Since March is National Social Work Month, I thought it would be a great opportunity to say a few words about the work I have been doing at BJ over the past several months. But first, a couple of words about what it means to be a social worker. Social workers are trained to help people and address personal and systemic barriers to optimal living. They are employed to effect positive change with individuals, families, groups, and entire communities (taken from www.socialworkers.org).
I was welcomed to the BJ team in the summer of 2020. As a DOROT social worker, I bring both my specific experience working with seniors and caregivers as well as the resources and know-how of an entire agency.
DOROT was established in 1976 on the Upper West Side and over the years, its name has become synonymous with excellence and innovation when it comes to the provision of services to seniors. Its dual mission of reducing social isolation and bringing the generations together for their mutual benefit is very much aligned with the goals of BJ and the Community Engagement Team.
Since my arrival, I have had the opportunity to speak with dozens of seniors, caregivers, and other members in need of support individually and in groups. I’ve been leading Bereavement Groups and Living Alone During COVID Groups (both are open to all members of BJ, regardless of age) in addition to “meeting” with individuals on the phone or Zoom. The reasons for contacting me are as varied as your community is, and range from mental health struggles, to financial issues, questions about benefits and entitlements, end-of-life planning, to questions about basic resources and activities for seniors.
I’m thrilled to be here at BJ and I very much look forward to meeting more of you in the coming weeks and months.
Wishing everyone a hag kasher v’sameah!
Jane Blumenstein, LMSW, can be reached via email or phone at (917) 441-3740.