A coalition of Broward County's leading philanthropic organizations has launched the first-ever “Dignity in Aging” Funding Collaborative, awarding $706,807 to programs that target the problem of senior isolation.
Ten grants are going to community service organizations that deliver more senior activities, home visits, improved communications other efforts to reduce isolation and depression in Broward’s growing aging population.
“This is about Dignity in Aging for Broward’s seniors,” said Linda Carter, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Broward. “The grants will be used to improve the individual lives of hundreds of our seniors by focusing on social interaction and reduced isolation.”
The Community Foundation of Broward, Jewish Federation of Broward County and United Way of Broward County are leading the collaboration, formed to address issues identified in a groundbreaking 2018 study about aging in Broward. The study, entitled "The Silver Tsunami: Is Broward Ready?", was jointly commissioned and funded by the Community Foundation, the Jewish Federation and United Way.
“The groundbreaking study about our aging population states that in the next 20 years Broward will be home to a record number of elderly residents,” said Kathleen Cannon, president and CEO, United Way of Broward County. “These grants totaling $706,807 are the first of many steps needed to be taken to ensure our elderly population is aging with dignity.”
Bruce Yudewitz, chief operating officer of the Jewish Federation of Broward County, announced the 10 grants at this year's Aging in South Florida Symposium of the South Florida Institute on Aging. The 10 grants come one year after “The Silver Tsunami” study was first released at the 2018 Aging Symposium and sparked significant action to address the needs of Broward seniors.
"There are three immediate and tangible outcomes of the study," Yudewitz said. "First, service providers for Broward seniors are now working together to coordinate and help address waiting list issues. Second, the Coordinating Council of Broward has created the Dignity in Aging Task Force to address the issues noted in the study. And third, the collaborative funding announced today means another $700,000 in project funds to address the effects of social isolation on Broward seniors.”
The 10 Dignity in Aging Grants to combat senior isolation were awarded to:
- Memorial Foundation, Allies Program -- $100,000 to allow 100 new seniors to participate in activities and get one-on-one help with depression.
- Florida Health Networks, A Lifeline to the Community: Preventing Social Isolation -- $100,000 to help 100 seniors with depression management.
- Mt. Olive Development Corporation, Senior Connection -- $100,000 to provide 50 seniors with social engagement and in-home visits.
- Center for Hearing and Communication, Florida, Connect to Life through H.E.A.R. for Seniors -- $100,000 to address hearing needs of 150 new seniors to open up communication to alleviate isolation.
- Daniel Cantor Senior Center, Connected to Friends and Activities -- $80,422 to engage 50 new seniors at the Center to bring total participation to 350 in social activities.
- Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman Jewish Family Services, Active@Home program -- $75,140 to give 100 seniors in-home access to technology that connects them to family and interactive online activities.
- Easter Seals South Florida, Expanded and Enhanced Adult Day Care -- $61,225 to serve 80 older seniors in adult day care and provide respite for caregivers.
- South Florida Institute on Aging, Caregiver Assistance Program -- $50,000 to serve 125 new clients with support, referrals to resources and provide respite for caregivers.
- Slow Burn Theatre, Elder Arts -- $25,000 to provide musical performances at the Broward Center for 200 seniors ages 80+.
- Canine Assisted Therapies, Improving Lives of Isolated Seniors Utilizing Pet Therapy -- $15,000 to provide pet therapy for 100 isolated seniors.
"The Silver Tsunami" study addressed holes in the safety net for Broward seniors, affordability issues resulting from limited finances, and perception issues of the larger community toward seniors. It noted that Broward has Florida’s fastest growing population of people over 85.
Since the study was published in June, 2018, it has been used as a reference tool by Broward judges, elder law attorneys and other leaders. A coalition of nonprofit organizations are now collaborating on programs to address the issues. Multiple media outlets have also drawn on details of the study as part of in-depth reporting on the subject.
For more information about the Dignity in Aging grants, please contact Angelica Rosas, Grants Manager at the Community Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-761-9503.