Community Walking Programs
Karen Alexander, director of eldercare services at United Jewish Communities (UJC) MetroWest NJ, was an active participant and supporter of the recent Caldwell senior mobility workshop. UJC MetroWest is committed to helping its senior population and is successfully doing so in Parsippany and now Caldwell by implementing Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) in these locales. This federally supported effort seeks to connect seniors to community-based services, so they can remain in their homes as long as safely possible.
One element of the Parsippany NORC initiative involves free walking clubs, designed to motivate senior participants to exercise, as well as provide them with the opportunity to socialize and build relationships with their fellow walkers. There are two Parsippany walking groups: one club is for residents of a local senior housing residence, where participants opt to walk indoors. The second group meets at the local Police Athletic League grounds and typically walks in an adjacent field. Attendance is tracked and Alexander reported there has been consistent and positive participation in both walking clubs.
Alexander explained that seniors interested in walking in their communities are often hesitant due