For Immediate Release
Contact: Wendee Cutler
wcutler@bjhfoundation.org
336-337-6584

Jews Growing Older in the Carolinas – A Conversation

The increasing needs of the older Jewish adult population was the focus of a summit held on March 29 with individuals from many organizations throughout North and South Carolina joining BJH Foundation at Temple Emanuel in Greensboro for the all-day event.

Summit participants included 60 professionals who shared information about programs in each of their organizations that focus on the older Jewish adult community. This was the first time many of the attendees had the opportunity to meet their counterparts from other communities, learn about various programs within each agency, and network. Everyone finished the day energized and ready to return to their community with fresh ideas.

The day brought the needs of the older Jewish adults front and center with opportunities to learn from other professionals. The attendees had a chance to ask questions throughout the day. Many made plans to meet their counterparts on an individual basis for additional networking. After this conversation, the organizations will be better able to begin the process of planning for potential needs five and ten years from now as baby boomers begin the move toward the next decade with an understanding that one community’s needs may be very different from another.

The morning included a brief history of the Blumenthal Jewish Home for the Aged in Clemmons, NC and the transition into BJH Foundation for Senior Services, followed by panel discussions featuring many of the grant recipient organizations. Representatives from each organization provided details about their various programs, how they are managed, and how they increase participation of older Jewish adults.

The lunchtime speaker, Blair Barton-Percival, Director, Piedmont Triad Regional Council Area Agency on Aging, provided a wealth of information about the older adult population in general. He used the analogy of the Kodak Company and their business demise as a result of not staying current with technology and consumer needs. Mr. Barton-Percival indicated the older adult population today is well informed and taking action before they are unable to make decisions for themselves. They are more proactive, hence the ability to “age with choice”.

By electing to “age with choice” older adults are making decisions to stay or “age in place” in their current home, downsize to a smaller one level home outfitted with proper accommodations, consider homes with the master bedroom and laundry room on the main floor, move to an apartment, older adult community, or live close to family.

BJH Foundation succeeded in facilitating the introduction of these special professionals to each other, sharing information about current and future needs of older Jewish adults, and sharing the joy of knowing the grants awarded are “Enhancing the lives of older Jewish adults.”

The success of these programs is why BJH Foundation is dedicated to its annual grant process – 2017 grant recipients will be announced in June. There are many ways grants can enhance the lives of the older Jewish adult population. BJH Foundation grants focus on two priority categories for older Jewish adults: Health and Wellness, and Socialization programs.

Health and Wellness programs include: case management with a licensed professional or case worker, congregational nurse, dementia or memory impairment, group day care and respite programs, new and innovative programs. Socialization programs include: community building, education and furtherance of Jewish values, food distribution, transportation, new and innovative programs.

If you are interested in more information about BJH Foundation and ways you may be able to help our older Jewish adult population, please contact Wendee Cutler at 336-854-8400 or email wcutler@bjhfoundation.org.