JERI Senior Outreach Visits
As people age, their traditions and social customs become vital for them to hold on to, but maintaining those customs can often be difficult. The mission of JCS’s Jewish Eldercare of Rhode Island (JERI) program is to provide a social and cultural connection for our Jewish seniors.
Companionship for Isolated Seniors
JERI staff and volunteers make regular visits to homebound seniors and those living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or in the hospital. Volunteers offer the gift of companionship, as well as a friendly check on their status and outlook.
The JERI program also provides cultural programs, religious services, spiritual support, holiday gift deliveries, and family assistance for seniors who may otherwise feel isolated from their communities.
“Jewish Eldercare of RI (JERI) may be one of the most creative responses to a crisis in nursing home care that any community anywhere has ever devised.”
—The Jewish Voice of Rhode Island
Providing Connection and Hope
JERI staff members visit Jewish residents in nursing homes throughout the state of Rhode Island, as well as those in other living situations. At any given time, JERI staff and volunteers may be conducting Shabbat services, Passover Seders, or one of a variety of programs in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. JERI also provides training for staff at senior living facilities to help them understand the traditions that mean so much to our Jewish seniors.
The focal point of the programs is not to dwell on what seniors have lost, but to enhance what they still have. JERI provides not only social and cultural connection but also spiritual support that can help seniors find hope and strength.
Psalm 71:9 best describes the philosophy of the JERI program: “Do not cast me aside when I am old; when my strength has come to an end (or wavers), do not desert me.”
For more information about the JERI outreach program, or to touch the lives of Jewish seniors by becoming a JERI volunteer, contact Susie Adler, Program Coordinator, at (401) 621-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become a JERI Volunteer
JERI volunteers provide companionship, encouragement, and support for seniors who are homebound or in senior housing. They make visits at least once a month, with support and oversight from JERI staff. In addition to visits, they may help with:
- Delivery of gifts during Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, and Purim.
- Weekly Shabbat services at senior living facilities.
JERI volunteers receive special training through CHAVER (Caring Helpers And Volunteers Empowering Residents). The two-hour CHAVER training program prepares volunteers to bring the most to—and get the most from—their visits. It covers both secular and Jewish issues, giving volunteers the knowledge to respond to seniors’ physical, mental, and spiritual needs.
Did You Know?
Chaver is the Hebrew word for “friend.”
Other Ways to Support Seniors
One way to support seniors in need of companionship is to let us know where they are. Although we engage staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities to identify Jewish residents, we appreciate when community members call if they know a Jewish senior who needs a friendly visit.
Your financial support can also help us make a difference in the lives of seniors in our community. A gift to Jewish Eldercare of RI will help fund JERI staff, programs and training to bring companionship and comfort to isolated seniors. Just select JERI from the program list on the donation form.