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resident newletter cover for February 2024.

Dear Residents of Flushing House,
Greetings and well wishes from your resident council. We are grateful that many residents have attended our monthly meetings. We have had several conversations; in addition, we have conducted a survey to include ambulatory and non-ambulatory residents addressing concerns they may have. With the support of Rev. Kurtz, David Barr, Nancy Rojas, and Matt Ferris the major concerns of residents for safety, comfort, well-being, and quality of life that have been addressed include the following but are not limited to:
The timer for the elevator, allowing for extended time for entering and exiting.
A person to operate the elevator during lunch and dinner hours.
The installation of new washing machines.
The organization of the Interfaith Chapel Committee of Flushing House.
The updating of the lobby furniture because of issues with the previous furniture being uncomfortable or inappropriate for older adults.
The continuation of optional meals for Curbside Pick-up, including some items that will be available consistently.
The organization of our first successful international food tasting and beverage station on the rooftop. We were assisted by the
Life Enrichment Department, Community Life Department, and Culinary Department

As our term on the Resident Council ends, we extend our congratulations to the newly elected representatives for 2024. We trust they will continue to enhance our community. We’re grateful for your support during our tenure, and your dedication has made a significant impact. We wish all residents, staff, administrators, and their families good health, happiness, and prosperity in 2024. May it be filled with joy and memorable moments for all.

Resident Council Members,
Edna Agyeman, Eva Cabrera and Joe Catalanotto

“When we come together, something bigger than all of us happens.”

By Natividad Liengsiriwat
Wonton King Restaurant
Corner of 154th Street and Northern Boulevard, Queens, NY 11354
I recently went to Wonton King Restaurant for lunch. It was crowded so perhaps it would have been better to avoid the lunch hour rush. However, I was alone, and it was easy to get a table. The service was very fast.
First, I ordered Wonton soup, which is a “must have” and the specialty of the house. It is absolutely delicious Then came string beans with ground beef. It was savory and excellent tasting. I am ashamed to tell you that the serving was probably meant for two, but I ate it all.
Another dish was fried chicken with garlic sauce. This is one of my favorite dishes. The fried chicken was crispy and very tasty. The sauce is memorable. It is a combination of soy and garlic and other secret herbs. I highly recommend this dish.
In addition, I ordered Young Chow Fried Rice, which is a mixture of vegetables, chicken, and rice. To me this dish is very flavorful in comparison to any other fried rice you might order.
Out of curiosity, I ordered their steamed buns with meat. One order gives you two buns. However, I would not recommend this dish. I found the taste a little odd. It was certainly not your usual Chinese dish. Altogether on a scale of 1-10, I would give this restaurant a 9. The prices are moderate.

I want to express our thanks and appreciation to the Resident Council for addressing our concerns, and for all the work they have done on our behalf during the past year. Of special note are the seasonal sales. The hours spent organizing these events have not gone unnoticed. Edna Agyeman, Eva Cabrera, and John Pawelek deserve special recognition for their hard work.

The fruits of their labors were gifted to us in the form of an International Food Tasting organized by the Resident Council and assisted by the Life Enrichment Department, Community Life Department and Culinary Department.

Also, a donation was made toward the purchase of the new chairs in the lobby.

Kudos to you all!
Julie Weeks

“Winter is an etching,
spring a watercolor,
summer an oil
and autumn a mosaic
of them all.”
-Stanley Horowitz


Did You Know?…
The property on which we live was previously owned by The First Congregational Church of Flushing. As a result of a fire in 1969 the church was destroyed. The property was acquired by The United Presbyterian Church. They were looking for a place to provide housing for older adults who could live independently. The Presbyterians, in partnership with The Reformed Church, purchased the site. Construction began in 1974. In 1975 Flushing House opened its doors and provides up to 300 people with safe, secure housing. Today it is the largest not-for-profit independent living retirement community in New York State.

Article by Jean Lewis Keith

Excuse me? What did you say? Eh? Sorry, what? Say again, please? Huh? Say what? The common meaning of these comments can be…Sorry – I didn’t really hear what you said. These are a few of the responses to conversational gambits at Flushing House dining tables when there are only six people around them but at least one person is hard of hearing.

Recently, Flushing House Management has urged that more residents take their meals in the Dining Room, and many of us do and prefer to do so. It is, after all, an excellent opportunity to meet and greet our neighbors at a generally pleasurable, at the least an essential, communal activity. But some of us who are deaf reluctantly take our meals to our apartments rather than go through the embarrassment of poor communication, which is sometimes interpreted as lack of interest, rudeness or worse, as stupidity.

In the last few months, a few of us hard of hearing folks, or people who are sympathetic to our condition, have been trying to find some way of making communication at meals easier and thus more convivial. The first step was attempting to identify who among us has hearing problems, with an informal survey: Anyone who is hard of hearing, knows the predicament of hearing loss in social situations. That was the purpose of the brief questionnaire I hope you responded to a few weeks ago.

Hearing loss is a physical disease, even more problematic for its sufferers because it is invisible, unlike the disabilities that require wheeled devices, crutches, braces, canes, etc. And endless commercial efforts are made to make in-ear hearing aids ever less visible.

We have discovered that there is a large variety of public places in New York City where this problem is addressed using a hearing or T-loop system. A T-loop is a loop of wire installed around the perimeter of a specific area that transmits sound via a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by using hearing aids with T-coils. The T-coil is a tiny copper coil inside a hearing aid. Your aid provider can tell you if your aids have t-coils: most aids do or can have them.

A list of where in the five New York City boroughs accommodation has been made for us who use t-coiled aids has been compiled by the Hearing Loss Association of America of New York, New York City Chapter: It has assembled a mostly accurate list by borough that is available online: “HEARING LOOPS IN THE NEW YORK CITY METROPOLITAN AREA, as of January 2023.” This is on the HLAA website at “Local Looped Venues” on https://www.hearinglossnyc.org/resource-list. This long list of New York City T-looped venues is printed out in the hearing notebook, available to anyone in Flushing House, in the Security Office.

Some of us want to bring FH into the world of the hard of hearing, at least in the Dining Room.

The Hearing Notebook includes articles about the T Loop/T Coil as well as hearing loss and dementia, which is a very scary prospect for those of us who are hard of hearing. It also includes a printed list of the hearing enhanced venues in New York City as of January of last year.

Resident Eva Cabrera Interviews Staff Member Wilma DeLaCruz

What strengths, experiences or skills do you bring to being our Activities Director at Flushing House?

I have experience in this field from working in a nursing home and with adults with mental disabilities for 8 years, creating activities and individual care plans. My main goal is for the residents to be content.  Therefore, I listen, I deliver and strive to improve activities.

What is the most rewarding or exciting thing about your job? 

The most rewarding thing about this job is the smiles and laughter of the residents after a successful activity or event.

Do you find you get close to, attached to, or have favorites among the residents? 

I find that I do get closer to the residents that have always been so nice to me since I’ve started.  They motivate me and have become role models.

What is a challenge or surprise you have found while working with the elderly? 

The biggest and most continuous challenge has been getting some of the residents to come to activities. Sometimes the elderly would rather be in their apartments, or in a quiet place and that’s their peace. I understand that.  I like to be to myself at times, but for the elderly it can eventually become a habit that can lead to isolation, depression then illness. Socializing and participating in activities greatly lessens the chance of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Flushing House has many activities.  Which do you find is the best, favorite or most popular activity here? 

The favorite for the residents must be between exercise and Happy Hour! For me, my favorites are Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, Brain Teasers and Jeopardy. Anything that works out the mind and body is the most beneficial, not just for the elderly, but for everyone.

Flushing House staff is blessed with free meals.  What is your favorite dish here? 

I enjoy all the food here, but I can always go for dumplings, lox, gyro, or a good soup.

What 3-5 words best describe you? 

Hardworking, mindful, reliable, self-starter, and diligent.

What have you learned from the residents or other staff members in your time at Flushing House?

Do not forget to live!

What have I not asked you that you would want us to know about you or your job? 

Dear residents, if you have any ideas, suggestions, and activities you would like to see on the calendar, please let me know. Come out and socialize, even if it’s not in activities. You can visit a staff member, chat with Security, sit on the bench in the front of the building, or visit the solarium on the rooftop. Remember to keep your brain and body fit and celebrate living every day!

Thank you so much Wilma for this interview. I want you to know that I am thankful for the work you do for us. You are wonderful at decorating for our events, and you have made Happy Hour a lot of fun!


In Celebration of a 1950s NYC Childhood

When I was a child, ecstasy poured in a torrent
Out of the apartments and houses, into the street.
Hordes of us played Punch Ball, Running Bases, Potsy,
Stoop Ball, Skully, and “I Declare War.”
Skully, a favorite, involved flicking soda caps
From number to number in a square drawn
On the road’s black tar. 

In summer, after dinner, girls and boys played
Ringalevio, Hide-go-Seek, and Sardines.
In Sardines, if you found the friend
Who was “It,” you abandoned the seekers
And hid too. The number of hiders grew.
If you were the last seeker,
You could end up alone on the street
As it became dark.

Only girls jumped rope and played statues,
Which involved freezing in place
When the moment was right.
Girls also played Jacks,
A highly skilled game, and made boats
From popsicle sticks that sailed down
The gutter to the sewer, filled,
We were sure, with alligators. 

I wish I had one of those blessed
Endless summer days to caress
With my fingers and tongue.
Our pleasure was astonishing,
Outstanding, all-encompassing.

When I think of it now, it is a marvel
That we could be drunk with delight,
Without toys, money, or help
From helicopter parents, day after day,
With only a pink ball, a piece of chalk,
And deep love for the free flow of play.

By: Linda Beckman


Book Review by Linda Beckman

Recently our Book Club read Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan.  The story is told by Lily, a high school senior who has just relocated to New Hampshire, and by Olivia, whose son is Asher, the boy who falls for the new student.  The alternation of their viewpoints of the past and present provides a complex perspective.  Lily is trying to start over in life, and with Asher she feels able to be herself: their relationship movingly evokes youthful love.  After Lily dies from a fall, Asher is the suspect, and we have a riveting courtroom drama.  As the trial unfolds, we realize that Olivia worries about whether her son has his father’s terrible temper, and readers hope that he is not responsible for Lily’s death.  We come to understand Lily’s secrets, and finally, what really happened. Mad Honey probes the relationship between mothers and their nearly adult children and questions of gender identity in a new and empathetic way.