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Seniors with Autism and Aging Caregivers

About the Project

QSAC recognizes that the needs for individuals with autism and their aging caregivers require unique supports to help meet an individual's changing needs as they age. In light of this, QSAC’s Aging Project explores and responds to issues surrounding developmental disabilities, aging, and how they intersect.

We take referrals and provide assistance for individuals who are 60 years and older who have an autism spectrum disorder or are caregivers to a family member with autism and/or another intellectual or developmental disability. This assistance is offered regardless of any benefits, income, or services a person receives.

The Aging Project also continuously looks for resources helpful to those who are aging in the developmental disability community, and attempts to be specific for services in both categories. Please see below for a list of helpful resources. This list is by no means exhaustive—expect it to grow and change.

To learn how to enroll in the case management program specifically for seniors with autism and aging caregivers, please contact one of the program contacts listed below. Participants do not have to have Medicaid and can already be receiving service coordination from another agency. The program is free-of-charge.

QSAC's Aging Project is made possible with support from The Fan Fax and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the AT&T Foundation, and the New York City Council.

Program Contact:

Ariel Alder, MSW
718-728-8476 ext 1255

Patrick Paglen, LMSW
718-728-8476 ext 1242

About the Online Resource Center

The Online Resource Center provides a catalog of information regarding programs and services for aging adults with autism and aging caregivers. Here you'll find details regarding benefit programs and direct services. For additional information or for support in accessing programs, please contact Ariel Alder, MSW.

Under each area, QSAC has curated resources that may be helpful for you and your family. For assistance in securing any of these benefits, completing applications, or for ongoing case management, please contact Patrick Paglen or complete the form to the right and Patrick will reach out to you

Day Habilitation

While Day Habilitation programs are designed to cater to individuals for a long period of their life, a day habilitation program may find increasing difficulty addressing growing needs of a patron as they grow older.  Here are OPWDD day habilitation programs in New York City that cater specifically to older persons:

Goodwill Industries’ Senior Champions Day Services

4-21 27th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11102

This Day services program is designed for persons 50+ with a diagnosed developmental disability and OPWDD Medicaid waiver eligibility. The program is geographically located in a Goodwill NY building with several other OPWDD related programs, and has a relationship with a local senior centers. Participants generally are able to verbally communicate their needs and desires.

QCP’s Community Connections Center

1-15 164th Street
Jamaica NY 11432

Also called QCP Geriatric Day Services, this provides leisure and recreational opportunities for individuals who want to retire completely or on a part time basis. They provide activities on site as well as in the community, and have connections with local senior centers

Riverstone Senior Center’s Open Door Program

99 Fort Washington Ave
New York, NY 10032

This OPWDD Medicaid waiver program is attached to Riverstone’s more general senior center, and participants are integrated into Riverstone’s larger senior community, programs, and services, and promote independence within the setting.

Residential Opportunities

A massive need for both seniors and the disabled of New York is safe, affordable, accessible, and dignified living environments. Beyond Independent Residential Alternative and Individualized Supports and Services housing settings for developmentally disabled individuals, here are a few creative residential opportunities for those with developmental disabilities, or seniors who are comfortable with the developmental disability community.

New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ Home Sharing Program

11 Park Place, 14th floor
New York, NY 10007

This program helps link adult “hosts” with vacant space in their homes with appropriate adult “guests.” One of the pair must be 60 years or older, or one must be 55 years or older and the other 18 years or older who has a developmental disability and capacity for independent living. Expenses for the home come from a mutually agreed upon monthly contribution.

NYC’s Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) programs

For those who are seniors or disabled with low income living in a rent-controlled, stabilized, or regulated apartment and do not expect to leave that location. There are some strict requirements; the combined income of the household bust be $50,000 or less, a rent-regulated apartment, one third of income pays for rent, not a NYCHA, section 8, or sublet housing. This program will cover qualified tenants rent increases from their current amount.

Home Modification and Geographic Access

A very common issue affecting seniors and persons with disabilities alike is mobility and falling risk, compounding the ability to access one’s home safely. These programs can assist with rebuilding damage, or modifying the home to make it more accessible to the resident’s mobility.

Rebuilding Together NYC’s Safe and Healthy Housing program

This program provides Critical Home Repair, Disaster Rebuilding, and Accessibility upgrades for low income elderly/disabled residents for every New York City borough.

Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities’ Project Open House

Call 311 or 212-788-2830

This program provides removal of readily achievable residential barriers that do not require obtaining building permits or licensed professional architects.

NYC Commission on Human Rights’ Project Equal Access

1932 Arthur Avenue, Room 203A
Bronx, NY 10457

This program works with housing providers, small businesses, and employers to make sure that they provide adequate access to persons with disabilities without undue hardship to their business, without the need for law enforcement and to quick results

ADAPT’s Doorways to Independence Program


For persons eligible for the OPWDD Medicaid Waiver, this program provides simple home alterations to suit an individual’s unique needs of mobility and stability.


Issues of Developmental Disability and Issues of Aging often arise as barriers to traveling around the city effectively. Here are some resources for persons in need of travel assistance.


Application form:
Access-a-Ride is the major MTA Paratransit service of New York City, which offers reserved transportation service within the service area covered by subways and buses, in response to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires that individuals with disabilities who cannot access mass transit be provided paratransit services. The link is to the application and guideline 

MTA Reduced Fare

718-330-1234 or call 511, say “MTA” then “Subways and buses” then “Metrocard”
For persons 65 and older or who have qualifying disabilities, MTA offers a reduced fare metro card. There are two applications: for seniors and for those with disabilities

Accessible Dispatch

MANHATTAN ONLY: This is an on-demand taxi dispatch service for persons with disabilities, with no requirement for advance reservation. There are five options to request a cab service: through 311 calling service, their telephone number 646-599-9999, texting at number 646-400-0789, the “WOW taxi” smartphone application, or booking online at  The closest wheelchair accessible and ADA compliant taxi and driver will come to your destination.

Logisticare Solutions’ Transportation

Logisticare provides Non-Emergency Medical Transportation for those eligible for fee-for service Medicaid. Requests for transportation must be made 72 hours in advance at least; and other limitations apply. Also serves a list of managed care program enrollees. Please see the webpage linked.

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Transportation Services

EAST SIDE MANHATTAN ONLY: Transportation services for older adults on Manhattan’s East Side seven days a week.

New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ Community Arranged Transportation Program (CART)

490 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Free specialized transportation for frail elderly, for medical appointments, planned activities, and to and from senior centers. It operates from the Battery to East 96th street and West 110th street. Wheelchair accessible.

Abuse and Neglect

The feeling that your loved one or charge might be in a situation of abuse and neglect can be absolutely paralyzing, leaving one to wonder what the correct thing to do is, and how to do it, and fearing what the consequences might be. Fortunately, there are numbers you can call to report possible abuse or neglect, and who can guide you on proper course of action and take the next steps.

The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs

For questions and assistance 1-800-624-4143 or
To report abuse or neglect 1-855-373-2122

The Justice Center was created from legislation known as the “Protection of People with Special Needs Act.” Among the many responsibilities of the Justice Center is to make sure that reports of abuse and neglect are fully investigated in regards to persons with special needs. If you suspect possible abuse or neglect regarding a person who is developmentally disabled in an environment where they are interacting with professional services, call the Justice Center.

NYC Human Resource Administration’s Adult Protective Services

Brooklyn: 718-722-4830 or 718-722-4812
Bronx: 929-252-8500
North Manhattan: 212-971-2727
South Manhattan: 212-279-5794
Queens: 718-883-8254
Staten Island: 718-556-5846

Adult Protective Services provides services for persons who are 18 years of age or older, have physical or mental difficulties, and because of those difficulties cannot meet their basic needs, such as protection from abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

Benefits Assessment Resources

Between one’s location, income, insurance, and a thousand other factors, finding programs that one is qualified for and has access to can become complicated. Here are a few resources with large databases that can help narrow specific services based on one’s area, demographics, and needs.

Access NYC

Access NYC is a database that helps determine what services someone is eligible for within the city, and provides the ability to apply online to those eligible programs. Screening is a two-step process on the website that takes and estimated 5 to 30 minutes depending on the desired detail, where it asks for input on personal and household demographics. About 30 programs are within this database.

NYC Department for the Aging

NYC Department for the Aging has a database specific to services for seniors, where you can search based on location and service type.

A Place for Mom

A Place for Mom provides information in United States and Canada for senior living situations. You can search their database or connect with an advisor. This website asks for your contact information for their use.

National Council for the Aging’s Benefits Checkup

This is a very easy to use database where all that is needed is to input the age and zip code of the person looking for benefits, as well as the specific types of benefits. It then lists how many benefits that you may be entitled to, and lists them by category.

Long Term Care and Life Planning

Long term planning and end of life planning is often uncomfortable but always necessary, especially if you know you will be leaving behind loved ones with particular needs. Here are some resources to help planning for your death and what comes after for you family and friends.

Able National Resource Center

ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for persons with disabilities, where families can deposit money into these accounts without fear that it will interfere with benefits programs such as Social Security. Various states have different ABLE account laws, but anyone in the United States can open an account in any state regardless of where their state of residence is.

Legal Services and Supports

The Law can be very specific towards how society treats our elders and others with particular needs. The Law is also complicated and overwhelming, especially for someone with more immediate stresses and barriers. Here are some resource that can provide aid and information.

NYC Commission on Human Rights

The NYC Commission on Human Rights has wonderful resources regarding how the law interacts with disability and aging concerns, in terms of discrimination, abuse, housing, taxes, and public access. There are multiple ways to seek the Commission’s help directly, including telephone, online, or in person.

Center for Independence of the Disabled’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

212-812-2901 (Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island)
212-812-2911 (Brooklyn and Queens)
Ombudsman is a term for advocates for patients in medical environments, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Center for Independence of the Disabled offers confidential services that make sure that patient complaints are address, needs are being met, and rights are protected. Ombudsman are good resources to intervene on an issue before legal intervention becomes necessary.

Volunteers of Legal Service’s Elderly Project

40 Worth Street, Suite 820
New York, NY 10013
Volunteers of Legal Service is a collection of law firms that offers various pro bono council and legal services through various projects, among them the Elderly Project, which provides council and document drafting to low income Manhattan residents age 60 and over, as well as the social workers that serve them.

Law Help
Seniors Program
Disability Program

Law Help provides information and referrals for legal assistance for low-income residents and the legal organizations that serve them. It is a database that determines your particular rights, and helps locate a lawyer, based upon your zip code and category of need.


For those who are homebound, or find it difficult enough that regularly going out of the house for groceries or eat-out is a strain, there are organizations that bring regular meals directly to your doorstep.

City Meals on Wheels

For persons 60 and older who have a physical or mental incapacitation that renders them unable to prepare meals for themselves, City Meals on Wheels provides regular delivery. Even if someone has SNAP benefits or Medicaid, they may still be eligible. The website asks for a zip code, provides a case management service in the area, and requires that you call said case management service to provide a referral to determine eligibility.