By Lisa Thomson
(Calgary) – JFSC (Jewish Family Service Calgary) is the proud recipient of the 2021 Alberta Minister’s Senior Service Award in the NonProfit Category for ‘Outstanding Commitment to Alberta Seniors.’ The official virtual Awards Ceremony took place October 21, 2021.
“This Award recognizes Albertans who have exemplified leadership and compassion in serving seniors and their communities,” stated Josephine Pon, Alberta Minister of Seniors and Housing. “Thank you for Jewish Family Service Calgary’s exceptional dedication and outstanding commitment to improving the lives of seniors in Alberta.”
“Seniors are our history, our wisdom and our experience,” remarked Roxanne Droppo, JFSC Executive Director. “We are committed to providing superior programs and services to reduce isolation and enhance the quality of life for seniors. We are so honoured to be chosen for this award.”
The Minister’s Senior Service Award recognizes JFSC’s innovative and impactful work. Programs and services focus on basic needs supports, older adult supports, memory care, caregiver support, seniors’ mental health and addictions and post war survivor services (Claims Conference). Creative programs like Safta’s Kitchen, the Friendly Visitor Program and relationships with other community outreach programs strive to engage seniors and connect them to their communities.
JFSC is recognized for being a leader in its field through its commitment to partnerships and collaborations with other organizations and being an active member in a growing network developed to share expertise, resources and referrals, providing specialized supports to seniors in Calgary.
Servicing seniors since its inception in the 1960s, JFSC worked to centralize Jewish nursing home residents into the Chinook Nursing Home in order to bring them comfort in being together and to have enough residents in one location to offer access to important aspects of Jewish life including a kosher kitchen.
This important work continues today. With the aging of the baby boomers, Alberta’s senior demographic is growing. Economic uncertainty and dramatic increases in the cost of living is causing larger numbers of seniors to be financially vulnerable. The number of people with memory issues is growing, many seniors want to remain in their homes as long as they can and require enhanced assistance. As a result, there will be a growing number of family and lay caregivers needing support to make that happen.
“Over the past 20 months of the pandemic, we quickly pivoted to address emerging needs, and launched five new programs specifically aimed at seniors,” said Droppo. ”We anticipate a growing demand for programs and services directed at seniors, and as a smaller, dynamic agency, we are well positioned to meet these evolving needs.”
In 2022, JFSC is celebrating their 60th Anniversary, and is grateful for the foresight and support of the Calgary Jewish Community over the decades. The Agency would like to thank their clients, funders, donors, staff, volunteers and collaborative partners for making this Award possible. Read more about the Awards alberta.ca/ministers-seniors-service-awards.aspx.