SILVER SPRING, Md. (August 17, 2016)—The Family & Nursing Care Foundation, a fund of the Community Foundation for Montgomery County, issued a $10,000 grant to Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) today, Monday, August 1, to provide in-home care and private duty services to at-risk, aging Holocaust survivors in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland and in Washington, D.C.
The grant will be used to provide approximately 460 hours of in-home, hands-on care so that these survivors may age in place and with dignity. Services will be provided by Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Certified Medication Technicians (CMT), and will include help with bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming, mobility, medication monitoring and general companionship.
“For years, I have admired JSSA as an organization; this admiration only grew as I discovered more about their Holocaust Survivors Program,” said Sandy Kursban, founder of Family & Nursing Care, Inc. and the Family & Nursing Care Foundation. “Earlier this month, Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate, passed; I think this brought much-needed attention to the fact that these survivors are now in their 80s and beyond—and are struggling with how to spend the final chapter of their lives. Everyone deserves the opportunity to age in place according to their wishes, but especially this specific population, who has already been through so much. I feel compelled to ensure that they have the option to age where they want to, on their terms.”
JSSA has been serving area Holocaust survivors for over 25 years. There are currently 413 survivors who are a part of the program in Montgomery County. The average age of these survivors is 86 years old and 84 percent are living near or below the Federal Poverty level.
“There is a very acute need within this population,” said Todd Schenk, CEO of Jewish Social Service Agency. “Most of our Holocaust survivors, about 80 percent, have some limitation in performing daily activities. This grant will dramatically improve the quality of life for these survivors who have already endured so much.”
Selection and provision of in-home services for Holocaust survivors is based on eligibility through The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) and secondly through the Claims Conferences’ Functional Assessment tool. Those who are verified as Holocaust survivors are eligible to be assessed for homecare services. The Assessment examines areas of functionality and, from there, the appropriate services are determined.
The Family & Nursing Care Foundation provides substantial grants to organizations throughout the region to improve educational access for prospective caregivers and to ensure that low-income seniors have aging-in-place, in-home care options. Annually, the Foundation gifts almost $100,000 to non-profits throughout the community that support the Foundation’s missions.