May is recognized as Older Americans Month and this year’s theme is “Age My Way” with a focus how seniors can plan to live safely and comfortably in their homes and communities for as long as possible. This is a core belief within the JFCS Senior Service program making us especially excited to share how we help our seniors age their own way.
What is Older Americans Month?
The Administration for Community Living leads the national observance of Older Americans Month (OAM). OAM was established by President Gerald Ford in 1976 to recognize the contributions of older adults across the country and raise awareness of the needs specific to the aging demographic.
The 2022 theme for OAM is “Aging My Way” which provides an opportunity to highlight the many way older adults can safely remain in their communities in their golden years and the value they bring in being involved.
How does JFCS help seniors age their own way?
Aging-in-place support is one of the core focus areas of our senior service department. JFCS believes all individuals are entitled to their right to live their golden years as they choose. Our care managers help navigate the maze of senior care and assist seniors in making the best decisions for care, safety and comfort such as how to safely age in their homes, how to make informed decisions about assisted living, in-home care and plan for long-term medical, financial, and legal situations. Our team of geriatric care managers are here to serve as advocates for our clients, ensuring their needs are heard by family, caregivers, friends, doctors and professionals.
Beyond care management, JFCS even offers specific senior nutrition programs to ensure that older adults have access to nutritious food on a regular basis, further enhancing their quality of life in their later years.
What our seniors say is “aging their way”…
Making connections to help seniors who feel isolated…
The JFCS Friendly Caller & Visitor Program matches volunteers and seniors who feel more isolated or vulnerable, whether due to being homebound, living alone, or other circumstances. When COVID-19 forced many more seniors into isolation for their health & safety, JFCS continued this program matching more volunteers with more seniors.
Two volunteers shared their perspective on what these regular connections have meant to them, and the senior they connect with.
Volunteer Michael says…
I’ve fostered a deep, meaningful, and humorous relationship through my friendly, weekly calls with Ms. Jane. Our calls are centered around positivity, compassion, and encouragement, whether it be a new hobby or to explore a new museum. This has greatly abated the fear of isolation and promoted social connection.
Ms. Jane looks forward to our weekly calls, to the point where the excitement and enthusiasm is palpable; an experience that is beyond rewarding.
Volunteer Judith says…
I continue to speak with Ruth weekly. Our conversations have no topic; we speak as two friends about family, books, happenings in our lives, and reminiscences. She picks the topics, sets the tone and pace. I follow her direction.
I know Ruth feels lonely, and our talks provide relief each week. I can tell that she looks forward to and enjoys our conversations, for she says so repeatedly and thanks me each week.
*all names changed for confidentiality