April 14, 2024
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Englewood Shuls Participate in Survey to Assess City Support for Aging in Place

Maybe that walk to shul in Englewood is getting a little tougher on the knees. The garbage you drag to the end of the driveway is getting heavier. Perhaps you’re wondering if you should downsize when you start living on a fixed income. If you’re an Englewood resident over 60 years old, The Age-Friendly Englewood Coalition, sponsored by the Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living, wants to know your perceptions about aging in your home. Residents are being asked to fill out a survey to assess how the city is meeting their needs to age in place, and what should be done to make improvements.

Dr. Lisa Wisotsky, vice president of the Englewood Board of Health and a member of the coalition, has been acting as a liaison to Englewood’s Orthodox Jewish community. She has arranged for all the shuls to join the coalition and participate in the survey. Representatives from the Southeast Center will be available to help residents fill out the survey at Congregation Ahavath Torah on March 16 from 10 to 12 p.m.

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin of Congregation Ahavath Torah said, “I applaud this excellent effort. I’ve been disappointed over the years that we have not been better able to meet the needs of the older citizens of Englewood. That failure has forced many of them to move from the town that has been their home for years. Any effort to turn that tide and better provide for the needs of this population is certainly welcome.”

Dr. Wisotsky said she recognizes the importance of providing the necessary services and infrastructure that older residents need. “As a physician who is involved with the rehabilitation of the elderly, especially after illness or surgery, I am cognizant of the issues that seniors face as they age. We must ensure that our seniors have the amenities and services they need to age in place.”

The survey was developed by Janet Sharma, team leader of the coalition, through a grant from the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation. The foundation was started by the Taubs in 1967 to fund projects in early childhood, aging in place and medical research in Bergen and Passaic counties, and also in Israel. Sharma told JLNJ that the Foundation put out a request last summer for proposals about how communities, regions and cities could assess the needs of their aging population. As part of a coalition of nonprofits meeting monthly at Hackensack Hospital, Sharma applied for the grant from the Southeast Senior Center. She was notified in late December that Englewood, Teaneck, Ridgewood and Westwood were awarded grants.

The six-month planning grant is a precursor to an action plan. Phase II proposals will fund initiatives developed from the research. For more information, or to take the survey online, visit www.age-friendlyenglewood.org.

By Bracha Schwartz

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