Helping over 30,000 local elders of all faiths thrive through award-winning programs that include adult day care, transportation, employment, technology training, information, outreach and diverse intergenerational services.
Why do we exist?
JCA® -- the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington -- represents something different to each and every man and woman we proudly serve. To the isolated senior with no means of getting around, we are a smiling ElderBus driver who cheerfully helps with canes, walkers and wheelchairs and even carries packages with a smile. To the concerned family member suddenly faced with overwhelming health or home care issues, we are the confident voice of an information specialist who understands precisely the services needed to care for a beloved parent or spouse and can access our unique, comprehensive database to find needed resources close to home. For the senior who is frail or suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other challenges, we are a safe and caring place that provides dignified assistance at adult day centers that are second to none. To the older jobseeker, we are a friend, advocate, teacher and guide.
JCA is all of this and so much more! We are vibrant intergenerational programs that build bridges and shatter stereotypes. We are volunteer-run computer training programs that have graduated 10,000 adults since 1992. We are different faces in various places, but united in our mission of helping local seniors experience the positive side of aging while making the National Capital Area a great place to age. Last year, because of generous friends like you, JCA served more than 30,000 older people of all faiths, ethnicities and walks of life. We helped them avoid isolation and live independently. We helped them thrive.
What have you accomplished?
Fiscal Year 2012, from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, was JCA’s 39th year of providing service, support and solutions to local seniors…and to family caregivers and others, too.
- Our 11 ElderBuses made 42,000 passenger trips, travelling 110,774 miles within the region.
- We helped 2,005 clients learn about local rides, routes and resources while helping dozens learn to use the Metro system.
- We convened quarterly meetings of the Transportation Providers Roundtable, enabling transportation providers to develop and share best practices.
- We worked with The Jewish Federation, other agencies and schools to coordinate and build community-wide transportation options.
We cared for vulnerable seniors!
- We provided 8,000 participant days of care at our Albert & Helen Misler Adult Day Center in Rockville, serving 100 vulnerable elders while giving families a critically needed break from their caregiving responsibilities.
- We served 24 men and women in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders at our Samuel H. Gorlitz Kensington Club, giving them friendship and coping skills.
- We ran biweekly caregiver support groups where group members not only found friends who understood the challenges of caregiving but also offered a friendly ear or even a shoulder on which to cry on.
- We inaugurated early-stage dementia support groups.
We built bridges between the generations!
- 203 older volunteers donated 5,505 hours to help 377 children from pre-K through high school improve academically, socially and emotionally.
- 241 youth volunteers supported 221 frail seniors living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
- We helped scores of professionals and organizations learn from our success in building age-integrated communities.
We helped people find work!
- At 41 local charities and government agencies, we provided paid, on-the-job training for 128 jobseekers age 55+ who had incomes below 125 percent of the Federal poverty line. We helped 23 of those participants land regular, paid jobs through which they earned an average of $11 an hour for 27 hours of weekly work. Thus, those once-unemployed seniors are now making $355,212 in annualized, taxable wages, contributing to their families, their nation and their self-esteem.
- 3,700 older jobseekers attended our 50+ Employment Expo where many participated in 8 educational seminars (each presented twice), enjoyed a keynote speech by NBC TV’s Pat Collins, got a free resume review, met with 53 employers and 38 community resource organizations and applied for jobs on line in our Cyber Cafe.
- 45 older jobseekers graduated from The Career Gateway, a 30-hour classroom course with one-on-one mentoring support. 70 percent of those actively looking for work post-graduation found it, despite 1 in 6 having been unemployed for 2 years or more.
We informed and we trained!
- 665 older students participated in 5,732 classroom hours of instruction to hone their computer skills in our 6 computer training centers. 60 volunteer instructors and aides, all age 50+ (and most age 70+) contributed 3,223 hours to the program. Other training via JCA University ran the gamut from improving family communication about eldercare to safety techniques for bus drivers who serve older or disabled adults.
- The JCA website attracted 1.8 million hits -- the most ever – from worldwide visitors who accessed our growing online library of publications, videos and resource links.
- We launched a Facebook page and LinkedIn profile.
- In collaboration with Washington Jewish Week, we expanded our series of consumer guidebooks, distributing printed guides at expos and in the newspaper while making downloadable editions available for free via www.AccessJCA.org .
- JCA experts on aging conducted educational workshops and supported special events for AARP, the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, GTSI, IQ Solutions, The Beacon Newspapers and many more.