Press Releases

Public Media Stations Across NYS Launch New Initiative for Older Adults Experiencing Social Isolation

WCNY, Central New York’s public communications organization, is honored to address social isolation among older adults with a new initiative, “Aging Together in New York.” Working in collaboration with the New York State Office for the Aging, public broadcasters kick off this effort with a focused week of programming starting Monday, May 15.

“Aging Together in New York” will draw attention to the value of older adults in our communities and provide resources to help seniors build resilience and combat social isolation. Public broadcasters across the state will reach older adults on broadcast television and radio, online, and at in-person events with new documentaries, short films, and other engaging content.

“No community was hit harder than seniors by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lingering effects of social isolation. It is a very real threat to their health and well-being. WCNY will be examining this issue in-depth and is proud to devote this week to combatting isolation among seniors, and to helping seniors find resources to stay connected right here in our community,” said Mitch Gelman, President & CEO of WCNY.

New York State Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen said, “NYSOFA is pleased to work with PBS stations across New York State to help shine a light on the often-hidden problem of social isolation. The health effects of social isolation are equivalent to smoking almost a pack of cigarettes daily, and the added stress of feeling alone increases heart disease and even earlier onset of dementia. Thankfully there are many resources available to help, including local assistance through offices for the aging and statewide initiatives developed by NYSOFA to connect older adults through technology and other innovations. I look forward to joining PBS in the conversation about these important solutions.”

Several programs will air the week of May 15 on WCNY-TV to kickoff the “Aging Together in New York” statewide initiative. To view the full schedule, please visit

WCNY joins all nine public television stations throughout New York in the “Aging Together in New York” initiative. Stations will continue to examine the issue and share critical resources to combat social isolation and loneliness as the effort continues until the end of the year.

“Aging Together in New York” is sponsored by Nascentia Health, Alzheimer’s Association, and Laboratory Alliance of Central New York, LLC.

For more information, please visit For viewing information, visit

About WCNY

WCNY was founded in 1965 as The Educational Television Council of Central New York. Today, it is a public communications organization that produces content across multiple platforms, including television and radio programs, dynamic web and targeted email content, the WCNY CONNECT magazine, and social media. Through its media platforms, in-person and virtual events, WCNY brings local coverage and educational services to Central New Yorkers. WCNY operates four digital, pledge-free broadcast channels and three radio stations. Classic FM is one of a few radio stations in the world dedicated to locally programmed classical music.

About the New York State Office for the Aging

The New York State Office for the Aging improves access to, and availability of, appropriate and cost-effective non-medical support services for older individuals to maximize their ability to age in their community and avoid higher levels of care and publicly financed care. NYSOFA achieves this through a network of 59 area agencies on aging. More information at


◄ Back to News