Today is May 19, 2019 -
Federation’s strategic plan identified services for our seniors as a high priority. Specifically, the plan states, “The Federation should sustain its current level of support for social services and expand services for the elderly as feasible.”
Our level of support has been significant. Among other programs, we help support Daughters of Sarah Senior Community; we help support senior programming at the Albany JCC and Schenectady JCC; we help support NNORC, operated by JFS, which helps seniors age in place; we fully fund Project V, a transportation program for seniors, also operated by JFS. And, of course, we have our own Chaplaincy Services that sends professionals and volunteers into area nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
I received notice of a beautiful testimonial recently. Janie Garnett, our Assistant Director of Chaplaincy Services, paid a shiva call to the home of a woman who had just lost her mother. After the evening service, the daughter, with great enthusiasm, publically thanked Janie, whom she had never met. She shared with those present how much her mother loved attending Janie’s programs. She saw the programs as her link to Yiddishkeit and to the Jewish community, both of which were very important to her. Wow!
So what’s new with our seniors? This year we’ve added a few new programs. We offered a new grant for JFS to develop a “Village” within the Ohav Shalom Apartments. Based on the NNORC concept, a “Village” uses apartment buildings as a vertical NNORC. We offered a new grant for Daughters of Sarah to hire a Jewish Community Healthcare Advocate. We have also expanded our Chaplaincy Services into Columbia and Greene counties and added several independent-living facilities into the mix.
New for this fall, we are expanding our Committee on Aging, under the leadership of Dr. Ira Zackon, to have representation from all of our agencies that help care for our seniors, in an effort to develop a comprehensive community plan for years to come.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any thoughts or comments.