The Jewish Philanthropic Response to Meet the Challenge of Healthy Aging

We’re living longer. Now we just need to learn how to live better.

A lot of work goes into ensuring the golden years aren’t tarnished. Advances in medicine and changes in lifestyle are enabling more seniors to live in their own homes. The more fragile have access to assisted-living facilities that can provide for a dignified quality of life. Yet, what we want for our older loved ones and what they actually get can often be mutually exclusive.

It’s a vital issue in which the Jewish philanthropic community is poised to take a leadership role. JFN will explore this growing field in a webinar tomorrow with two top experts: Michael Marcus, Program Director, Older Adults, at The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation ;and Audrey Weiner, President and CEO of Jewish Home Lifecare, which has been providing social services to elders for more than 160 years.

The webinar will be moderated by Cheryl Fishbein, a JFN board member.

Fewer issues are more prescient for so many. The latest census data shows there are more than 40 million people in the U.S. 65 and over -- representing 13 percent of Americans. And the fastest-growing segment of that population is the super-seniors, those over 85. There are 5.7 million of them now, and that number could triple by 2050.

Many of them will likely need assistance, especially as changes in healthcare delivery wrought by the Affordable Care Act converge with growing concerns that more seniors will outlive their retirement savings. This webinar will offer valuable insights into how Jewish philanthropists can position themselves to help this growing population.

Harry Weinberg often spoke of the plight of people who struggled for decades to provide for their families and were then unable to fend for themselves when age and infirmity caught up to them.  Indeed, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation’s annual grants to programs for older adults represent the largest allocation of its total annual giving. Learn more about how you can help this vulnerable population, and contribute to the findings that will benefit us all in the future.

To read more about this important issue, these articles from Philanthropy Roundtable and the journal Generations offer some valuable insights.