Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Teaneck, NJ United States of America
Teaneck has a vibrant senior center where more than 800 seniors a week receive a daily lunch or attend a recreation or fitness program. It also has two nursing homes, three assisted care residences and more than 200 units of subsidized senior housing. As the second largest community in Bergen County, the Township is home to a major medical center and numerous clinics and physician practices. Teaneck is also served by Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey, Bergen Family Center, Catholic Charities, and the Jewish Community Center on the Palisades. Those agencies offer a range of assistance to older adults, including daily meals, recreation programs and geriatric care management. Despite these advantages, Teaneck faces many challenges to its goal of enabling residents to age in place. There is a years-long waiting list for affordable housing, and more seniors seek to use county and local senior transportation vans than there are available seats. Township officials, business owners, civic leaders, and older adults themselves have endorsed and are participating in the Age-Friendly Teaneck initiative, which seeks solutions to those challenges and other obstacles faced by the community’s older adults, particularly frail, isolated, or disabled older adults. Age-Friendly Teaneck has five task forces examining housing options, transportation and pedestrian safety, business and banking, health and social engagement and communications and community resources. The task forces have sought and successfully formed alliances with both elected and appointed municipal officials and with key business, civic and resident leaders. Those alliances have led to a number of successful community events linking residents to needed services and education, including a health and resource fair attended by more than 100 residents, a training event teaching older adults how to make better use of transit systems and an educational breakfast for business leaders teaching them how to make their stores more accessible and how to avoid age-bias. These alliances will continue to grow, as Teaneck’s elected officials have recently pledged support to a number of key age-friendly policies, such as adopting a Complete Streets policy and cooperating with an ongoing age-friendly assessment of all community resources and services.