NJ Advocates for Aging Well
Susan Brooks, Communications Manager, NJAAW
“People tend to think that aging is something that happens later in life. In reality, we’re aging every day,” says Cathy Rowe, DrPH, Executive Director of JAG associate member NJ Advocates for Aging Well (NJAAW).
“Right now, more than 23% of New Jersey’s total population is over 60,” she adds. “The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2030, America will have more 65-and-older residents than children, and all Baby Boomers – and one-fifth of the total population – will have reached the traditional retirement age of 65.”
NJ Advocates for Aging Well – formerly NJ Foundation for Aging – is marking its 24th year as the only statewide nonprofit focused solely on providing leadership in public policy and education to enable older adults to live with independence and dignity in their communities.
The Trenton-based organization promotes and advances public policy that impacts the lives of older adults and presents educational forums for the public – such as its recent four-part/15-speakers housing series for older adults – as well as for aging services professionals. NJAAW also holds networking events and hosts an Annual Conference (June 13) offering development opportunities and best practices for professionals entrusted with caring for aging adults. Its website at njaaw.org provides a wealth of information, services and resources for older adults, their families and caregivers, and aging services professionals.
Additionally, in partnership with the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) NJAAW will be co-leading a multi-year policy advocacy effort focused on strengthening the state’s direct care workforce.
JAG members would know NJAAW best for its monthly half-hour talk show, Aging Insights. Produced in partnership with Piscataway Community TV (PCTV), the show is made possible by the generous support of the Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement, other funders and viewers.
“Aging Insights, provides information on a wide range of issues facing older adults and their families,” says Dr. Rowe.
Dr. Rowe, of Maplewood, has hosted the program since she joined NJAAW in the middle of 2021, and is following in the footsteps of her predecessors, Melissa Chalker and Grace Egan. NJAAW’s Communications Manager, Sue Brooks of Ewing, is the Executive Producer. Bringing the show to life are PCTV’s Station Manager George Fairfield (Director), Program Supervisor Doug Seidel (Audio/Edit) Program Supervisor Stephanie Gibbons (Camera) and volunteers Valerie Stephens (Camera) and Elio Selvaggio (Teleprompter).
“We thoroughly enjoy working with our PCTV colleagues and would like to recognize their patience, flexibility, creativity and professionalism,” Dr. Rowe says. PCTV is also assisting NJAAW with the launch a podcast featuring Aging Insight programming and the nonprofit’s many webinars.
“On Aging Insights, we have lively and thought-provoking discussions with guests and experts from New Jersey and across the nation, representing a vast variety of fields and organizations,” says Dr. Rowe. Noting that the show has spotlighted “everything from personal finances for older adults to the pandemic,” Dr. Rowe has covered such topics as:
- Assistive Technology in NJ — so much more than you imagined
- Aging Well with Your Doctors
- Prescriptions & Pills: How to be your best advocate
- PCTI: Person-Centered Trauma-Informed care
- Medicare Open Enrollment: Facts & Scams
- NJAAW Holiday Special — Gift Ideas for the Older Adults in Your Life
- New Year, New You! How physical therapy can help you reach your fitness goals
- Aging with Finesse: A conversation with Mary Flett, PhD
- Coming Back After COVID: NJ Arts and Culture Recovery Fund
Upcoming programs will focus on advanced care planning and driving safety for older adults. “We are very mindful of what our audience wants and needs to know, and will continue to educate and enrich their lives,” Dr. Rowe says.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to JAG stations for bringing Aging Insights directly to New Jerseyans who will benefit from our programming, and we appreciate being an associate member,” says Sue Brooks. “Thank you for your support for NJAAW and New Jersey’s growing aging population!”Previous episodes of Aging Insights can be viewed on NJAAW’s website at njaaw.org/aging-insights and its YouTube channel at youtube.com/njadvocatesforagingwell. The YouTube channel also contains NJAAW’s webinar recordings. For more information, contact Sue Brooks at 609-421-0206 or email email@example.com.