Lifelong learning also takes place where we live

Missy Fry, LCSW, with Schnitzer Properties residents

JFCS’ Counseling is bringing learning opportunities to a greater swath of our community. Clinicians Missy Fry, LCSW, and Douglass Ruth, LCSW, have established a regular relationship with Schnitzer Investment Corp. representing a collection of subsidized housing buildings in downtown Portland.

Self-care for older adults is the clinicians’ focus and their presentations are making a very positive impact, says Miley Stanton-Flowers, service coordinator supervisor.

“I have had several residents let me know how much they appreciate the kindness and wisdom that Missy and Doug bring to these classes” that are more like “friendly and compassionate conversations” and less like “lectures,” Miley says.

Missy and Doug carefully craft their presentations on topics very important to seniors’ wellness, including those that many people – of any age – shy away from. These include forgiveness, the process of grief, self-compassion, stress during holiday seasons and recognizing cognitive distortions.

Legal and Financial Planning presentation

Recently, more than 50 residents attended, “Legal and Financial Planning: What every older adult needs to know.” JFCS provided materials about elder law and end-of-life planning in four different languages.

“Getting to know the residents in these communities through our groups, presentations and classes has been the highlight of this work,” Missy says. “They are consistently engaged in the topics, eager to offer their own insights and wisdom and consistently lift each other up and share their overwhelming gratitude for living here,” she adds.

Counseling’s psychoeducational events at residences like Schnitzer Properties are made possible by the partnership, as well as in large part thanks to the Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) Center for Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma, and The Sephardic Foundation on Aging.