Jerrie D. Robinson asks a question at the seminar.
KATE ALBRIGHT/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

By Wilma Hurwitz
for Montclair Local

Over 40 Montclair seniors seeking a better quality of life on a fixed income attended “Living Your Best Life: Benefits that Support Your Lifestyle.”

The seminar, held Jan. 24, was hosted by the Montclair-based nonprofit that advocates for the needs of Montclair seniors, Aging in Montclair (AIM).

The group offers support groups, holds social events and conducts outreach in the community.

In its second year, the seminar featured presentations on health care insurance, nutrition resources, transportation services, tax relief, township senior services and initiatives for senior discounts offered by the Montclair Center Business Improvement District.

Jerrie Robinson said the seminar offered useful information for seniors like her.

“There are a lot of programs we don’t know about.The more we know, the more power we will have,” Robinson  said.

Fred Halper listens to information shared on tax rebates.

GETTING AROUND

Transportation is a major issue for many seniors who either no longer own a car or do not feel comfortable driving.

The Seniors in Taxis was discontinued this year. Montclair’s EZ Ride  offers a free door-to-door, reservation-based, shared ride service for Montclair residents over 55, and residents with disabilities. Attendees were told about Essex County Special Transportation System, which provides transportation to medical appointments for those over 60 or for handicapped residents.

Scheduling information for both programs is below.

Diane Israel, director of the Montclair Center Business Improvement District, said that her organization was investigating a shuttle.

Resident Elisabetta Lauda was happy to hear about the county transportation resource.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Representatives from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program told the audience that SHIP is able to help seniors decide on Medicare programs. A SHIP resource person visits the library every Wednesday, said Director Siobhan Flynn Higgins.

Already popular with many seniors is the Montclair Institute for Lifelong Learning (MILL), which  provides in-depth, high-level learning for seniors aged 55+ at different locations throughout town.

Programs such as knitting, lectures, yoga and more are held at Edgemont Field House, said Katie York, director of Senior Services/Lifelong Montclair.

Health screenings are offered through the Montclair Health Department.

SAFETY

York also discussed the Operation Blue Angel Program, which gives police, fire and EMS access to a home in the event of an emergency when the resident is unable to open the door.  Eligible residents are provided with a free lock box to store a house key near the entrance to their residence. The access code to the lock box is available only to first responders  — Montclair Police Department, Montclair Fire Department and Montclair Ambulance Unit.

Certified caregiver consultant Penny Patnaude said the lockbox program saved her neighbor’s life.

ORGANIZATIONS AND GROUPS AT AIM SEMINAR

  • Montclair EZ Ride: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Call 201-939-4242 ext. 1 for reservations.
  • SHIP: Wednesdays, 1-2 p.m., at the Montclair Public Library, 50 South Fullerton Ave. Schedule appointments at 973-744-0500, ext. 2235, or reference@montclair.bccls.org.
  • Chrill Care: nutrition resource. Chrill.org or 973-744-8103
  • Essex County’s Special Transportation System: Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Scheduling must be done no earlier than 14 days prior and no Later than 2 days prior to the appointment date.
  • For reservations and details, call 973-618-1280, or visit tinyurl.com/y8la463d.
  • Montclair Institute for Lifelong Learning: tinyurl.com/y84gofhd
  • Operation Blue Angel: tinyurl.com/ybcrq7kq
  • Planning in Partnership: A resource for residents 55 and over to discuss issues of concern for seniors. Information at 201-463-4594 or snikpour@jfsmetrowest.org
  • EZ Ride: www.lifelongmontclair.org or 201-939-4242 ext. 1.

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