Because social isolation and loneliness are a serious threat to people’s health, especially to our elders, Age Friendly Teaneck has begun a town-wide initiative to reach out to homebound elders to connect them with needed support.
But it needs the public’s help.
“Many older adults in Teaneck are living alone without the support they need to remain safe, comfortable and secure,” said Jackie Kates, project coordinator of Age Friendly Teaneck. “Some are homebound and have no family or friends nearby on whom they can rely. We are particularly concerned about people who have become ‘invisible’ or vulnerable and may not know how to go about securing the services they need.”
The good news, she stressed, is that Teaneck is a community rich in resources. The challenge is to connect people in need to these resources.
If you have an elderly friend, neighbor or relative who has become isolated, lonely or in need of additional support to remain in his/her home, Age Friendly Teaneck would like to hear from you. There are two ways to help.
First, ask your elderly friends, neighbors or relatives if they would like someone to contact them. Then, when Age Friendly Teaneck receives their names, the organization will contact Gloria Andrade, the township’s social services specialist. Ms. Andrade will contact those individuals to connect them with appropriate health or social service providers.
Or, if you are concerned about someone’s well-being, but do not feel comfortable speaking directly with that person, please send Age Friendly Teaneck a request to contact him or her, along with the name and address. Then the organization will notify Ms. Andrade, who will reach out to that person.
Age Friendly Teaneck has begun reaching out to the community with a letter being distributed to township businesses, institutions and civic and social organizations requesting that Age Friendly Teaneck be notified of the names of older adults who may be in need of support services. If your business or organization wants multiple copies of this letter to distribute, please contact Age Friendly Teaneck.
Age Friendly Teaneck is a community-wide initiative committed to ensuring that older adults in Teaneck can age in place with dignity. Its steering committee and task forces are developing strategies to enhance the township’s social, economic and physical environment to ensure that residents remain connected, valued and supported as they age in place.
Funding for this initiative has been provided by the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation. Geriatric Services, Inc., a non-profit provider of housing and social services for older adults in Teaneck since 1990, is the organization funded to plan for and coordinate the initiative.
For more information, call 201-530-6756 or email [email protected].