NCJW NY Section expresses its concern for elders suffering from memory loss through its Helen Bloom LINC Program. The Program (Lunch, Interaction, Nurturing, & Companionship) provides a stimulating, supportive, and joyful atmosphere for these seniors, along with their caregivers. It is led by a professional facilitator three times a week; participants are welcomed individually and helped to settle in for the day’s activities. Recognizing that the arts provide a unique common ground, on a given day they may explore a poem, a piece of art, or discuss a news story together – each interacting at his/her own level.
Participants enjoy a light lunch together followed by a sing-along led by a professional music therapist. LINC is based on the philosophy that stimulating activities geared to participants’ interests and capacities can help to stave off continued decline and boost overall mood throughout the day and week. The program models positive interaction for caregivers. What matters most is the instant personal experience participants get at NCJW NY’s Council House. LINC also recognizes the needs of caregivers, many of whom come to this work without special skills or training. In observing and participating in LINC’s activities, caregivers absorb behavioral models that they in turn use to provide improved care in the home setting.
LINC is unique among New York City’s offerings for this cohort of the aging population. It is not respite care, but an active program designed for and serving those afflicted with memory disorders and the related degenerative conditions.
Seven NCJW sections reported Senior Outreach programs that served over 1,630 people in FY2017, including: Jersey Hills, Long Beach, Nashville, New York, SE Atlantic, Utah, and Valencia Shores.