Stories From Main Street: Senior-Friendly Living In Rye, NY

RYE, NY (WCBS 880) – You’ve got a friend in Rye if you’re getting along in years.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

“I think the majority of older adults do not want to end up in assisted living or a nursing home. They want remain independent in their own homes,” said Betti Weimersheimer.

“The number is 86% according to AARP,” said Tom Saunders.

Weimersheimer and Saunders have started SPRYE. It stands for }Staying Put in Rye and Environs.” It’s an aging-in-place organization.

“And it provides services to allow the older adults to remain in their homes,” Weimersheimer told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “With all the cutbacks that are probably coming, to Medicare, to Medicaid, the government are not going to be there in the foreseeable future and we’re going to have to rely on each other.”

Services include volunteers to drive.

“Transportation to medical appointments, essential errands like shopping,” she said.

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

RELATED:More Stories from Main Street

They’ll provide social activities, tech support, and handyman help.

“So, instead of someone having to immediately call an electrician or plumber which could cost a lot of money, we can send someone over to assess the situation,” she said.

And if a professional is needed they have a vetted list.

“They’re trustworthy, honest. They will charge a fair price,” she said.

Saunders himself is retired.

“My wife and I like it very much here in Rye. our grandchildren are an hour away, and our friends are here. We’ve developed roots in the community over the last 28 years and decided that this is where we want to stay,” he said.

Where else could he move? Well, nowhere, really, Saunders said. Why? Because anywhere else, “The bagels, the pizza, and the Chinese food all stink.”

When the time comes, SPRYE volunteers will be there to help him stay in his home.


“It’s really people coming together to help their neighbors,” said Weimersheimer.

SPRYE also serves Harrison, Purchase, Port Chester, and Rye Brook.

Do you know of any similar programs in the area? Tell us about them in the comments section below!

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  • Karen Revitt

    Umbrella of the Capital District located in upstate NY helps elders and persons with disabilities to maintain independence/age in place through provision and coordination of handyman and homemaker services as well as a 24/7 emergency response system and referrals to other agencies that provide services outside of Umbrella’s scope.

    Umbrella serves approximately 600 households in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties and, as you can imagine, with the recent damage from Hurricane Irene Umbrella has been very busy helping its clients/subscribers! They are currently looking to recruit a volunteer to serve as a stipended AmeriCorps member! If interested, give co-Founder, Elaine Santore, a call at 518-346-5249.

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