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Foundation’s 2016 Honoree Event

The New Jersey Foundation for Aging (NJFA) will host its 2016 Honoree Luncheon Event on Sunday, Nov 13th at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank. This annual event is an opportunity to recognize the work of others that enable NJFA to advance its mission-aligned activities. NJFA focuses on policy to address senior and caregiver issues; public education to improve access to services; and professional education to support high standards of care. Aging Insights is a 30-minute monthly TV program broadcast across NJ. NJFA began producing the program in 2011 and now has released more than 60 programs which are also on NJFA’s website, www.njfoundationforaging.org and on YouTube.

This year’s distinguished honorees include:

Diane Riley, Anti-Hunger Advocate and Aging Insights Guest.  

For over a decade, Diane has been a leading voice for the hungry and poor in New Jersey. Joining the Community Food Bank in 2011, Diane led a coalition of stakeholders to raise awareness about hunger, engage in public dialogue, and influence policies that address underlying causes as well as solutions. As a member of numerous organizations and at every opportunity when Diane addresses hunger issues she always calls attention to the plight of seniors who face economic challenges daily.

Eileen Doremus, Advocate for Seniors and Caregivers and Aging Insights Guest

Eileen Doremus has served as a former NJFA Trustee and in her current role as the Executive Director of the Mercer County Office on Aging and throughout her career has championed the issues of aging and caregiver services especially when looking at the needs of fami¬?lies coping with Alzheimer‚Äôs and Dementia. She is a dedicated advocate and an expert on caregiving and creativity.

Piscataway Community TV Station, Technical Director and Aging Insights Partner

Piscataway Township became one of the first towns in NJ to have its own TV station. Over thirty years later, Piscataway Community TV (PCTV) is still producing local programming, sports coverage and providing local in¬?formation to the residents of the communities it serves. NJFA partnered with PCTV to initiate the monthly series Aging Insights. PCTV‚Äôs knowledgeable staff and dedicated volunteers produce a stellar program with NJFA staff each month.

The event will feature Jazz pianist Tara Buzach, a Silent Auction and a 50/50 raffle.

For tickets and sponsorships please contact NJFA’s office at 609-421-0206 or visit www.njfoundationforaging.org.


Don’t hide your caregiving issues under a rock. A lot of caregivers downplay their roles. “Oh, me, I’m not a caregiver, I just take my mom to doctor appointments”. “I help my Aunt go grocery shopping and with housework, I wouldn’t say I’m a caregiver”. But these tasks are part of caregiving. Sure, some caregivers are providing hands on care or handling medical needs of family members, but anytime we take time from our daily lives to help out- that’s caregiving. So, don’t hide it under a rock- be proud of your role as a caregiver.

Don’t hide your concerns about the care of a loved one under a rock either. Or your need for help with their care for that matter. There is help. You can start by reaching out to your County Office on Aging to learn about available programs and services to help you or your loved one. You can find their contact information on our website- http://www.njfoundationforaging.org/services/

You could also contact your local Senior Center to find out what kind of programming they. This could help get your loved one out of the house and give you some respite. Senior Centers are much more than bingo these days! They have classes on everything from computers, to languages, art, exercise and more. Depending on what your town offers, it could be a great way to get involved and stay active. The best way to find your senior center is to call your municipality.

We also feature great, informative content online for both seniors and caregivers. There is our online magazine, Renaissance; our TV program Aging Insights; and this blog!

So, stop hiding under that rock and reach out for information and help! And show us that #agingrocks

Aging Rocks!

For our magazine, Renaissance, we feature a senior profile in each issue. The senior profile is a way to highlight positive aging and showcase seniors who are an inspiration to their community. Recently, we wrote a blog about a local community art project that has inspired one NJ town to share kindness through artwork- http://blog.njfoundationforaging.org/?p=622  #HamiltonRocks has included and encouraged those of all ages to paint, hid and hunt rock art.

Another example of art knowing no age limit is the NJ Senior Art show, which helps older adults with artistic talents to showcase those talents. Because of the art show, seniors are able to share their art with the community and their peers.

All of this has got us thinking. How can you show us that #agingrocks? Is it through art? Community involvement? Sports? Letting your hair go gray like Jon Bon Jovi?

We’d like you to tell us how #agingrocks. Share your thoughts with us here on the blog or send us an email at office@njfoundationforaging.org We would love to share your stories with our readers. We welcome photos too! Or share your own message on social media with the hashtag (#) #agingrocks

Look for more rock related posts coming soon, it will be full of rock puns (all intended!!)


Rock Art Inspires NJ Town

Example of a rock hidden, just waiting to be found

Never underestimate the power of community. Lora Durr did not expect that one little art project could grow into a community phenomenon and social media craze. Ms. Durr is an art teacher at Hamilton Township’s Crockett Middle School and she is always striving to bring her students fun, thoughtful lessons which also inspire the whole school and now the whole Township. That’s what led to the creation of #HamiltonRocks, which Ms. Durr describes as “Social Practice Artmaking”, meaning that an artist puts their work out in the world and it becomes art when society interacts with it”.

Some examples of the super talented artists participating.

Ms. Durr was inspired to create this project by a fellow educator from Jefferson City, Missouri (#JCRocks) that she met over the summer at a National Art Education Association conference.  She has also received guidance and inspiration from another project in Tennessee, #901rocks. The project, #HamiltonRocks! is simple, you find rocks (from a public, safe place) paint them, write #HamiltonRocks on the back and hide them in plain sight throughout Hamilton Township. When people find the rocks they can keep the rock if they love it, leave it where it is for someone else to find, or re-hide them in a new location.  And of course, all are encouraged to be inspired to paint and hide their own rocks! There is a Facebook group and Instagram account where people can share their creations and finds. Ms. Durr adds, “Social Media has been key to getting the word out”, however she also notes that it is not required to participate. People can still paint rocks, hide rocks and find rocks and spread the project by word of mouth.

The mission behind #HamiltonRocks and other community-based art projects is to spread creativity and kindness throughout the town.  What Ms. Durr did not expect was that this project would grow so quickly and spawn a real sense of community. “I didn’t think people would have time for it” Ms. Durr commented when asked about the quick growth of the project. Yet, it seems many have found time for it. It’s even sparked community activities. Some families have begun to make an effort to clean up local parks after discovering a lot of litter on their rock hunts. Now many are bringing bags to collect litter and encouraging others to do so as well. And this project is really for all ages. Families are having rock painting nights, where kids and adults alike are participating. Adults without kids have been inspired to paint and hid rocks too! hamilton-rocks-1hamilton-rocks-2

At the request of Ms. Durr, the NJ Foundation for Aging, also connected the project to a local Senior Center. Kathleen Fitzgerald at the Hamilton Township Senior Center invited #HamiltonRocks participants to come and hide rocks at the senior center before their annual senior picnic. Ms. Fitzgerald was amazed with the response and the seniors were so surprised to find many beautifully painted rocks when they arrived for the picnic. Ms. Fitzgerald reports that there were more than 500 seniors at the picnic, when asked about their reaction, she stated “What a hit it was with the seniors when they spotted them in the flowerbeds! They were all talking about how cute they were and what a great idea this art teacher came up with to get our community all involved.”

The interaction with the Senior Center was such a success that Ms. Durr is joining them on Oct. 13th for a Pizza and Paint night. They are inviting Seniors and their families/friends to come for pizza and Ms. Durr will provide some information on the project and tips for rock painting. Kathleen expects around 100 people to attend.

Many people are amazed with how this project grew and the way it is bringing joy to so many in the community. Other towns are hearing about this and creating their own rocks projects. If you like the sounds of it, find out if it’s happening in your area, Facebook is a great place to start, but you might also consider paying extra attention to your surroundings in case there is art hiding in plain sight! hamilton-rocks-6