Each May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation in observance of Older Americans Month. We are proud that the work of our Senior Services Department at JFCS so well reflects this year’s themes: Connect, Create, Contribute.
Connect: All our Senior Programs are designed to connect seniors to each other and to the wide variety of resources that are available in our community. Secure@Home and our Geriatric Care Consultations bring the expertise of our geriatric care managers to each individual’s home, for personalized care and support. Jewish bereavement group, caregiver support groups and the Dementia Caregiver Connection all enable those affected to share their painful experiences with others and also receive support and information from knowledgeable sources. Nosh & Knowledge events bring dynamic learning to our community. Friendly Visitors pairs volunteers and older adults for a fulfilling experience for both on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Beginning in July, we will partner with Greenwood House to create a social gathering for anyone affected with memory challenges and their care partners at Friend’s Circle: A Memory Café.
Create: At JFCS, we are always looking for new ways to respond to community needs, on our own and in partnership with other organizations. This year we have begun several new Senior Nutrition Initiatives to support the health and mental well-being of our seniors. Cooking Companions debuts this month as part of a first-time innovative national grant to bring volunteers and isolated seniors together to cook and share a meal. Shabbat on Wheels is a new addition to our long-standing Kosher Meals on Wheels program to provide a traditional Shabbat meal to seniors once each month. And our Healthy @Home Senior Nutrition Program works in conjunction with our unique kosher food pantry and our on-staff dietician to meet the dietary needs of low-income, homebound older adults in our community.
Contribute: Many of the programs mentioned above provide opportunities for seniors to contribute to their success as volunteer helpers, as well as recipients. And each and every program contributes to the overall well-being of seniors in our community by paying attention to ALL aspects of their lives: health, safety, nutrition, intellectual stimulation, socialization, spirituality and support in hard times.
We at JFCS are so proud of our Senior Service. We want to add a 4th C to the list of themes:
Compassion: This is the watchword for everything that we do at JFCS in working with our Seniors, our volunteers, and everyone who comes in contact with our Agency. We continue to look for new and exciting ways to further the goals of Older Americans Month not just in May but throughout the year.