The tribulations brought on by the worldwide pandemic have been punishing, but they have also inspired countless sparks of ingenuity. When strict controls were put in place to protect older adults from exposure, concerns arose over the potential impact to their mental health. These were soon met with imaginative solutions from across our community, many of which will continue to help our aging communities stay connected in more and better ways—after COVID—than before.
Alan Weiner has lived on East Galbraith Road in Amberley Village for more than 25 years—just around the corner from the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, the Mayerson JCC, Jewish Family Service (JFS), StarPoint Home Care, and AgeWell Cincinnati—a coalition of partners overseen by JFS that includes the JCC, JVS Career Services, and Cedar Village. When Alan was the ritual director at Adath Israel, one of his students was Liz Vogel—the current CEO of JFS. But in December of last year...
“We’re not alone, you know?” Gennady Khaskelis says thoughtfully over FaceTime on a recent, dreary February morning. The conversation, however, is the opposite of dreary—he and his wife Inna are a charming, welcoming, and fascinating couple. While very much their own, their story is also the story of immigrant Jews coming to Cincinnati as they have for two centuries, and also an American success story.
No part of our body talks to us in quite the same way as our heart does. While we may not always be listening, our hearts communicate with us regularly, methodically, and (one should dearly hope) constantly. It only makes sense, therefore, that we’d want to keep the conversation going.
February is American Heart Month and perennially that time of year when we are urged to be more disciplined, change our habits, and start treating our hearts with respect.
The human body has been called an incredible machine and with 206 bones, over 600 muscles, and more than 4,000 tendons, it surely is that. But to function effectively, these attributes of the body must operate against a strong central core. And the relative importance of a strong core only increases with age; core strength promotes balance, prevents falls, prolongs lives, and even helps with incontinence.
While the COVID-19 lockdowns have undoubtedly saved lives, they have also increased social isolation for older adults in our community. In addition, the tightening economy has caused unprecedented hardships for people who have never needed help before. In response, new COVID-19-related services are being offered through local, state, and federal agencies. Yet connecting these services with older adults who aren’t aware of them remains a challenge.
COVID-19 has changed nearly every aspect of our lives, and for some of the people in our community, those changes could be deadly. That’s why Jewish Family Service (JFS) quickly transitioned most programming online to continue its mission.
JFS is committed to strengthening people’s lives in times of need, as well as supporting senior community members.
When the global pandemic became a local concern, the physical health of our elderly was paramount in the minds of the community. However, the remedy of isolation created problems of its own. Older adults rely heavily on area programming to boost camaraderie and enhance their emotional well-being. So, the lockdowns that were intended to protect the health of our aging population simultaneously threatened their connections to friends, family, and the community.
What can older adults and those who love them do, when isolation from COVID-19 and the need for socialization come into conflict? Though we know that socialization plays a role in everyone’s health, no matter the age, it is particularly essential for older adults, whose wellbeing is so dependent on the stimulus they receive through social interactions.
Seven students gather for their weekly ESOL—English for Speakers of Other Languages—class. Jewish Family Service (JFS) has hosted the class for Russian speakers every Monday at the Mayerson JCC for years, but the stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 outbreak changed the routine, and many were left to wonder what was going to become of the class.