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On The Road in Brooklyn

ELDERPLAN--Brooklyn, New York

In Brooklyn, New York, Livelyhood meets a network of seniors who have reached back to the neighbor-helping-neighbor values of their youth to create a family of each other thanks to a program called Elderplan, which started in an unlikely place: a health maintenance organization. Through a service bank, seniors who give time to others through grocery shopping to counseling to home repair work earn credits for which they can draw on when they need help themselves.

"I managed supermarkets for 45 years, I have a good pension plan, I am lucky," says 69- year-old Angelo Furio, a native Brooklynite, who volunteers on the Home Repair Team for credits. "So I figured I'm the kind of guy who people ask to help them all the time anyway, 'Angelo can you do this, Angelo can you do that.' I retired and I was looking for something to do, so why not help other people out. It's fun and it makes you feel good."

From Angelo and his side-kick, David Heller, a retired machinist, doing their rounds, fixing toilet seats to curtains, to a morning walking group and a phone bingo network--all innovations of Elderplan--we see inside this inspiring community of seniors.

Livelyhood's second one-hour special, "Working Family Values," aired on PBS in May 1998. For information on how to order the show, call 510-268-WORK.


These images captured by the Apple QuickTake 200 digital camera.

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