Living Long, Living Well

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The most important priority for almost all seniors is to live independently.  A New Mexico program has just received a $500,000 grant to help make that goal a reality.

[Photo 1: Seniors at table]
JFS services are designed to enable seniors to continue to live independently

[Photo 2: Exterior view of apartments]
A NORC is a non-institutionalized setting where large segments of the senior population live.
Congresswoman Heather Wilson joined Albuquerque seniors to celebrate the holidays and announce a half million-dollar infusion in a New Mexico program designed to help seniors live independently. Wilson delivered the news that, through her work in Congress with other members of the delegation, Jewish Family Service (JFS) of New Mexico will receive $500,000 in federal funding recently approved by Congress.

"We appreciate Congresswoman Wilson's work to help seniors maintain their ability to live independently," said Erika Rimson, President of the JFS Board of Directors. JFS provides services to Jewish and non-Jewish New Mexico seniors. "Congresswoman Wilson's support of our efforts to secure the funding helps provide crucial in-home support programs, transportation, and other needed services.

Wilson says the funding is for a federal Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) demonstration project taking place throughout New Mexico. A NORC is a non-institutionalized setting, like an apartment building, neighborhood or community where large segments of the senior population live. JFS, through this federal pilot project, provides services through broad collaboration with experienced community-based health and social service providers, and state and local agencies. This partnership includes the City of Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Department of Senior Affairs, among others.

Wilson requested support for the organization's efforts in the 108th Congress and it was passed December 7, 2004, as part of the Omnibus legislation near the end of the session.

"Our seniors want to live as independently as possible, and these funds help organizations provide the services that help keep our parents and grandparents independent," Wilson said. "Quality of life is important as we enter the sunset of our lives, and I'm proud to support efforts like these to help New Mexico seniors. I wish Jewish Family Service, your staff, and those you serve, the best of luck as you expand this program."

Jewish Family Service of New Mexico ( provides services to seniors of all faiths living in the community. The services are designed to enable seniors to continue to live independently - the most important priority of nearly 90 percent of the senior population. Services include social work, personal care, transportation, home-delivered or congregate meals, health monitoring and preventive care, opportunities for socialization and volunteer service.

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