TOMS RIVER, N.J. - - Over 20, 95 to 102-year-old old residents living independently recently
attended a special luncheon hosted by Community Medical Center in honor
of Older Americans Month (OAM) in May. The invited guests receive services
from Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey (CVCJ), a nonprofit that enables
individuals to remain independent and to allow them to live with dignity and joy.
The annual OAM observance offers an opportunity to learn about, support
and recognize the nation’s older citizens. This year’s OSM
theme, “Age Out Loud,” emphasizes the ways older adults are
living their lives with boldness, confidence, and passion while serving
as an inspiration to people of all ages – demonstrating that age
is just a number.
During the festive event, guests and their caregivers enjoyed a video featuring
highlights of the decades, a delicious meal served by six volunteer Community
Medical Center staff members, and lively conversation about the past and
present. One guest, 95-year-old Edna of Toms River, recalled how she has
seen many changes in the world since she was born. “When I was a
small child, there was only one vaccine and it was to prevent Small Pox.
We all called it "The Vaccination.” Now, I know there are so
many more vaccines and ways to stop illness.” The day was also very
special to another guest, Rita, who was pleasantly surprised with a birthday
cake and celebratory happy birthday song for her 97th year.
“As part of our commitment to keeping people healthy and active through
every stage of life, we take
health care outside of the four walls,” said Patrick Ahearn, Chief
Operating Officer, Community Medical Center. “The individuals who
gathered for this luncheon are living testaments of what living healthy
can do. It was great to see so much excitement and enthusiasm for being
recognized for their longevity.”
At the luncheon, Lynette Whiteman, CVCJ’s Executive Director, acknowledged
the important role of the caregiver and volunteers who brought special
guests to the luncheon and spend countless hours taking them to doctor’s
appointments, shopping or just being good company.
According to the 2013 census, one of the fastest growing segments of the
60+ population in Ocean County is the 85 and over cohort. This group,
which numbered 14,914 in 2000, increased to 18,913 in 2011 and 20,050 in 2013.
Also in attendance was Jackie Rohan, Director, Ocean County Senior Services,
who noted how typically she’s invited to a nursing home when a resident
is going to celebrate their 100th birthday. But she had never been to an event where so many people were
approaching a century of living. “I really like being in a setting
where people are enjoying their life,” she said.
PHOTO: Cassandra Glowinski, RN, BSN, Director of Patient Care Services at Community
Medical Center spent time with Marie O'Connor at a luncheon held during
Older American’s Month at the hospital. Over 20 people, ages 95
to 102 who receive services from Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey,
attended the event held in their honor.