Maplewood Looks To Identify Senior Needs and Expand Senior Services

Just received this e-mail from the Township of Maplewood:

Attention
Adults 60+

The Village of South Orange and the Township of Maplewood
will be conducting a survey to gain feedback that will inform the
development of an Age-Friendly Action Plan.  The survey is part of an assessment
of needs for adults over 60 and is funded by the Grotta Fund for Senior
Care. Over the coming month, we will be going out into the community to
talk to a wide representation of older adults (from diverse neighborhoods,
ethnicities, income levels, ages, etc.) with a goal of surveying between 400-750
adults age 60+.  This grassroots effort will help the initiative reach
individuals whose voices may not always be heard.
 
An Age-Friendly
community is one where policies, services and structures related to the physical
and social environments are designed to support and enable older people to live
in a secure environment, enjoy good health and continue to participate fully in
their communities.  The 3-Year Community Action Plan will identify age-friendly
features, barriers, and suggestions for improvement, and will serve as a
template for collaborative planning to address the needs of our growing senior
population.
 
The survey questions will take most people approximately 20
minutes to complete, depending on how much you have to say!  Your
answers are completely confidential.
 
The survey
will be available online at the Maplewood Township web site in the near future. 

 
Hard copies will be available in Maplewood at: Town Hall,
Community Center, and both Libraries.  When completed, the surveys can be
returned to Maplewood Town Hall, the Community Center or both Maplewood
Libraries. 
 
The survey will close on APRIL 26, 2016.

 
For more information in Maplewood please contact: 
Anettte DePalma 973-762-8120 x 3400 or Robert Roe  973-762-8120 x4400 at the Maplewood Town
Hall.
  
We appreciate your participation in this very
important endeavor!


I got that email also - did it go to everyone in town or just people they think may qualify as "Seniors"?

If the latter, I don't know whether to be pleased that they might want my opinion or offended that they think I'm that old.  (I'm not, but getting close.)


The e-mail probably went out to whoever requested notifications on whatever sub-group of the list serve this e-mail went out under.  Several possibilities come to mind. 


The Village of South Orange and Maplewood Township are jointly applying for a grant from the Grotta Fund for Senior Care to improve services to seniors.  The grant is to develop and implement "Age Friendly" community policies and services to improve the physical and social environment.   Towards this goal we are doing a survey and we are requesting that as many seniors as possible complete the senior by April 26th.

Hard copies of the survey can be found at both libraries, the Community Center on Burnett Ave., and the Town Hall.   It is also being distributed to houses of worship, clubs, Winchester Gardens, and the senior Residence on Irvington Ave.   We can also mail you a survey.   Telephone 973-762-8120 x4400 or Ms. DePalma at x3400.   Please call if there is any question.  


The two biggest obstacles for Seniors "aging in place" in our communities are the mostly-not-very-elder-friendly (re accessibility) housing stock and the high property taxes.  All of the plans mentioned are great and definitely worth doing. But if these issues can't be addressed in some way, there will always be an exodus of our Seniors as they get older.


Thank you for the comments and we will add them to our list.  If you are sixty or over, please fill out one of the surveys.  


sac said:

The two biggest obstacles for Seniors "aging in place" in our communities are the mostly-not-very-elder-friendly (re accessibility) housing stock and the high property taxes.  All of the plans mentioned are great and definitely worth doing. But if these issues can't be addressed in some way, there will always be an exodus of our Seniors as they get older.

Complete agreement. 


Copies of the survey are available at the circulation desk at the Maplewood Library, in the office at the DeHart Community Center, and at Maplewood Town Hall in the finance office.  If you are age 60 or over and live in Maplewood or South Orange, please pick up, complete, and return a copy of the survey ASAP.


For those who like to complete the senior survey on line. 

  http://www.southorange.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=55

Thank yo to all who have completed the survey.   


from Bob Roe:   We are still trying to get more seniors to complete the survey.  See link above.  


I have a lot of opinions (and also a fair amount of perspective on this after caring for my aging parents toward the end of their lives) ... but I'm not yet 60.  Am I allowed to fill out the survey?


I've looked at that survey, but find that much of it is directed at some generic community that isn't SO or Maplewood.  

SAC, I see no reason why you cannot fill out the survey.  You probably have more insight than many that are actually in the age group yet have no clue what their interests or needs might be a week or five years from now.


from Robert Roe: to SAC, yes, please fill out a survey and make notes.


from Robert Roe: to SAC, yes, please fill out a survey and make notes.


Robert, as I look at the survey I don't think it captures the range of needs and options for seniors at various stages of 'senior-hood'.  These can be described in many ways--empty nester; recently retired; active retired; medically retired and in need of medical supports; mobility restricted; elderly; etc.  The empty nesters and active recently retired may not need many senior supports, but need guidance in how to remain active in the community.


Okay, understood.   Please fill in the survey and make notes as you described.   All information is needed. 


I also took the survey.  My reaction was that those who know of the survey's existence, frequent places where the survey is available, and have an active interest in completing the survey are apt to be the more active and already connected members of the senior community. 

Unless a specific outreach attempt is made to reach the more isolated members of the senior community, the results are apt to be skewed in favor of those who already know what services are offered by the town and already take advantage of those they need. 

Depending on number of overall responses received when compared with the entire senior population in town, prevalent problems the more isolated, less mobile members of our senior community face may not be adequately reflected in the survey results.


Totally agree with this,Joan. I asked a senior friend if she had completed the survey and she had never heard of it.  She isn't too  interested in local political issues, but is active in multiple organizations and her church. 

Same with another acquaintance who lives in the Maplewood Condos...never heard about the survey and that place seems to be crawling with seniors.  

Outreach to our local religious organizations and the condos over on Boyden may be a good idea.


We will plan on taking surveys to houses of worship.  If anyone wants several to take to friends, we can give them as many as they need.  


We will plan on taking surveys to houses of worship.  If anyone wants several to take to friends, we can give them as many as they need.  


Caregiver Overload program at the Maplewood Library tonight, April 18, at 7:00pm.   This program will be led by members of the St. Barnabas Medical Center Transitions of Care team.  The program will discuss stressors associated with caregiving and what  you can do to help alleviate this stress.   

Speaking personally, I am hoping to pick up some info and tips that will help me.   


Bob:  Is anything being done to make the survey available in other languages than English?  I suspect that a fair number of seniors in our community may not have English as their primary language. 


We had a friend translate the surveys into Russian for residents at Senior Building 564 Irvington Ave.   We have not yet done Spanish or Creole.   


I filled out the survey, and the next day had an interesting idea that I would have included in the suggestions area of the survey had I thought of it. I don't think you can edit a submitted survey - should I email the survey site with the idea, or possibly just send an email to Robert Roe?


Since Robert Roe is obviously following this thread, you might try posting it here or sending it to him in a PM.


I did message him, but perhaps he's not seen it yet. I'll wait to hear from him.


I will be checking my phone messages in the morning.  If you emailed me, I did not get it. I will add any new comments to our collected surveys.  Thank you all for any ideas and comments.


Odd, I sent it as a private message via MOL and the status shows it as being read. Maybe the message glitches are still happening. I'll email it to you at your official email tomorrow, Bob.


A PM shows in your inbox as read when you create or read it.  This tells you nothing about whether the intended recipient has seen it.


I would never have interpreted it that way, Joan. I thought it worked like all the other email systems I'm used to, where the status shows the recipient's actions, not the sender's. Thank you for the clarification.



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