One answer – perhaps the most obvious one—is that Federation provides funding to our Jewish community partner agencies to support services for our community’s seniors. Federation allocates dollars that assist our local partners in providing a diverse range of services – from transportation to kosher meals on wheels to counseling of older adults and consulting with family members who care for them.
However, providing funding isn’t the only answer to this question, and a recent program exemplifies how Federation works to strengthen the network of agencies that serve this growing cohort.
Last Friday morning, about 70 professionals who serve our community’s older adults came together to enhance their knowledge and professionalism. They participated in the CARES Professional Development Day at which they heard from a speaker from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Social Work whose address was entitled “Understanding and Improving Relationships in Later Life.” They tackled case studies and they met their counterparts who also serve seniors but who may do so in a variety of different ways. For example, a social worker might have been seated next to a chaplain who also sat next to someone running a kosher Meals on Wheels program.
CARES is the Federation department focused on all things senior-related and is comprised of Federation’s 11 local partner agencies that serve older adults. Each year during Older Americans Month in May, CARES sponsors a Professional Development Day thanks to funding from the Hy & Sadie Sussman Fund for Eldercare and Aging in Place. This annual program is unique because the topics and speakers are chosen by those who will attend the program and because the event brings together a diverse group of professionals. Planning for the annual Professional Development Day begins in the fall and each of the 11 partners is invited to send a representative to the planning table. Together, these representatives select a topic that is important to all of them.
The Professional Development Day is a highlight on the CARES calendar but CARES works throughout the year on behalf of our community’s older adults. CARES convenes its constituent partners on a regular basis to enhance relationships and promote collaboration and it studies needs and trends in order to maximize Federation’s planning and allocations process. Amy Ganz Sadeghi is the lay chair of CARES and Marian Marlowe is the CARES Coordinator.
For more information about CARES or services available to older adults, please contact Marian Marlowe at firstname.lastname@example.org or (973) 929-3051.