Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Family Services’

Empowering Seniors

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Birchez Associates was proud to sponsor the 9th annual Circles for Caring Conference presented by Jewish Family Services of Ulster County. This year’s theme: Empowering Seniors. The event was filled with entertaining, informative and engaging sessions, including a welcome by Lawrence Force PhD, Director of Center on Aging and Policy, and Keynote speaker Maria Alverez, executive Director, Statewide Senior Action. Sharon Murray-Cohen, LMSW, Executive Director of JFS, Ulster, explained why the not for profit, non denominational agency chose this year’s theme of Empowering Seniors:

“The grey wave is a demographic group of younger seniors to much older seniors as baby boomers come of age and have longer life expectancy. If a person lives a good long life, a third of it will be as a senior. How then does society empower seniors, a diverse group with unique needs and wants? We need to stay strong in raising the profile of senior citizens though awareness and education. The goal of today’s conference is to Empower Seniors by placing the senior at the center of discussions and planning for their lives.”

On the Radio –

Monday, November 7th, 2011

This Thursday, November 10, 2011, at 8:35am*, My Kingston Community Radio (, 920 am also known as WGHQ) once again shares the mike with K.J. McIntyre, Director of Marketing for Birchez Associates, for Senior Spotlight of the Month. This month’s spotlight is on Jewish Family Services of Ulster County and will feature Sharon Murray-Cohen, LMSW. Sharon, who is the JFS Executive Director, will speak about the services offered to seniors and their caregivers.

One often mistaken notion is that you have to be Jewish to utilize Jewish Family Services. Far from it; somewhere around one in ten clients of JFS is Jewish. JFS, in addition to programs provided by staff and licensed social workers, also has a volunteer program to assist seniors. Whether it’s just a call of reassurance, or accompanying a senior to the doctor’s office or shopping, these activities done by volunteers can make a huge difference in a senior’s quality of life. On Thursday during the live broadcast, you can call in to ask Sharon questions at 845-331-9255.

Jewish Family Services has new quarters at 280 Wall Street in Kingston above the Board of Elections. Their phone is (845) 338-2980, email and their website is

*If you miss the half-hour broadcast you can hear it online. Just go to, click on program archives, and fast forward about 2/3rds through the recording.

Seniors and Alcohol

Monday, December 6th, 2010

12-6-2010 by K.J. McIntyre

I was giving a tour of The Birches at Chambers, our latest senior living community, to a professional who worked with seniors. As we looked at the community room and the adjacent patio with pergola creating a sweet seating area, my guest said, “What a perfect place to have afternoon cocktails.”

I paused for a moment and said, “You don’t mean for our residents do you?” She sited another senior residence where afternoon sherry is the norm. “Well,” I said, “that’s not something you’ll find here.”

Owners Steve and Judy Aaron are fierce about protecting their residents, and it shows in both the non-smoking campuses for their latest senior properties and that alcohol is discouraged for any function in the public areas. Their concern took on new significance when I heard Dave Lucas reporting on WAMC public radio regarding a new study of Baby Boomers and Alcoholism. As he reported it: “The Baby Boomers have become Senior Citizens – the generation that rocked and revolutionized the 1960s and 70s – then settled down in the 80s and 90s are now into THEIR sixties and early seventies – experiencing the change of going from a working life into retirement. Perhaps no coincidence, alcohol abuse is on the rise among their ranks.”

Lucas spoke with Crystal Dea Moore, an associate professor and the program director of the social work program at Skidmore College, who is conducting interviews of seniors in the Saratoga area. She has worked with Swedish researchers on quality of life issues as they relate to alcoholism. The forecast is startling: the number of adults over 50 with substance abuse problems will double from 2.5 million in 1999 to 5 million by 2020.

It’s easy to see the correlation;  changing metabolism, isolation and depression are too often common in the senior population, and all can increase the use and/or impact of alcohol. It’s another reason we encourage an active life style at our communities and feature a senior advocate and others that can keep an eye out for our residents and recommend resources as appropriate. And it’s a reminder for all of us to stay in touch with loved ones who may not have the support system in place that they once had. Locally, Jewish Family Services offers non denominational, home-based, one-on-one counseling for seniors suffering from depression, grief and other symptoms (costs can be covered under Medicare and Medicare Part B). For more information, their website is; they can be reached at 845-338-2980.

You can listen to the full interview (click here) on WAMC.

(K.J. McIntyre is Director of Marketing for Birchez Associates LLC. She can be reached at