Assistance and Support for Seniors in Life Transitions
The Montclair-based Mental Health Association of Essex County (MHAEC) is
launching “Life Transitions for Seniors,” a new program benefiting seniors and soon-to-be seniors with guidance and support as they navigate many of the challenges of their retirement years. The venture, which will begin this month, will be operated using MHAEC staff, is being funded by Partners for Health (a Montclair foundation), and will be available to Montclair residents over age 60 without charge and without income restrictions or limitations.
Marvin Gorsky, senior director of MHAEC, in announcing this program stated: “As seniors move from the work world into retirement, they are on one hand feeling liberated, yet on the other hand, facing new and significant challenges – often, for example, about financial realities, family tensions, housing options, medical care situations and transportation choices. Whatever the cause or the issue, this program is designed: to empower seniors, to offer them assistance and support; to lower personal anxiety, and to provide the information and resources sufficient to help them move toward resolution. It is our hope to be part of a broad support community which will enable seniors to age in a positive manner.”
The concept for the program evolved from conversations with Montclair individuals and organizations, including the Senior Citizens’ Advisory Committee (SCAC), who advocate for lifestyle improvements for seniors in the Montclair community. Gorsky added: “We expect to build upon our existing formal and informal alliances and partnerships with public agencies, other not-for-profits, the religious community, and private entities, in order to enhance the resource base available to seniors.
The day to day operations of Life Transitions will be coordinated by MHAEC counselor, Konstantin Kadomskiy, LSW, who will be the primary professional meeting with seniors, initially within the context of an existing program sponsored by the Montclair Public Library or the YMCA, followed up private confidential conversations, typically structured in a counseling situation. The initial session will cover basic information and a description of what the principle concerns of the senior are, with subsequent sessions designed to address specific needs in detail, to identify potential options, to even take trips together to resource centers, and to monitor progress.
In a discussion, Kadomskiy indicated that based on his experience, the primary concerns of seniors are: securing affordable housing; covering the cost of basics, such as utilities, heat and food; finding and paying for health care; being able to have access to transportation; and obtaining supportive counseling, especially during difficult times. He emphasized that although there were others, these would be expected to predominate. In each of these areas, he has familiarity and experience. He believes that while he cannot guarantee success, he is confident in being able to be help in each of these areas, especially with exploring options. “For this to work,” he states, “ the key is to have a relationship based on trust, because the information shared with me will be individualized and personal.”
Kadomskiy summarized his thoughts on this project by saying “Good mental health is crucial to seniors. Our goal is to see that seniors stay strong, stay afloat, learn to advocate successfully for themselves, and, when there is need, find a way to make it happen.”
Individuals interested in meeting Kadomskiy for preliminary discussions about the Life Transitions program are invited to come to the Montclair Public Library, 50 So. Fullerton Avenue, between noon and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 and at the Montclair YMCA, 25 Park Street, on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at a time to be determined.
You are urged to share this information with any acquaintance who you believe might be interested in participating. If you are interested yourself, have questions or want to schedule an appointment, please call the MHAEC office at 973-509-9777 Ext. 181.
End of press release.