New ‘Dignity In Aging’ Grants Help Broward Seniors Overcome Isolation During Pandemic

July 8, 2020
Thanks to support from a Dignity In Aging grant, Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County’s Active@Home program helps seniors use their TVs and the internet to connect with loved ones and participate in online group activities.

Staying home to avoid the coronavirus threatened to leave Holocaust survivor Susanna Moore, 81, feeling isolated and depressed.

Instead, Susanna is among 100 seniors getting technology help to stay connected with their community. With new, easy-to-use internet access, they can now video chat with loved ones and participate in exercise programs, trivia games and other activities – all live-streamed on their TVs.

The Active@Home program of Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County is just one example of how new “Dignity In Aging” grants help Broward’s seniors overcome isolation during a pandemic – thanks to the power of local philanthropy.

The Community Foundation of Broward is proud to be a part of the groundbreaking Dignity In Aging collaboration, which also includes the Jewish Federation of Broward County, United Way of Broward County and The Frederick A. Deluca Foundation.

This summer, support totaling $606,728 from this innovative partnership has fueled nine grants to provide seniors home visits, help to combat depression, access to arts programs, transportation and much, much more.  

“Stay at home orders and the fear of getting sick during this crisis threaten to worsen the isolation and depression that many Broward seniors already face,” said Sheri Brown, Vice President of Community Impact for the Community Foundation of Broward. “The new Dignity In Aging grants will be used to improve the individual lives of hundreds of our seniors by creatively helping them stay active, healthy and connected to their community.”

This collaboration of leading philanthropic organizations has come together to help build a greater safety net of services for seniors in Broward, which has Florida's fastest growing population of people over 85.

In 2018, support from the collaboration helped produce a landmark study entitled, “The Silver Tsunami: Is Broward Ready?”  The study identified challenges such as high medical costs, limited housing options, unaffordable home care, the detrimental effects of senior isolation and long waiting lists for help.

A year ago, the collaboration provided its first wave of grants, totaling $706,807, to programs that target the problem of senior isolation.

Now, the challenges for Broward’s vulnerable seniors have grown even more daunting during this unprecedented health and economic crisis.

The Community Foundation has identified Dignity In Aging as one of Broward’s Issues That Matter – 10 challenges that affect us all and are vital to Broward’s future.

Thanks to local philanthropists who create charitable Funds at the Community Foundation, we are able to tackle Broward’s Issues That Matter, during this crisis and beyond.

The collaboration’s nine Dignity in Aging grants to combat senior isolation were awarded to:

  • Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County, Active@Home – $91,280 to give 100 seniors in-home access to technology that connects them to family and interactive online activities.
  • Memorial Foundation, Allies Program – $90,000 to engage 500 seniors in weekly social activities, of which 100 will receive home visits and depression management.
  • Mt. Olive Development Corporation, Senior Connection – $100,000 to provide 50 seniors and 25 caregivers social engagement activities three times per week, plus in-home visits.
  • Easterseals of South Florida, Expanded and Enhanced Adult Day Care – $91,672 to serve seniors with memory and cognitive impairment on Saturday's during Adult Day Care and provide respite for caregivers.
  • South Florida Institute on Aging, SoFIACARE Caregiver Assistance Program – $85,000 to serve 130 new clients with support, referrals to resources and provide respite for caregivers.
  • Daniel Cantor Senior Center, Connected to Friends and Activities – $78,776 to engage 155 seniors, including 35 new participants, in daily social activities and informal case management.
  • Slow Burn Theatre, Elder Arts – $25,000 to provide musical performances for 200 seniors age 80+ and interactive/virtual experiences.
  • Museum of Discovery and Science, Movies, Music & More @MODS – $20,000 to provide 40 seniors with transportation to monthly interactive experiences and lunch at MODS.
  • Canine Assisted Therapy, Pet Therapy for Seniors – $25,000 to provide pet-therapy for 30,000 isolated seniors living at assisted living facilities or participating in center-based day programs.

The Community Foundation’s contribution to the collaboration’s new Dignity In Aging grants was made possible by the support from the following charitable Funds:

  • Susan E. Sachs Field of Interest Fund
  • Discretionary Community Fund
  • Ruth H. Brown Fund for the Arts
  • Alvin and Gloria Ross Community Care Fund
  • Jack and Ginger Weinbaum Fund
  • Jonathan Dominguez Fund
  • Jan Moran Unrestricted Fund
  • Oakland Park Woman's Club
  • Leonard and Antje Farber Endowment Fund
  • Community Concerts Association of Fort Lauderdale Performing Arts Fund
  • James and Lynn LaBate Family Fund
  • David and Francie Horvitz Family Fund
  • Alvin and Gloria Ross Community Care Fund
  • Lucille Harris Mann Fund
  • Ron Castell Memorial Fund
  • Deinhardt Charitable Fund
  • Drial Foundation Fund
  • Kresge Unrestricted Fund
  • The Wil and Susan Greaton Fund
  • Mary N. Porter Community Impact Fund
  • Frank P. and Blanche S. Buck Fund
  • Patty and Kurt Zimmerman Charitable Fund
  • Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund
  • Community Impact Fund
Contact Information

To learn how you can support Dignity In Aging through a charitable Fund at the Community Foundation, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at nthies@cfbroward.org or 954-761-9503.

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