NJAAW News and Resources
Oct. 20, 2021
Senior Freeze deadline fast approaching

If you missed our Sept. 30 webinar with the NJ Tax University on the “Senior Freeze Program,” please note that the deadline for filing is NOVEMBER 1.

Please share this deadline and link with older adults who may be eligible for this important tax rebate program:
Watch Aging Insights Episode 120

Three NJ hospital pharmacists and educators join host Cathy Rowe, DrPH, to discuss such topics as why it's vital for older adults to manage their meds safely, ways to manage meds and programs that might help with the cost of prescriptions.
10 years of Aging Insights
with PCTV!
NJAAW Executive Director Cathy Rowe (far right), and Communications Manager Sue Brooks celebrated their 10-year Aging Insights partnership with Piscataway Community TV (PCTV) by presenting the team with an award of appreciation for a decade of outstanding work.

Accepting the award were (from left) PCTV Program Supervisor Doug Seidel and Station Manager George Fairfield.
An NJAAW feature: #agewellnj

NJAAW wants to know: What are you doing to ensure you are aging well?

Is there something you are doing now or are planning to do for your physical health, financial security or recreational enjoyment? Click here and tell us your strategies and plans for aging well so we can share your inspiration with others.

Meet NJAAW Board Member Carl Archer
Carl is principal and managing partner of Archer Law Office, which focuses on the legal needs of older adults, people with disabilities, veterans and their caregivers. His strategy for aging well is maintaining his health and fitness by going to the gym.
Age-friendly domains:

Housing may be the most challenging and expensive domain to address in age-friendly communities. Multiple surveys show that the vast majority of older adults want to reside in their current home or community for as long as possible. The ability to do this depends on two factors:

  1. Is there appropriate housing in the community?
  2. Is housing affordable in the community?

While it is up to individuals to change or alter their housing situation to meet their needs, a community must offer a range of housing options to meet everyone’s needs. In addition to official “affordable housing” under Section 8 housing or government programs, communities need housing that is simply affordable for residents at different stages of life and needs.

Meeting the needs of residents
Appropriate housing meets the needs of a resident at each stage of life and ability. In many NJ communities, the housing stock was part of the post-war housing boom:
car-dependent communities with two-story homes, internal and external stairs and yards to maintain. Older housing stock like this might not be desirable or possible for some to stay in.

Home modifications can address many challenges and can be done at any time – think ahead when making a kitchen or bath renovation and consider what you might need in 10, 20 or 30 years to remain in the same house. Modifications like zero-step entryways, wider doorways, full baths on the ground floor or safer kitchens can make it easier and safer to age in place as well as prime your house for a future sale.

For renters, communities need to include housing that is affordable on a fixed income so that long-term residents won’t be priced out of their homes.

Benefits for all
Like the other elements of age-friendly communities that we have discussed, age-friendly housing benefits everyone. Empty nesters and older residents who want to downsize in their community seek the same type of housing that young people starting their careers and families would also want.

An age-friendly community offers housing options that are suitable for differing incomes, ages and life stages. And of course, housing should consider the other domains: Is the community walkable? Are there a variety of transportation options? How about parks and outdoor space and community events?

Think of what you would want as you age and help prepare for it now. Whether for your own home or for your community, plan ahead, explore options and help to make the changes that make your town friendly for all ages.

Options to consider
Several NJ towns are exploring options like Accessory Dwelling Units and supportive housing that offer options for residents to stay in the community.

Find out what your town is doing and if you can expect to age well in it. If not, get involved to bring appropriate and affordable options that will let you stay for years to come.

If you missed our previous coverage on age-friendly domains, you can read past issues of NJAAW News and Resources here!
(Comprehensive Services on Aging)

The COPSA Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Disorders is a statewide program that helps individuals, families and professionals who care for people with memory issues by providing compassionate care, support and education.

COPSA also holds virtual caregiver education, support groups and Memory Disorders Clinics.
The Care2Caregivers Helpline provides telephone support for anyone concerned about or caring for someone with memory issues, offered by professionally trained peers who have also been caregivers. This includes counseling, information, referrals and education, with a special emphasis on caregiver wellness.

The helpline at 1-800-424-2494 is available weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by email at caregiver@ubhc.rutgers.edu.

Join COPSA on Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. for "Managing Your Mental Health While Caring for Others," an interactive session to learn strategies for dealing with common mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and stress. Receive tips for continued mental health wellness and explore resources. Register here.
From the LTC Ombudsman Office: Compassionate Care Visits

Compassionate Care (CC) is a designation created by the federal government last year to allow visitation for LTC residents who are suffering physically or emotionally, even when the facility is closed to indoor visitation. This is now included in both federal and New Jersey guidance on long-term care visitation that all facilities must follow.

Examples include residents grieving the loss of a friend/relative, residents who need reminders or encouragement to eat/drink, residents who are losing weight and residents who are emotionally distressed. LTC facilities must consider each request and can designate more than one visitor, but may ask for visitors to alternate if there is a threat of COVID in the facility.

To arrange CC visits, ask the facility Social Worker or Administrator what their process is for applying. If facility administration is not responsive to your request for CC visitation, please call the LTCO office at 1-877-582-6995.
Project Healthy Bones Peer Leaders
Training 10/25 and 11/1

Project Healthy Bones is a 24-week, low-impact exercise and education program for older women and men who have been diagnosed with or are at risk for osteoporosis. 

The program is offered at community sites throughout the state and led by older adults or Peer Leaders.

Norwescap is opening its Peer Leaders Training, via Zoom, to those interested in becoming Project Healthy Bones Peer Leaders. Training takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1. To register, call Cheryl Walters at 973-784-4900 x 2903 or email her.

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LGBT Senior Housing and Care offering
online NJ S2545 Certifications Training in Nov. and Dec.
New Jersey's S2545 Long-Term Care Bill of Rights establishes specific rights and certain requirements for residents of long-term care facilities who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, undesignated/non-binary, questioning, queer, intersex and HIV-positive.

Facilities are required to have staff fully trained by Feb. 28, 2022, and have executed a training plan for their facility.
LGBT Senior Housing and Care is offering online training courses in two 3-hour sessions: from 1 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 11 and 15 for staff and providers, and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 8 for administrators. For more information, fees, and to register, click here.

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REMINDER: Medicare Open Enrollment period now through Dec. 7

Every year, Medicare plans often change costs and coverage. Beneficiaries are advised to compare plans to ensure they’re enrolled in a plan offering the best coverage and cost savings for their situation. The Medicare Plan Finder is a tool for plan comparison.

The NJ Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) posts charts of available Medicare plans on their website. SHIP-certified counselors are available in local SHIP offices to provide assistance reviewing plans with beneficiaries via phone or virtually.
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