New Orleans Jewish Community Center Programs Foster Healthy Aging

For the first time in U.S. history, older adults are projected to outnumber children by 2035. As the population of older Americans continues to grow, so does the demand for high quality, accessible aging services.

United Way of Southeast Louisiana funds the New Orleans Jewish Community Center through our Blueprint for Prosperity Programmatic Grants to meet this need in our community. New Orleans JCC’s adult memory and active adult programs address the lack of social/community-based activities in our area for older clients, the lack of dementia services, especially for Alzheimer’s patients, and the need for caregiver and family support.

NOJCC runs two adult memory programs, Mind Matters and ACE: Alzheimer’s Care & Enrichment Program. Mind Matters is a once-a-week class designed for individuals with memory concerns. The 10-14 week sessions are facilitated by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and include memorization techniques, exercise, and stimulating discussions.

For individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, NOJCC’s ACE program offers structured activities three days a week facilitated by qualified staff. Group sizes are kept small, ensuring a safe, comfortable environment.

“It’s as much for the caregivers as the participant,” noted Rachel Ruth, NOJCC Director of Senior Services. “This gives the caregiver four hours a day to go and take care of what they need to take care of, which could also be taking care of themselves.”

The organization’s other active adult (age 60+) offerings promote a well-balanced life, covering social, cultural, and physical needs. All NOJCC programming is open to non-members.

Programs like Mind Matters and ACE are incorporated in our Blueprint for Prosperity to promote equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and economically stable. Community indicators guiding this work include increasing the number of individuals who report good physical, behavioral, and mental health, and increasing the percentage of vulnerable populations receiving high quality care.

Listen to the LIVE UNITED Radio episode below for more on NOJCC’s programming and the upcoming STEM Northshore Fest on Saturday, October 27, from 9 a.m. – noon at O.W. Dillion Memorial Elementary School (1459 Service Rd, Kentwood, LA 70444).