Tuesday, June 25, 2019

(Courtesy of JFS MetroWest) Northwest New Jersey Community Action Partnership (NORWESCAP) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Jewish Family Service of MetroWest (JFS) to launch Senior Reach, a nationally recognized, evidence-based program designed to reach socially isolated seniors in need of services required to combat declining mental health. Senior Reach will be implemented in Essex, Morris and Sussex Counties, after having a positive reception in the counties of its origin state of Colorado.

When Senior Reach has been implemented in other areas, there has been a 93 percent engagement rate with an overwhelming 87 percent of participants reporting its positive impact. Therefore, NORWESCAP and JFS are confident in the program’s ability to continue the positive impact through community services and an available licensed clinical social worker. Senior Reach is composed of three steps: community education and outreach, screening and referral services.

The first component, community education, will engage community members by training individuals on identifying seniors at risk of various forms of declining mental health or experiencing signs of distress. Signs of distress may include emotional or behavioral problems, social isolation or substance-abuse problems.

Screening, the second component, will provide trained volunteers to manage the Senior Reach call center referral line. After gathering basic information from an individual or a community partner, the Senior Reach specialist contacts the older adult to determine what needs he or she may have, be they transportation, medication, financial or recreation concerns.

The last step involves referrals to services appropriate for the seniors’ needs. One component involves a Senior Reach specialist contacting community resources such as local senior centers and transportation services and connecting them with the seniors in need. Another case may call for a home visit from the social worker to determine individualized needs for case-management and mental health treatment.

If you are an interested community partner, volunteer or a senior in need of services in Morris or Sussex Counties, please call NORWESCAP’s Senior Reach call center at 973-784-4900, x3503 or 1-888-387-9830, x3503 to get started. If you are an interested community partner, volunteer or a senior in need of services in Essex County, please call JFS’s Senior Reach call center at 973-637-1740.

NORWESCAP’s Skyland RSVP has provided services to the senior demographic throughout the Morris, Sussex, Hunterdon, Passaic and Warren area for the past 45 years. The range of programs RSVP has honed over the years to provide their clients with services ranging from Telephone Reassurance, where volunteers call daily to check on their seniors, to Healthy Bones, where seniors attend a weekly exercise class to combat osteoporosis. NORWESCAP prides itself on providing services to its seniors and including volunteers into our organization.

If you would like more information about Senior Reach contact Nancy Hess at 973-784-4900, x208 or [email protected].