March 3, 2011

USA: Sol Bader is growing old gracefully

NEW YORK / New York Daily News / Queens / April 3, 2011

By Lisa L. Colangelo and Greg B. Smith
Daily News Staff Writers

Sol Bader moved to Forest Hills more than 60 years ago and he has no plans to leave - ever.

"It was a nice neighborhood," he said. "We felt it was steady and wasn't going to change." Clearly, a lot of his fellow seniors feel the same.

Sol Bader is one of many senior citizens in Forest Hills, having lived in the nabe for 60 years
Noonan for News

Queens is the borough of senior citizens, with the highest percentage of residents 65 or older in the city, new U.S. Census Bureau data show.

Today, 13.1% of the borough's population is eligible for Social Security. In seven neighborhoods, one of every five residents is 65 or older, a compilation of census surveys from 2005 through 2009 shows.

Some of the borough's most affluent and stable neighborhoods have the largest population of elderly residents, the surveys show.

Senior citizens account for at least 20% of the residents in Jamaica Estates, Forest Hills, Howard Beach and Douglaston-Little Neck, Rockaway, Middle Village and the Broadway section of Flushing.

When Bader and his new bride, Vivian, came to Queens in the 1950s, they were looking for a place to set down roots and start a family.

"Forest Hills had a synagogue, and we liked it," recalled Bader, an 84-year-old retired salesman. Today, his chosen neighborhood is home to about 15,000 senior citizens. He says it tops most neighborhoods for convenience, with shops, subways and buses just a short walk away. Bader splits his time between two senior centers where he plays bridge for "brain exercise."

"There are a lot of nice restaurants and houses of worship for all faiths," said Bader. "It's a good, stable community."

Lisa L. Colangelo

© Copyright 2011