Resources for Clifton's Senior Citizens - Read and Save!
It’s a fact that today, people are living longer. According to the US Census Bureau, the nation’s median age increased by 0.2 years to 38.9 years between 2021 and 2022. Median age is the age at which half of the population is older and half of the population is younger. With this increasing age – and people living to age 100 increasingly common – comes a new set of issues. Seniors can need help navigating an increasingly technical world, oftentimes when they are not feeling well or have trouble seeing and hearing without assistance. Clifton’s seniors have a home away from home in the Senior Barn where they can go on weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (closed for holidays) for a variety of services, information, a hot meal, and friendship.
The City of Clifton Older Adult Services Aging and Disability Resource Connection is located at the Clifton Municipal Complex Senior Barn. When you first walk in, you’ll hear the chattering of friends and marvel at the size of the building and its high ceilings, vestiges of its days as part of a series of brick barns that were built in the late 19th century and used as a dairy farm. The US Government bought the property at the start of the 20th century and established the Animal Quarantine Station. Clifton residents of a certain age will remember all sorts of hoofed animals at the Station, including cows, sheep, horses, giraffes, and camels. In 1979, the Quarantine Station moved out and the City of Clifton, which had purchased the buildings and land in the mid-1960s for $670,000, moved in. The property now includes the Animal Shelter, Adult Opportunity Center, Recycling Center, Arts Center, and of course, the Senior Center.
Whatever our differences, what’s one thing we all have in common? We need to eat good nutritious meals, always more pleasant when we share table time with friends. Call the nutrition site at 973-265-1540 and reserve your spot for lunch. The suggested donation is $1.25 but it isn’t mandatory. Lunch offerings include juice, a hot meal or a sandwich, and a light dessert. With rising prices and reduced income, sometimes groceries are not always affordable. Passaic County offers a Meals on Wheels program, check the link for qualification requirements. Power of One also does food collection throughout the year and will help those in need.
Speaking of need, filling out forms – especially online – has its challenges. Whether it’s medical, such as for doctors’ offices, Anchor Benefits, Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled, assistance with hearing aids, with the exception of Medicare, help filling out those forms is available.
Other financial forms can be equally daunting, whether it’s the Property Tax Freeze Application, Cooling and Heating assistance, or Clifton Home Improvement Program (home repairs). The staff at the Senior Center helps out with cheery smiles, patience, and caring. Going there was “easy peasy,” said Joan recently, who was impressed at how quickly her issue was resolved.
Seniors who no longer drive can apply for reduced bus fare applications or call Senior Outreach at 973-470-2235 to arrange transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and rides to the Senior Center for lunch and activities.
Other services available at no cost include notary services and Medicare counseling, the latter only by appointment: 973-470-2234.
The Passaic County Sheriff Senior ID program takes place twice a year. You can get an identification card with your name, address, photo, medical information, and emergency contacts. This can be a lifesaver if something happens and you are unable to provide your name to first responders.
We hear so much about older veterans who aren’t aware of the benefits available to them but help and resources are available by calling the Passaic County Veterans’ Association at 973-569-4060. They also offer support groups in their Totowa office, located at 930 Riverview Drive, Suite 200. Their next meeting is Tuesday, July 11th from 10:00 AM to noon.
A comprehensive list of services for seniors is available on the Clifton website.
We can’t always stress about forms and taxes…so of course, there are fun events such as trips for seniors to fun locations like Broadway shows, historical landmarks, museums, and all-day trips. These trips do carry a fee for transportation and tickets. For information on these trips, call Phyllis at 973-779-2903.
Seniors are also able to enjoy free concerts, along with other Cliftonites of all ages at the Obser Free Summer Concert Series at Main Memorial Park on Sunday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30. Just bring a lawn chair or a blanket. A complete list of performers is here. The Clifton Recreation Department is committed to making sure that all programs are accessible to everyone. Handicap parking will be available at all concerts. In addition, there will be a shuttle available from the parking lot at School # 1 to and from the concert throughout the evening.