NJAAW News and Resources
Sept. 1, 2021
NJ Senior Olympics Games 9/10-12

From Sept. 10 to 12, Woodbridge Township will be hosting the New Jersey Senior Olympics Games for the 14th year, after postponing the 2020 games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than a dozen competitive events will take place in these male and female age divisions: 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-89 and 90+.

Good luck to all our athletes!

* * *
Insights and Strategies for Reducing Suicide Among
Older Adults 9/15

September is Suicide Prevention Month. According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, suicide is an important problem among older adults. Suicide rates are particularly high among older men age 85+.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL), the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, and the National Council on Aging are hosting "Insights and Strategies for Reducing Suicide Among Older Adults," a webinar taking place on Sept. 15 from 2 to 3 p.m. ET. Register here.

* * *
Third Vaccine Dose Recommended for Immunocompromised Individuals

"People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems who have received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should receive a third dose after the initial vaccine series.

"This additional dose is intended to make sure that immunocompromised individuals have enough protection against COVID-19 as they may not build the same level of immunity from the two-dose vaccine series as people who are not immunocompromised.

"Any eligible person can get a third dose at any existing vaccination location – they should bring documentation of the vaccine doses they have received."
* * *
ASA Rise applications
are now open; info meetings on 9/9 or 21

ASA (American Society on Aging) Rise is a 20-week intensive training and mentorship program for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color)-identified professionals within the field of aging, covering fundamental principles of advocacy, social justice and leadership development.

Outcomes include:

  • Provide training and mentorship in the field of aging on fundamental principles of advocacy, social justice and leadership development.

  • Build a national, cross-industry network of peers and thought leaders.

  • Complete a national project that contributes to thought leadership or innovates service delivery in aging as part of ASA’s On Aging Institute.

  • Deepen appreciation for the unique dynamics that come with being a BIPOC leader.

For more information, attend a Zoom meeting with the program director on Sept. 9 or 21. Register here.

* * *

Grandparents Stepping Up to Assist Grandchildren
with Virtual Education

If you know older adults who are helping younger grandchildren with their education this school year, either through virtual or in-classroom learning, revisit this blog post by NJAAW Board member Dr. Charisse Smith, an Instructional Coach with the Hamilton Township Public Schools. Read it here.
Next Coffee & Conversation:
Self-care 9/22
Our next Coffee & Conversation networking event takes place on Sept. 22, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. Jaime Angelini, Statewide Director of Disaster Services and Special Projects at the Mental Health Association in NJ (MHANJ), will join us. Share, ask, learn, connect with others in the field and register here.
Falls Prevention
Awareness Week 9/20-24

Falls Prevention Awareness Week, September 20-24, is a nationwide effort to raise awareness that falls are preventable and to help older adults live without the fear of falling.

The National Coalition on Aging has created a Falls Free CheckUp, a digital tool that provides a personalized overview of falls risk factors and ways to address them.

Also available are digital and print materials to promote awareness. Download the toolkit here.
Fall webinar series

Our free webinar series sponsored by Parker Health Group, Inc. continues this fall, covering such topics as
  • Adults and Vaccines

  • Infection Control

  • What’s Happening Now and What Does the Future Hold? (This webinar will provide an overview of technology solutions, including remote monitoring wearables and sensors, telehealth and e-visits, senior wellness portals and more.)
Registration details will be included in this newsletter and our events portal. To view previous 2021 webinars, click here.

Parker Health Group, Inc. is a nonprofit, NJ-based aging services organization with over 114 years' experience that is committed to empowering older Americans. Since 1907, Parker has been challenging, changing and expanding the idea of what it means to grow older in America and how all of us can make aging part of life.
Senior Freeze and
Tax University 9/30

On Sept. 30, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET, join us for an important online presentation on the "Senior Freeze" program (Property Tax Reimbursement). Speakers will be from Taxation University, a team of tax specialists and instructors within the New Jersey Division of Taxation.

The Senior Freeze reimburses eligible senior citizens and persons with disabilities for property tax (or mobile home park site fee) increases on their principal residence, which makes staying in your home affordable. The 2022 state budget has increased the eligible level, making thousands more NJ older residents eligible.

Register in advance here. You will then receive a confirmation email with details about joining the webinar.
Celebrating National
Senior Center Month

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) and its National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) celebrate National Senior Center Month every September.

The following tribute is from the NCOA website. (We could not have said it better ourselves!)
This year, senior centers have sown a great deal probably more than ever imagined. As senior center professionals, you shined a light on your centers by showing the entire nation how vital you are to the health and well-being of a community. You transformed your centers to virtual classrooms overnight and, in so doing, provided continued means of social engagement and activity during bleak times, turning the table on ageist stereotypes about older adults and technology use.

You provided countless hours of support and encouragement and delivered numerous meals. You became even more integral to health care delivery in your communities by providing COVID-19 guidance, vaccine education, and vaccinations to your members. And you played an outsized role in addressing an issue that we all knew was important even before the pandemic: social isolation.

Senior centers are opening again, but it will never be business as usual going forward.

NJAAW would like to honor and congratulate all Senior Centers in NJ for being unsung heroes in our state. Thank you for all that you do to help our older adults live and age well, even in the most difficult times!
Working our way through
the age-friendly domains: Communication and Information

This issue, let’s talk about Communication and Information. 
Communication is important as it keeps us connected, informed, able to engage and healthy. Age-friendly communities recognize that information needs to be shared through a variety of methods since not everyone has a smartphone or home-based access to the internet or a Twitter account. The past 18 months have proven how important it is to share accurate and timely information with all residents and to not leave anyone behind. 
People over the age of 60 have seen an extreme evolution in the ways we share information. Communications methods have changed so much in the past 20 years – at the turn of the millennium, few people had cell phones or email, most did not have a home computer and the internet was still rather new. And, we can expect that communications strategies and options will continue to change in the next 20 years.
Many people who can remember not having a private phone in their home until the post-WWII boom may be using the latest smartphone. Others have stayed with the level of technology that they are comfortable with. 
While many new communications methods are available, several classic, reliable methods have waned. Local print newspapers have declined in NJ alongside the growth of online reporting. Municipalities may have stopped regular mailings in favor of posting information on the town website instead.
But as we move online, we may be leaving residents – not only older ones – out of the communications loop. Just as with any other demographic, there are general strategies that work, but one size does not fit all.
Consider these points: 

  • First, think of the stereotypes for communicating with older people and dismiss them. Take the time to assess your target audience, learn what is received well and what isn’t. As new forms of communication are brought in, it is important to keep the original, familiar format while people transition. It also might be necessary to continue offering the original format for those who cannot access the new method. 

  • Paper is still an option – printed flyers, mailers and newsletters get attention and can reach people who are not online, as well as people who have never seen your website before. Use them to help people move online and to sign up for email blasts.

  • Consider changing abilities in communications – hearing and vision loss make it challenging for some people to access your information. Others may take longer to process it. Addressing these needs can lead to creative communication strategies that may work for everyone. 

  • Strategize about what information needs to be shared and when. Health, emergency, events, recreation and transportation news all need a different approach to attract different audiences.
  •  More information does not always mean better. Do everyone a favor, regardless of their age and tech skills, by keeping your messages clear, factual and relevant.
And most importantly, teach older residents how to use new forms and methods of communication. Offer classes at senior centers, libraries, the local high school or college. Ask a scout troop, youth group or community organization to offer support. Remember to keep all communication channels open. 

Have you missed our previous coverage on age-friendly domains? Read past issues of NJAAW News and Resources on our website, here!
Aging Insights TV update

Our population is aging rapidly and people are living longer as well. Is the medical profession prepared or preparing to treat their aging patients? Should older adults opt for a geriatrician at a certain age or health status?

The 119th episode of our Aging Insights TV program, Aging Well with Your Doctors, tackles these topics and more with guests Dr. David Barile and Dr. Katie DeMarco.

In this episode, Dr. Barile, a geriatrician and Founder and Chief Medical Officer, Goals of Care Coalition of NJ, supplies the definition of a geriatrician and notes why/when one may be needed. He states that there is a current problem: a “huge shortage” of geriatricians. “As we’re having more and more older adults, we’re having less and less geriatricians,” he says.

According to Dr. Katie DeMarco, DNP, MSHS, APN, ACHPN, a Palliative APN (Advanced Practice Nurse) and Clinical Supervisor at Hackensack Meridian Health – Hackensack University Medical Center, Pain & Palliative Medicine Institute, the role of the Nurse Practitioner will be key in solving that shortage.

Other issues addressed on “Aging Well with Your Doctors” are continuing relationships with current medical professionals as a patient ages, methods of locating a geriatrician, the transition of care as age/illness progresses, the geriatrician’s approach to patient care and age-friendly care systems/hospitals.
Guest blog post
on COVID-19
vaccination scams
"Fraudsters are always looking for ways to scam people, and the COVID-19 public health emergency has been no exception," says Charles Clarkson, Esq., Project Director, Senior Medicare Patrol of New Jersey (pictured). Read his guest blog post.
Have you visited njaaw.org lately? Our website, with disability-accessible options, has an expansive number of statewide services and resources for older adults, caregivers and professionals in the field of aging. It also features blog posts and a library of archived policy reports and Renaissance magazines. Check it out!
Mental Health:

Crisis Text Line:
Text NJ to 741741

Mental Health Hotline:
866-202-HELP (4357)

Violence Hotline:
800-572-SAFE (7233)

Hope and Healing (free/confidential emotional support)
866-202-HELP (4357)
Text NJ HOPE to 51684
Follow NJAAW on social media!