village and answer any questions.

Gramatan Village serves members who pay dues and are eligible for a full range of services or "special members" who receive a full range of services and are also eligible for reduced membership dues which are subsidized by community support, including a grant from The Community Fund. Membership fees are partially tax deductible. In addition, Gramatan Village serves all residents, free of charge, who wish to attend our informational programs. 

Gramatan Village is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. Individuals who wish to contribute to the organization to help support our older adults, in particular, our "special members" whose membership is dependent on donations from the community, will find their donations tax deductible. 

Pictured here:  Julie Dalton, executive director of Gramatan Village.

Photo by N. Bower  

Join 'Salute to Seniors' this Saturday, September 28, Starting at Village Hall PDF Print Email


Sep. 25, 2013:  This Saturday, September 28, there will be a village-wide celebration of our senior citizens. Two local not-for-profit organizations that work with seniors, Gramatan Village and the Bronxville Senior Citizens, have joined forces with the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Bronxville to make Salute to Seniors a memorable day for all.

The day kicks off on the village hall front lawn with remarks by Mayor Mary Marvin and some local organization representatives; light refreshments follow the opening ceremony. We hope you will all join us.

Next, follow the crowd to the Bronxville High School lawn and join in a tai chi class. The energizer bunny Evey Riccobono will be our pied piper and lead a spirited walk into the village business district, where most businesses are graciously offering specials throughout the entire day for all seniors. Our businesses have always been the community’s best supporters. We now hope you will support them and also take advantage of their many generous offerings. 

There will be informational tables from 10:30 am to noon in front of 81 Pondfield Road with representatives from Lawrence Hospital Center and local organizations with helpful senior-related information. 

After you have enjoyed a nice lunch in town, head to the Bronxville Public Library, where the film Quartet starring Maggie Smith will be shown at 1:30 pm in the Yeager Community Room. There will be a free raffle after the movie, followed by a Frank Sinatra impersonator. 

In case you still aren't done in, head back to the village for early bird specials at one of our many restaurants.

Pictured here:  Mayor Mary Marvin, who will be making opening remarks for Salute to Seniors day.

Photo by N. Bower 

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