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Atlanta - On a field trip

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta (JFGA) offers a full array of services to those who are aging in their community. From helping people age-in-place in a variety of settings, to assisted living or nursing homes, the Jewish community offers a range of services for seniors in their preferred living environments.

To help older adults find the services that best meet their individual needs, JFGA’s Aging Task Force created Jewish Elder Access. This service, provided by Jewish Family & Career Services and funded by the Federation, provides a full-time specialist who serves as a one-stop resource for seniors, their family members and caregivers to turn to for advice. The Information and Referral specialist connects members of the community with the physical, spiritual and cultural resources they need in order to care for their aging loved ones. 

Like many federations nationwide, JFGA has an established Naturally Occuring Retirement Ccommunity (NORC) project that helps older adults remain in their homes, maintain their friendships, and age healthily with supportive neighborhood services. What makes JFGA’s project unique is the wide range of NORC models serving a variety of senior populations. Currently, JFGA has four NORC sites in metropolitan Atlanta and one in Savannah. These sites are both horizontal (single family homes) and vertical (high-rise apartments) NORCs. The NORC project is an opportunity to test the NORC model with diverse populations, including older adults, over age 85, African Americans, and Russian-Jewish and Asian immigrants.

At each of these sites, JFGA is able to pilot new methods of senior service delivery. For example, at its East Point NORC site, a horizontal NORC serving a predominantly African American population, JFGA has successfully demonstrated the cost savings of its transportation voucher program, which will become a permanent transportation program. In addition, some of the NORC sites have taken on a specific focus. One site in Atlanta, a combined horizontal and vertical NORC, will focus on health prevention and monitoring, as well as introduce membership dues for NORC services to its seniors. JFGA believes this coordination of service, health monitoring, and management of chronic illness will help demonstrate that this NORC  model can help seniors age in place in a cost-effective way with fewer hospitalizations and delayed institutionalization. As the Baby Boomer generation moves into retirement, JFGA recognizes the increased need for  creative and flexible models to accomplish our goals.