F.R.I.A Fights for the Forgotten

In the shadow of Ground Zero, F.R.I.A is an organization of dedicated people who fight for the rights of the forgotten: elderly people in nursing homes.

F.R.I.A. (Friends and Relatives of Institutionalized Aged) is a non-profit organization who uses their resources to make sure elderly people in nursing homes are receiving proper care during their life in nursing homes. They also educate caregivers on different and better ways to care for their loved ones and keep a keen eye on the nurses who care for them. Today, this is more important to society than it ever has been because of the aging baby-boomer population and the future increase in nursing home residents that are sure to come.

It was on John Street, exactly one block where the World Trade Center once stood, that employees of F.R.I.A had a bird’s eye view of police, firemen, and volunteer workers working the toxic environment that Ground Zero was in the days after the attack.

Amy Paul, the executive director of F.RI.A., said that the organization has relevance today in relation to 9/11. “The firefighters, policemen, and other people who were in the area during 9/11 are suffering from the toxic fumes they inhaled are directly related to nursing home residents because they are forgotten.” New York City has ignored their cries for help F.R.IA.’s patients suffer in illness, according to Paul.

“The Department of Health is not doing enough to help residents receive the care they deserve; the budget cuts in recent years, especially this year, have caused even more of a lack of oversight for the nursing home establishment,” Paul said.

Paul claims that F.R.I.A. needs to a commitment from the government to better safeguard those living in nursing homes.

With the five-year anniversary of Sept. 11 in our rear view, Paul and the rest of F.R.I.A. hope that the elderly remain in our hearts and minds, much like the nearly 3,000 lives lost on Sept. 11.

Since it is a non-profit organization, F.R.I.A. relies on donations from the public. To contact this organization, visit www.fria.org or call 212-732-5667.