This periodic newsletter provides information about resources that our Greater MetroWest Jewish community offers to older adults and to those who care about them. In this issue, we feature programs that provide support for caregivers and/or respite from their responsibilities. (Previous editions have focused on memory care and arts programs for seniors provided by the CARES agencies.)


What Is CARES?

Greater MetroWest CARES is the department of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ that is charged with addressing the broad range of needs and interests of our community’s older adults. As is well known, our community is aging and the very existence of CARES indicates that Federation endorses practical ways to fulfill the mitzvah to honor parents and the elderly.

CARES acts as Federation’s point of contact with the community for all things senior-related and as an advocate for seniors and those who care about them. By staying attuned to current trends and community needs, CARES also helps to inform Federation’s planning process. CARES’s effectiveness is derived in large measure from its structure as a collaborative network of professionals and lay leaders from 11 Federation partners that serve older adults.

Visit www.jfedgmw.org/cares for more information about CARES and a complete list and descriptions of the agencies in our Greater MetroWest community. For further information about any of the agencies, you can contact them directly.

Being a Caregiver

Along with one’s own changing and often increasing needs, aging often brings new challenges for the caregiver. Many older adults take on new responsibilities as they care for a spouse, just as adult children assume new roles as they provide help to their parents. Caregiving takes many forms and may present physical, emotional, and financial demands. For many caregivers, these demands can be weighty.

Here in Greater MetroWest, several of the CARES agencies provide support for caregivers. Let’s take a look at some of these programs.

Jewish Family Service of Central NJ (JFS CNJ), whose main office is located in Elizabeth, runs a variety of programs for caregivers, including programs for caregivers of Holocaust survivors through its grant from the Jewish Federations of North America Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care and programs for caregivers of clients with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

Programs for Caregivers of Holocaust Survivors:

  • Caregiver Advisory Board: This is an open group of caregivers of Holocaust survivors who meet quarterly with staff and Board representatives of JFS CNJ. The committee provides expertise and guidance on all programming for both caregivers and Holocaust survivors.
  • Monthly Relaxation Programs: On the first Monday of every month, a speaker presents interactive programs designed to facilitate caregiver relaxation and provide relaxation skills to use at home. Past topics have included chair yoga, cooking demonstrations, wellness, creative writing, and art therapy. Caregivers are actively involved in selecting subjects for programs.
  • Practical Tools Workshop Series: This series of six workshops covers essential aspects of caregiving. Topics have included presentations by Trinitas Hospital on hospital discharge planning and urgent care vs. emergency room care. Presentations also have been designed to help caregivers of Holocaust survivors navigate the field of reparations and benefits with a presentation from a Claims Conference representative and an attorney who specializes in German reparations.


Programs for Caregivers of Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias:

  • JFS CNJ offers two Alzheimer’s/dementia caregiver monthly support groups; one meets in Westfield and the other in Elizabeth. The groups provide families and caregivers with emotional support and the information they need to cope with and better understand Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
  • Twice a month, JFS CNJ provides lunch and musical entertainment for caregivers and individuals with dementia through its Memory Café. This program provides an opportunity to put aside caregiving responsibilities and focus on relationships and socialization in a judgement-free environment.


For further information, visit www.jfscentralnj.org or call (908) 352-8375.

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest (JFS MW), whose main office is located in Florham Park, provides a free telephone and online caregiving support program, CARE Consultation, to those living in or caring for someone who lives in Morris, Essex, or Sussex counties. Care Consultation is for those caring for a loved one 55 or older and, if appropriate, the care recipient. It is an evidence-based service designed by the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging of Ohio that has been recognized as a “model caregiver support program” by the National Council on Aging and by the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. Because it is telephone- and web-based, Care Consultation is easily accessible to home-bound elderly caregivers of frail spouses and to busy adult children with work and family obligations. Care Consultation offers both information and support to help caregivers find solutions to concerns about health and care, and to prevent crises by helping them prepare for change and plan for their future. The program is both standardized and personalized, focusing on the unique needs of each family.

JFS MW also provides a Memory Café group in Whippany to accommodate those caregivers who want support but cannot leave their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia alone. The Memory Café provides support and community interactions for both caregivers and their family members.

JFS MW’s Care Consultation services in Morris County and its Memory Café are funded by a grant from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey.

For further information visit www.jfsmetrowest.org or call (973) 765-9050.

JCC MetroWest (JCC MW), located in West Orange, provides two opportunities for respite, one of which has caregiver support built into the program:

  • The Margulies Senior Center offers social, cultural, and recreational opportunities Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. for independent older adults. Participants spend the day with their peers enjoying day trips, lectures, entertainment, monthly birthday parties, creative writing classes, a hot kosher lunch, and holiday celebrations.
  • The Jonathan and Nancy Littman Memory Center serves adults who have mild to moderate cognitive impairment. The program meets Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The Center is designed to enhance the physical, cognitive, and social well-being of each participant while providing a safe and stimulating environment. Monthly support groups and individual counseling are offered to caregivers through collaboration with Jewish Family Service of MetroWest.


For further information visit www.jccmetrowest.org or contact Joanne Bramnick at jbramnick@jccmetrowest.org or (973) 530-3414.

Jewish Community Housing Corporation (JCHC) offers short-term assisted living respite stays at its Judy & Josh Weston Assisted Living Residence in Lester Senior Living in Whippany. It also provides short-term respite stays in its Memory Care Suite (located in the Judy & Josh Weston Assisted Living Residence) for older adults with dementia-related diagnoses. Seniors with memory disorders enjoy the safety, security, and warmth of a home-away-from-home with personalized attention from specially trained caregivers who support each resident’s needs. The respite program also seeks to provide a resident’s relatives with peace of mind. Respite stays are available from ten days to two months and may be used when family members travel or simply need a break. Guests stay in fully decorated apartments, enjoy meals in the dining room, and may participate in the activities offered to residents every day.

For further information visit www.jchcorp.org or contact David Rozen at davidr@jchcorp.org or (973) 929-2725.

Daughters of Israel (DOI), located in West Orange, is a multi-faceted nursing facility. Its Family Council provides an array of educational programming and support services for caregivers. Some of the annual programs sponsored by Family Council include the NJ Mental Health Players, who portray scenarios of typical situations faced by caregivers; an open forum on enhancing communication between nursing staff and families; and Medicaid guidance seminars.

In addition, DOI offers a monthly orientation for new family members and caregiver support group for families with residents in its Special Care Unit. DOI also works with local organizations to bring in additional educational programming; for example, DOI recently worked with United Way of Northern NJ to host a dinner presentation on “Paying for Care 101.”

For further information visit www.daughtersofisrael.org or call (973) 731-5100.

NJ Mental Health Players’ interactive seminar on “Dealing with Guilt” at Daughters of Israel
Click here to view previous Cares e-newsletters

Greater MetroWest CARES is chaired by Amy Ganz Sadeghi.

For more information about CARES, contact CARES Coordinator Marian Marlowe at mmarlowe@jfedgmw.org or (973) 929-3051.