Tuesday, 25 Adar I, 5784
  |  March 5, 2024

The Forgotten in Our Midst

From the COLlive Inbox: Are we so preoccupied with the busy pace of our life that we have forgotten the needs of older adults or are we simply unaware? Full Story

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Let's take some action
December 31, 2015 2:26 pm

Yes teachers are overworked. I experienced that first hand for a number of years. Perhaps this could be a project developed through the tzivos Hashem staff and those that do extra curriculur programs. Having teaching staff partake in discussions is enormously helpful in seeing how to develop an education program that does not overburden staff. It would be most productive to set up evening or weekend meeting for those who are interested in getting involved. Getting together will perhaps help us to get something started. There are many areas and levels of involvement that is needed. We all have busy… Read more »

chesed programs in the schools
December 31, 2015 9:51 am

High school girls are encouraged to do chesed after school. Some girls asked to do their chesed by helping grandmothers. This was a wonderful idea. But boys are also needed to help care for their grandfathers, if only to sit and learn together for an hour. Only they don’t seem to have the time for this. Maybe yeshivas and schools need to encourage students to visit and help out the elderly, and even to set aside time for such a program.

Good ideas!
December 30, 2015 11:40 pm

I work in a local school. As teachers we all work on overload, and it would be very unlikely that someone could undertake a major job like this. However, we definitely support and encourage, and look for ways for our students to get involved, and do positive important things. I am quite sure that if there was an infrastructure that the school would be working with, I.e. an organization (like friendship circle and bikkur Cholim), they would be happy to have the students get involved (in after school.projects, like all the other programs). Hatzlocha! Hope you can make some of… Read more »

Community service
December 30, 2015 6:37 am

Last year I hosted an informational session in crown heights on behalf of Heights and Hills, the agency I mentioned above. Those who attended were living with enormous burdens, had some wonderful ideas of what would be helpful but were too burdened to get involved. Being a full time caregiver is an exhausting full time job, that interferes with self-care placing these individuals at risk themselves. We as a community need to be able to hear the needs of these dedicated caregivers and find ways to respond and ease their burden by setting up services that they can utilize. If… Read more »

It is so impt this is being discussed
December 30, 2015 5:59 am

Although a huge undertaking, and many of the more doable ideas will hopefully been done first, a senior living facility would be amazing. Most CH houses are difficult to access, limiting the mobility of a senior, Steps can be prohibitive for one who is still walking with a walker or other assistance. if they live with family they could be virtually home bound. And living with family is not always preferred or ideal, I do not live in CH, but my father lives in a Jewish indep. living facility where he enjoys a wide array of classes and activities, peers,… Read more »

To bochur
December 30, 2015 5:58 am

Thank you for information to reach bochurim. How is a women supposed to get information to bochurim? My frustrating experience was with the principal, when I tried to find out how to reach bochurim. This is why it is so important to have a medium for communal talk. Older men who need to be accompanied to shul on a daily basis and their family need to know of a way to reach bochurim in zal. Please list addresses, contact people and how individuals can ask for help.

Cool and fun to volunteer?
December 29, 2015 11:45 pm

As a bochur in OT who volunteers for friendship circle, I can say first hand: – Hanhola doesnot give us time off of Seder – we do it on our own time. – Friendship circle approached us and is very proactive about pushing their agenda, they don’t make “cool and fun” rather simply explain the need and as responsible bochurim we do what we can. Instead of assuming what goes on, why not put up a sign in zal and try recruiting bochurim – you will be surprised how many nice guys out there will be willing to lend a… Read more »

Author response
December 29, 2015 11:33 pm

This was the first part to my earlier response which was supposed to be posted earlier but there was a glitch. I am so grateful for the positive response to may article, and for the personal emails from those who are interested in taking steps towards change. In response to who will set this up, we will. My recommendation is to begin by setting up an electronic forum where we can all discuss the next steps. We all have busy schedules. Social networking offers the opportunity for a rich discussion with a wide audience, and allows us to respond in… Read more »

Additional response from author
December 29, 2015 11:09 pm

In response to the comment that “lots of people will volunteer”. I wish that were the case. There are some wonderful caring people who are volunteering but it is hard to create interest in aging when so many fear it and perceive it as burdensome. There is funding for the field of aging. However, accessing it is a full time job. I would love to see that happen. I am unable to take that on. Any agency who is able to help with this will need to be aware of the demand that has to be filled in order to… Read more »

Wonderful article
December 29, 2015 9:59 pm

Yes bikur cholim & other orgs doing their very best BUT there is need for so much more. Seniors need stimulation & interaction daily.They become very lonely,sad & feel chas V’SHOLOM unneeded. There is an incredible facility in London/ England, high quality with all the above and more called Sconfeld Sq run by Mrs Itta Simon. It might be helpful to call her for some info and see if any of these marvelous ideas can be implemented here. Brainstorming brings dreams to fruition. Thank you shchuna & all you great people & orgs for all you do for the quality… Read more »

Response to "you didn't have to"
December 29, 2015 9:16 pm

I apologize if my comments on local services were offensive. That was not my intention at all. I was trying to highlight that each service system had limitations and as a result there are needs that still have to be met. Bikur Cholim is inundated with requests and older adults require ongoing support. If they had the resources to offer more, they would. Either they need help in expanding services or we need to find an alternate way of meeting the different needs of aging adults. Community council are limited because of the way that they are funded. The Shalom… Read more »

December 29, 2015 8:49 pm

All the programs and services proposed are currently provided borough-wide (and in some cases citywide) by Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (718-449-5000; http://www.jccgci.org; http://www.connect2ny.org; http://www.friendlyvisitingny.org; http://www.nphd.org)

December 29, 2015 5:08 pm

It is obvious that if you would know what all the organizations that you listed above – friendship circle, bikur cholim, shalom centre etc – actually do, you would know that they are trying their best. I think you could have gotten your point across without criticizing their work.
It seems that you are looking in from the vantage of “its always greener…” not really knowing the struggles or trials these organizations face.

i agree!
December 29, 2015 5:01 pm

first thing one can do is involve the children of the Schools in CH. to go to the Senior center on Albany ave. ans sing or play music etc!! y dont they do that ON A REGULAR BASIS. it is a win win ! good for the old people and good for the ones who go and learn how to give of oneself to others.!!! especially in a day and age of SELFISHNESS!!

Sunshine for the Elderly
December 29, 2015 4:08 pm

what about elderly who may not have altzeimers- but some memory deficiencies? or physical weakness- so they cannot be left to walk anywhere alone (with or without a walker?)
Many just stare out of windows an entire day and may need someone to visit a couple of times a week to help watch some lecture on an ipad, or play a (word) game, do some low grade excercises or just to visit with.
Many of these aforementioned may have an aid- but they want more Jewish companions that may drop in and create more sunshine in their days.

Caregiver's Support Group for women
December 29, 2015 3:02 pm

Some of us really need this. We started a group almost a year ago. Had a social worker run it, on a weekly basis, but I felt I was the only one pushing the publicity and attendance was not enough to keep it going, and also the shul where it was held was no longer available. Now the social worker is using her time slot for something else, so not available for us.. The nearest group now is in Williamsburg, which is a shlep and too time consuming to get there and back. They also organize sessions for women caring… Read more »

a better idea perhaps
December 29, 2015 2:45 pm

The best thing for elderly people who cannot care properly for themselves is to live with or right near at least one child or a close family member who truly can look after them and appreciate them. Old age homes can be depressing for people. It is a separation of family. of course there may be a need for it but it would have to be a place that is really like an independent living place, not a real old age home that takes away a persons feeling of independence and happiness. Elderly parents dont want to be a “burden”… Read more »

well done!
December 29, 2015 2:22 pm

A clear article with true and good points.
Thank you for bringing this up!

Is that a Typo?
December 29, 2015 2:06 pm

Great article about an important topic but what is meant by “Time is given for the boys to go on mivtsoyim, but chesed with our elders seems all but forgotten.”? I have three boys in three Yeshiva and they do not get time off. Mivtsoyim is out of yeshiva hours, the way it always was.

December 29, 2015 1:58 pm

It might be worthwhile that the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council be a bit proactive and print a pamphlet clearly detailing their services they provide for the elderly and advertise it at least on col. This would be a good start.

buddie system
December 29, 2015 12:56 pm

….each older person has buddies they can call ….each person might have 3 names as a resource on their list, that is on call to them …changing a light bulb allows one to read and bench etc….the people whom are on the list to be called, have to want to be there , so that love is felt as well….

December 29, 2015 12:46 pm

it is important for seniors to get onto Medicaid. Medicaid will provide an aide, transportation to appointments and many other benefits. access a ride is also a great way for seniors to get around for a few dollars each ride. there are organizations which help elderly people get onto medicaid

Chabad Johannesburg
December 29, 2015 12:28 pm

Where I’m from in Johannesburg there’s a full time time rabbi dedicated solely to senior citizens. The central chabad house has an array of activities and events including shiurim, therapies, meals, crafts, outings and who knows what else including the ‘bus mitzva’ transportation. As far as I’m aware it’s all for free for the pensioners and there are no government grants like over here to help them but chabad does incredible work and fundraises for this vital service. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be done right here in nyc where there’s so much government funding for such activity. I… Read more »

If someone takes initiative to start something...
December 29, 2015 12:19 pm

I’m sure lots of people will volunteer

Thanks for writing this
December 29, 2015 12:18 pm

There’s so much that needs improving in this area! A few ideas: 1) Many people, maybe especially Baalei Teshuva, have elderly parents who need some extra help but can’t or won’t live with them, so they remain out-of-town. An assisted living facility in or near Crown Heights would be a huge blessing for the seniors and for their Crown Heights relatives. I’m not suggesting people should stop having their sickly parents live with them if that’s doable — it’s so important and a huge mitzvah. 2) A senior center with activities/programming for Lubavitcher seniors who are culturally American will become… Read more »

Elder Care
December 29, 2015 11:11 am

The issue of taking care of our elderly exists all over. In Pittsburgh, where I live, there are many services provided by Jewish Family & Children Service & other organizations. However services come with a hefty price for the elderly or their children. There are many older adults who need care 24/7. What is one to do when there isn’t funding available?

Hatzlocho raba in this important endeavor
December 29, 2015 11:03 am

BH i applaud your heartfelt efforts to activate this vital mitzvah for VIP Jewish seniors living in your community. With perseverance you will G-d willing achieve your goal – to help make the lives of the elderly productive and most importantly cared about! On a personal note, we began a program for Jewish seniors in our community providing holiday bags five times a year. Today close to 500 bags are packed and distributed by volunteers and BH our Jewish seniors look forward to these visits and reminders that they matter! Hatzlocho raba.

Crown Heights Jewish Community Council
December 29, 2015 10:55 am

Crown Heights Jewish Community Council provides a full array of case management and volunteer services, working with Bikur Cholim to help seniors get to hospital and doctor appointments. If you know of a senior who needs more help or if you want to join as a volunteer, please call Mrs. Mintz at the Jewish Community Council ext. 7728 or email [email protected]

December 29, 2015 10:53 am

This is a great opportunity for stay at home moms and babies. You can create partners where families adopt a senior. I did this for years with my little ones visiting the same senior and we developed such a close relationship. Look into starting a Smile on Seniors program, which has volunteers sign up to visit a senior. It’s similar to FC for seniors. This is a great form of mivtzoim for those with a more quiet personality as it doesn’t require you to be very outgoing. People like to be a part of something. Create a name and way… Read more »

Thank you
December 29, 2015 10:48 am

Transportation to simchos or just going to a store on kingston for them would also be very helpful.

elderly and lonely population
December 29, 2015 10:47 am

excellentl expressed, yes it’s time to also focus on the elderly population and also the lonely.

December 29, 2015 10:29 am

i also would like to see some organization for men who have unfortunatly lost there wives r”l.
(I believe there there is for women)

December 29, 2015 10:29 am

i agree 100 percent! In our family we have long been talking how an old age facility is so much needed in crown heights! Around the world you see beautiful facilities setup for the elderly, next to a shul so they can go daven, with nursing care on call and hot meals so their needs are taken care of. Besides benefiting the elderly and their families who are relieved that their parents are taken care of, it will also create jobs in the community. All the schools will sendtheir students to entertain and im sure people would volunteer to do… Read more »

Thank you!
December 29, 2015 10:24 am

How can we get in touch? When I move to CH in May iyH I would love to help!