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Home is Where the Actors' Hearts Are

Good news for older performance professionals who are finding it difficult to surmount the problems of high rents and solo living: The Actors' Fund of America operates two residences in Englewood, NJ that are now accepting applications from prospective residents.

Each resident in the Fund's assisted living facility has a private furnished room, and eats meals in The Stagedoor Canteen, the facility's shared dining room. The residence also boasts the Maureen O'Sullivan and James Cushing Library, where books, scripts, and theatrical programs are available for perusal.

The Actors' Fund Nursing Home is appropriate for people who need a greater level of care. Residents are continuously monitored and supervised by consulting physicians and therapists, and live in rooms that are visible from a centrally located nursing station.

Applicants should have been working in the entertainment industry over a 20-year period at least, with earnings of at least $2,000 per year for 10 of those years. The requirements can be amended or waived in some cases. In addition, spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, and even siblings are eligible for admission based on the employment history of the eligible family member.

Rates run around $180 per day for the nursing home, and between $90 and $110 per day for the assisted living residence. The homes accept Medicaid, and according to Barbara Davis of the Actors' Fund, "We will not let the inability to pay get in the way of care. We encourage everyone in need to apply. We will work with you."

The Aurora, a shared apartment home that the Actors' Fund operates in New York City, is also accepting applications from seniors and people with AIDS. It is a beautiful 31-story building at 475 W. 57 that, in addition to lodging, offers its residences a variety of services from yoga classes to health screenings.

"It's a tax credit building, so we have to follow HUD guidelines," Davis told Back Stage. "So applicants have to have an income of less than $24,000. People who are interested should call us for all the details."

For an application or further information about the assisted living residence or nursing home, call Patricia Vargas at (201) 871-8882. For information about the Aurora, call (212) 246-2424.

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