The Rotary Club of the Caldwells has made a donation to Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest NJ (JVS) that will support home maintenance services and minor home modifications to individuals 60+ living in the Caldwells and Essex Fells.
The new Rotary Club program is based on the successful model developed by Caldwell LIVE (Lifelong Involvement for Vital Elders), a program to help older adults remain safely and independently in their own homes.
Caldwell LIVE was launched in 2008 with federal grant funding secured by United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ (UJC MetroWest). The program touched the lives of over 1,000 seniors in the Caldwell area before being transitioned to the community in January. Caldwell Rotary responded to local interest in continuing the much-needed home maintenance services with the donation to JVS.
Funding through the Caldwell Rotary will subsidize home safety modifications, such as the installation of grab bars and hand-held showers, that can help prevent falls in the home — a major safety risk for older adults. The service is available to individuals living in Caldwell, North Caldwell, West Caldwell, and Essex Fells. The initial home visit includes to a free safety assessment, the installation of a free grab bar, and up to three hours of home maintenance service. Residents will be asked to pay for additional materials.
Rachel Cohen, program manager of JVS At Home Services, observed that “many residents have been in the same home for several decades. While the people have changed physically over the years their homes have not been updated. We help older adults look at their homes with new eyes so that they can live in a safe, comfortable environment. And, for those just moving into the community, these services help them get off to the right start. We are grateful to Rotarian Bob Markman and the Rotary Club of the Caldwells for making this program accessible to the community.”
JVS, a partner agency of UJC MetroWest, holds a Home Improvement License through the State of New Jersey. Marty Moskowitz, JVS’s handyman, is an engineer by training and has over 30 years of experience in property management. Since coming to JVS, he has also received specialized training on how to work with older adults.
Caldwell residents who have used the service in the past have commented on how minor modifications have improved their quality of life and can make the difference between staying at home or moving to a residential facility. As one participant wrote in a thank you note, “We are very much safer because of the service you provide.”