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MetroWest agencies meet changing needs
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MetroWest agencies meet changing needs

Greater MetroWest CARES, the Committee Addressing Resources to Engage Seniors, is coordinated by Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and brings together leaders from Greater MetroWest agencies to promote independence and support vitality among older adults. Throughout the year, Greater MetroWest agencies have the opportunity to address critical eldercare issues in this column. This month’s article on the range of services available to older adults and their families is presented by Greater MetroWest CARES.

When a “baby boomer” retires, he may suddenly have time to pursue new volunteer opportunities. The boomer’s mother may require meals on wheels or a home health aide. An older adult with special needs might benefit from a creative day program or residential services. A Holocaust survivor may seek information about the benefits to which he is entitled. A hospitalized patient may want to speak with a Jewish chaplain. When a daughter undertakes the responsibilities of being a caregiver to her aging parents, she may have questions about where to find the care her parents urgently need.

As we enter new stages of life, our interests and needs often change and, therefore, so may the resources we seek from our community. 

Here in Greater MetroWest, we are fortunate that our Jewish communal agencies provide myriad services. Some are designed to meet the needs of the oldest members of our community while others are intended for those who are just beginning to think about a new phase of their lives. Greater MetroWest community members may be pleasantly surprised to learn of the breadth of the resources our Jewish community offers, including:

• Recreational, educational, and wellness programs
• Travel programs
• Volunteer placement 
• Caregiver support
• Respite care
• Housing — independent, semi-independent and assisted living 
• Programs for older adults with special needs — both residential and day programs
• Kosher meals — both “on wheels” and at community centers
• Home health aides and companions
• Counseling
• Case management services
• Nursing home services (long-term skilled nursing; short term/sub-acute rehabilitation; Alzheimer’s, hospice, and palliative care)
• Pastoral and spiritual care by trained chaplains
• Transportation
• Holocaust survivor support services

Together, these agencies contribute to this broad array of services:

• Daughters of Israel — daughtersofisrael.org; 973-731-5100
• JCC of Central NJ — jcccnj.org; 908-889-8800
• JCC MetroWest — jccmetrowest.org; 973-530-3480
• JESPY House — jespyhouse.org; 973-762-6909
• Jewish Community Housing Corporation — jchcorp.org; 973-731-2020
• Jewish Family Service of Central NJ — jfscentralnj.org; 908-352-8375
• Jewish Family Service of MetroWest — jfsmetrowest.org; 973-765-9050
• Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled — jsddmetrowest.org; 973-272-7148
• Jewish Vocational Service — jvsnj.org; 973-674-6330
• Joint Chaplaincy Committee — jfedgmw.org/chaplaincy; 973-929-3168
• YM-YWHA of Union County — uniony.org; 908-289-8112

Of course, some of these agencies’ services are available in particular parts of Greater MetroWest and not every need is easily met. Still, when a new need arises, it can be helpful — and often comforting — to learn what our Jewish communal agencies offer.

Along with these agencies, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ strives to ensure that the needs of older adults are met. Through its CARES department, federation brings the professionals and lay leaders of these agencies together to collaborate and leverage resources. 

As a cooperative network, CARES is aware of and able to keep our community informed about issues of importance to seniors. For example, CARES recently offered two sessions of “Take Control of Your Health,” an evidence-based workshop for those with chronic diseases. It is helping to pilot “Open R.O.A.D.” — an innovative program which assists seniors in getting to synagogue services — in Greater MetroWest. This spring, staff members from CARES agencies joined together at the second annual CARES Professional Development Day to gain new multi-disciplinary tools for sustaining the spirit and reducing isolation in older adults.

Through CARES, federation acts as a source of information about services available for older adults. When CARES receives inquiries, it connects community members to the resources of its partner agencies, helping to answer the question “where should I turn?”

For further information, please contact any of the CARES agencies directly or visit the CARES webpage (jfedgmw.org/eldercare). You may also reach CARES at 973-929-3193 to ask a question or to request a copy of the CARES Resource Guide, which details services available in Greater MetroWest.

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