Caregiving and Aging

The test of a people is how it behaves toward the old.
— Abraham Joshua Heschel

JFAR Announces New Initiative in Caregiving and Aging Programs and Services

JFAR is committed to serving our Jewish community as it ages as well as those who provide invaluable assistance within that community as caregivers.

We received generous bequests from the estates of Rosalyn Snyderman of Little Rock and of Belle Danziger and Zelik Danziger of Texarkana.  In honor of their memories and in recognition of their generosity we have set asise those bequests to help us support our new Caregiving and Aging Programs and Services.  A generous donation, in addition, from the Strauss family to create the Shirley and Sam Strauss Memorial Fund allowed us to hire an experienced and credentialed (LCSW) social worker who could begin serving our community immediately as well as supervise graduate level social work interns, thereby extending the services we are able to offer.

Current Service Offerings:

  • Friendly Visitor Network – Our Friendly Visitors call or visit to bring a little cheer to our community members!
  • Caring for our Caregivers – We honor those who care for our community members. The Caregiver Support Group meets at noon on the second Monday of the month.
  • Senior Events and Workshops – We host presentations, workshops, and activities for seniors year round.  jewisharkansas.org/calendar
  • Relocation Assistance and Living Options – We support families considering residential moves from hospital to rehab centers and from their primary residence to independent living, residential living, assisted living (I and II), skilled nursing, and subsidized living.  We also help families apply for in home care.  
  • In-home Evaluations – As life changes our needs change. We conduct a wide range of assessments including functional abilities, cognition, health, emotional well-being, safety and fall risks, nutrition, budget, and benefits.
  • Transportation – We conduct transportation assessments to help community members decide how long they should drive and identify transportation alternatives when they stop driving.
  • Personal Living Plans – We help community members develop personal living plans and connect them with community resources for social supports, activities, meals, in home care, and financial aid. We also help them create sustainable budgets and do emergency planning.
  • Advanced Health Directives – We help community members fill out advanced health care directives or connect to an elder law attorney for directives or trusts.  We also help with end of life planning and care including hospice and funeral planning.
  • Navigate the Health Care System – We help community members apply for Medicare, Medicaid, disability insurance, in home care, and hospice.

Service Offerings Coming Soon:

  • Music & Memory Program – We create and provide personalized music playlists to bring joy and a sense of well-being to people whose lives have changed because of illness or other conditions. 
  • Weekly Chair Yoga – We help our community members stay fit with weekly yoga classes.
  • Monthly Lunch Bunch – Meet friendly folks for lunch and good conversation.

Read more about Caregiving and Aging Programs and Services

Intern Breana Josephson Clark’s 2014 Needs Assessment of the Aging Jewish Population in Arkansas in conjunction with informal interviews conducted with caregivers and aging professionals identified the following unmet needs in our older adult population:

  • An individual to serve as a resource and advocate for caregivers and seniors in the Jewish community and to organize programming.
  • Centralized resources on social services, Medicaid, social security, types of local senior caregiving and living facilities, and legal matters.
  • Transportation to Jewish community events
  • Informational resources, support groups, and improved advocacy for Jewish community caregivers
  • Improved communications, especially about Jewish community events, with older adults who are not online as well as training to bring more older adults online
  • Increased socialization for those who may feel isolated as they age

In response, the JFAR Board has committed over the next 1-3 years to developing programs and services, as follows, for meeting those needs:

  • A pilot position (initially 1-3 years) for a JFAR social worker to serve the entire Arkansas Jewish community as an informational resource, do outreach and counseling, and help establish further programs and services
  • A network of transportation in and around Little Rock to JFAR and other events within the Jewish community     
  • A network of friendly or “well” visits
  • Informational sessions by exerts in the community on issues related to caregiving
  • A partnership with Congregation B’nai Israel on the Coffee, Cake, and Conversation series
  • A blog on aging in conjunction with computer training
  • An initiative within our PJ Library Program to connect children and older adults via PJ Library readings.

Our office wishes to think those who helped to make the needs assessment and initiative proposal possible: our Intern Breana Josephson Clark, her volunteer internship supervisor Rickie Lockwood, her advisor on the survey, Mark Krain, and the members of the Caregiving and Aging Services committee.