Stan Greenspon, longtime member of the Charlotte business community, moved his mother, Etta, to Charlotte more than a decade ago so she could be closer to family.
Greenspon faced challenges while caring for his elderly mother. There were no Jewish senior homes in Charlotte and no care management agencies that fully understood the specific needs of Jewish clients.
In the past three years, other community members have been having similar elder-care questions and issues as evidenced by about 150 phone calls to the Jewish Family Services of Greater Charlotte (JFS).
Located in Shalom Park, JFS is an integrated social services agency that provides assistance to the greater Charlotte community, regardless of age, religious affiliation, or socio-economic background. JFS recognized it didn’t have enough staff and resources to address senior care management.
“So (JFS) turned to (Greenspon) who we knew understood these challenges and had a passion for helping seniors and their families, and we asked for his advice,” said Stephanie Starr, executive director.
In response, Greenspon created the Stanley P. Greenspon Charitable Fund, which is managed by the Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish Community. The fund awarded an $8,000 grant to JFS to help underwrite the new Family Connections Care Management Program, which is the only geriatric care management program in the Charlotte Jewish community.
Family Connections is also funded in part by a grant from the BJH Foundation for Senior Services and the Jerome Madans Fund, Starr said.
The program helps family members navigate their many choices to care for their older relatives, Starr said. Each client will be assigned a care management team.
Natalie Tunney, director of Senior Outreach Services, and Nicole Levine, clinical therapist, comprise that team. Levine, as a licensed clinical social worker, will conduct an in-home evaluation. From that evaluation, the care management team will create a personalized care plan that will include recommendations for referrals to appropriate community agencies or programs. The plan will also include the frequency of visits and types of recommended services. Ongoing monitoring and assessment will depend upon the needs of each client.
“One of the benefits of this program is the chance to educate and guide caregivers through what may feel like a confusing maze of senior adult resources,” Tunney said. “Our Family Connections program offers much needed emotional support to both the senior adult and their caregivers and family members.”
In addition to the $8,000 grant for the Family Connections program, the Stanley P. Greenspon Charitable Fund awards $15,000 annually for the JFS Senior Outreach Program, which provides Jewish programming to approximately 150 seniors in nursing, independent living, and assisted living facilities throughout greater Charlotte, as well as homebound seniors.
“I am humbled to have the opportunity to support a program that helps families care for their parents,” Greenspon said. “I hope that my contribution will inspire others to give. If people gave even a small percentage of their estate to Jewish Family Services, imagine the statement they would be making about the importance of honoring our previous generations, and providing for future generations.”
Marissa Brooks is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marissa? Email her at email@example.com.
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