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November 09, 2006 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-11-09

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Golden Years from page 15

An Expanding
(And Aging) Beltway


hough Washington's
10 percent of persons
• older than 65 in Jewish
households is a low percentage
compared to other Jewish com-
munities, its 2003 Population
Study noted that the number
of elderly will increase signifi-
cantly over the next two decades
if those of ages 45-64 do not
migrate out of Washington in
large numbers after retirement.
Beth Shapiro manages a NORC
program called Community
Partners. Sharon Doner is direc-
tor of the Jewish Information
and Referral Service of the
Jewish Federation of Greater
Washington. Both programs keep
seniors connected through by
offering transportation to ser-
vices, programs and events.
When Community Partners
received its 17-month, $1-mil-
lion NORC grant in 2003, it
pulled together the Jewish Social
Service Agency in Washington,
the Jewish Council for the Aging,
Jewish Community Center,
a home care agency'called

Premier Home Care and Jewish
Information and Referral
Services "to figure out how they
could bring their services to an
increasing number of seniors:
rich, middle-class and poor;'
Shapiro said.
"Federation is the coordinat-
ing agency, and I coordinate.
with a manager of each partner-
ing agency," she said. "We come
together on a monthly basis, set
policy, vision and goals, then
each meet with our agencies and
staff and make all of this hap-
Jewish Social Service Agency
hired two social workers with the
grant fund; the JCC hired three
specific recreation staff for the
Community Partner programs,
Shapiro said. They hired staff
to track data and effectiveness
of aging in place, and Jewish
Information and Referral helped
with getting the word out.
"The Jewish Council for the
Aging has a fleet of vans; we
bring people to shows, theaters
and museums:' she said. "If we

Needs ...

"Right now, we're about to
embark on a needs assessment
of our older adult community
so we're able to answer the criti-
cal question on how to respond
to being an aging community,'
said Erika Rudin-Luria, director
of community planning at the
ith 25 percent of
Cleveland Federation.
Cleveland's Jewish
"We're a very active, healthy
community 70 or
community, but how can we help
older, according to demographic keep our older adults aging in our
survey results in 2004, the
neighborhoods and keep them in
Jewish Community Federation
of Cleveland is at about the
Cleveland is looking at a two-
same stage as the Detroit Jewish
prong solution: keeping the health-
ier, older adults aging in
place and meeting the
Population Study: 2004
needs of seniors who
Jewish population: 81,500
need more assistance.
Rank: 20th-largest Jewish community
Two large nursing
Adults older than 55: 45.5 percent
homes come under
Adults older than 75: 17 percent
Cleveland's Federation



November 9 2006


take them to the Kennedy Center,
we can get a group and senior
citizen rate.
"Our partner agencies have
been extremely supportive
she said. "We pay for the buses,
pay for social work services. If
we go to the JCC and hold a big
program and bus everyone in,
the JCC gives us a good deal on
renting the social hall for a big
annual program."
In September, a membership
program began in five different
high-rise buildings, and now 150
seniors have become members
for a kick-off cost of $50. The
normal fee will be $120.
"We are asking seniors in the
buildings to pay an annual fee so
they can have access to our recre-
ation and social work programs,
and health and transportation
services:' she said. "We have
targeted verticals with a high
density of seniors. We are in the
process of expanding to three
additional sites that have been
on our waiting list for over two
"We think of serving single
home seniors every day, but I
don't know when."
Both Detroit and Washington
offer rides to medical appoint-
ments for the frail elderly, but
"transportation is such a costly
program that to give transporta-

umbrella, which attracts new
residents, Rudin-Luria said. "It's
something we find anecdotally that .
when someone moves here, they
move their parents here because
we have the facilities. The support
system, the geography is such that
a very large percentage of our com-
munity lives within a small area,
and our services are accessible."
Transportation also is an issue.
The Jewish community has been
involved in supporting an east-
side Transportation Consortium
Committee, which will be joining
the countywide regional call center
in January.
"The community as a whole is
not as far along with this as we
would like to be',' said Rudin-Luria.
"I don't think any community is,
but as it stands we do have trans-
portation in the eastern suburbs
where most of us are located." Ili

tion to someone
who can afford it is
Population Study: 2003
not within the realm Jewish population: 215,600
of a Federation pro-
Rank: Sixth-largest Jewish community
gram," Doner said.
Adults older than 65: 10 percent
"We have Connect-
A-Ride, a free infor-
mation and referral
assistance service
for transportation
options for senior
residents of a couple
of counties."
One project
underwritten by
a NORC grant has
turned into a type
of concierge service
for seniors called
Smooth Riding, she
Doner, right, dances with a senior
added. "The proj-
at a Spring Fling dance at the JCC in
ect makes all the
Washington, D.C.
arrangements for
a ride. For a senior
not to have to call 14 places to get totaling just under $1 million,
a ride, this place might charge
but there's no guarantee for a
you $1.50 to make the arrange-
third grant, so the program is
ment for you, and you pay the
looking elsewhere.
fare yourself. If you need help
"We received state funding this
getting into a place, they will find summer and will be applying for
you a transportation service that
philanthropic dollars',' she said.
will drive you there and stay with "We were also lucky to get a state
you and help you into the car
of Maryland grant."
because many cab drivers won't
Each agency in the Community
do that."
Partner program contributes "in-
Shapiro said Washington cur-
kind dollars," she said. "Sometimes
rently is being funded through
office space, a lot of it is worth
its second 17-month NORC grant $10,000-$15,000 in kind." Li

...So Does


vices that were ramped up after
our population study."
SFN is a membership orga-
nization focusing on seniors .
that allows them to live longer
independently in their own
homes, she said. "They receive
educational, recreational or
social services right in their
own building. We have nurses
who go into their apartments
and take blood pressure and
talk aboiit diet and pill distri-
bution." '

he NORC program
really transformed the
way we programmed
to the seniors in our commu-
nity, said Stacye Zeisler of the
Associated: Jewish Community
Federation of Baltimore.
"We are reaching just over
1,000 seniors in our
NORC Senior-Friendly
Population Study:1999
Jewish population: 91,400
(SFN) program," she
Rank: 13th-largest Jewish community
said. "Collaborating
Adults older than 65: 17 percent
between IFS, our Jewish
Community Center and
comprehensive housing assis-
tance, all have components of
senior programming and ser-

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