To the Editor:
''Helping the Elderly Stay in Their Own Homes'' (Feb. 12) demonstrated the varied living alternatives available to the elderly, changing the myth that nursing homes and assisted living facilities are final destinations.
Aging in place has worked successfully in New York City, allowing individuals to remain in their homes and receive cost-effective, affordable and appropriate supports when the need is shared with neighbors. NORC (''naturally occurring retirement community'') programs are aware of the challenges to older adults who are isolated, and accordingly developed services for home health monitoring, nutritional programs, assistance with transportation, snow removal and home repairs, which are vital in enhancing the lives of the elderly.
The maintenance of a good quality of life to older residents is a positive direction for Long Island. A sense of security, safety and services in one's own home has long been the American dream.
The writer, a social worker, is an elder-care specialist.