Wellness & Self Care

 

As you age, the ways you take care of yourself and stay healthy can change. It isn't too late to start using the resources that can help you achieve and maintain wellness throughout your life.

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There are a number of ways for older New Jerseyans to take care of themselves and practice wellness.

  • Senior centers
  • Evidence-based wellness programs
  • Caregiver support
  • Support groups
  • Volunteering
  • Wellness information

Senior centers offer group meals and activities, hold community events, and promote socialization and education with a variety of programs. These communal activities limit the isolation that can be so harmful to one's mental health, with many programs, such as meditation classes, directly addressing matters of wellness and physical health. Senior centers also facilitate on-site social services, such as transportation and nutrition; a complete list of services and calendar of events can usually be found on the individual center's website. Senior centers are locally based and can be found across the State. To find the center nearest you, use ADRCNJ’s search tool and follow the instructions to refine your search by county.

The Division of Aging Services offers a number of evidence-based wellness programs that address a variety of issues, from chronic disease self-management to fall prevention. For a complete list of programs, additional details, and scheduling information, read pages 31-36 of the DoAS Program Guide or call 609-438-4797 or 609-438-4798.

The population of caregivers nationwide extends across demographic categories, but older adults make up a significant proportion of those providing care and an even greater proportion of care recipients. This population is at special risk of stress and overwork, but this does not need to be the case. An overview of programs for caregivers and information about caregiving can be found in the Caregiver Resources section of the ADRCNJ website. Here, you can find information for new caregivers, frequently asked questions about caregiving, and details of how to take advantage of the programs the State has to offer. 

Support groups can help individuals with common problems or in a similar life situations feel less alone by allowing them to share their experiences in a communal setting. Many of these programs can be found at local senior centers or medical facilities, the topics of which can span from medical and behavioral health issues to new life situations, such as the loss of a partner. A list of support groups in New Jersey can be found by using ADRCNJ’s services and providers search. {5}

Volunteering can be a good way to stay connected to your community and can contribute to an increased sense of wellbeing. The State Office of Volunteerism website is the best place to find an overview of available opportunities, including a list of statewide, regional, and county volunteer centers that support and facilitate volunteerism. Another list of volunteer centers and other volunteer coordination centers can be found by using ADRCNJ’s services and providers search. {6}

  • Volunteer programs specifically for older adults are also available. The AmeriCorp Seniors program offers a number of opportunities at varying levels of commitment, from just a few hours a week to a full-time position. For example, the Foster Grandparent Program connects older volunteers to young people, while the RSVP program pairs older Americans with the community organizations that could best use their skills and experience.
  • The Office of Community Resources, Education & Wellness within the Division of Aging Services also offers a number of specific volunteer opportunities. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), which provides free help to New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with or questions about their health insurance, is staffed partially by volunteer counsellors. For more information on how to volunteer, call 609-438-4795. To join the Senior Medicare Patrol of New Jersey and help prevent Medicare and Medicaid fraud, abuse, and waste, call 732-777-1940, ext. 1117.
  • Finally, the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, which advocates for people living in long-term care facilities by investigating and resolving complaints made by them or by others on their behalf, uses its Volunteer Advocate Program as a first step in investigating residents’ problems. To learn more about the program, call 609-826-5053 or email volunteer@ltco.nj.gov.

The New Jersey Division on Aging Services has compiled information on certain wellness issues for the purpose of furthering public understanding of these issues’ character and treatment. For more information on these issues, follow the links below: