Judy Hinman joins the Charleston Jewish Family Services team as Senior Outreach Coordinator. Keep reading to learn more about her important work, which benefits our local older senior population.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY and spent the majority of my life in central New York to include Oswego, Albany and Binghamton. Prior to moving to South Carolina I was residing in Caldwell, New Jersey.
What brought you to Charleston? I relocated to South Carolina in 2000 to be the Executive Director of the Seabrook Retirement Community on Hilton Head Island. In 2007 my late husband and I moved to Charleston, not only because we always had a fondness for Charleston but also two of my adult children had relocated to Charleston.
How did you get started in working with senior care? I have had a long career working in the senior care field. In 1981, I was hired as the Human Resource Manager for Hilltop Retirement Center of the United Methodist Home for the Aging. It was there that gave me the appreciation for working with the elders of our society, and I knew then that this was to be my chosen career path. During my seven years there, I became licensed as a Nursing Home Administrator and over the course of time I was fortunate to serve as the Executive Director of several Continuing Care Retirement Communities to include Syracuse Home Association, in Syracuse NY, Cranes Mills in Caldwell, NJ, The Seabrook Retirement Community, HHI and St. George Village in Roswell, Georgia.
What are your main responsibilities with Charleston Jewish Families Services? As the Senior Outreach Coordinator for Charleston Jewish Family Services, my job is to assess the needs of our older Jewish seniors in our community. Once an older senior is identified with a need, my job is to reach out to the senior. Jewish Family Services created my position to address the growing need to provide services and support to our aging senior members of the community. Services range from a friendly visit with a senior who is lonely and isolated to a senior in need of an array of support services. All visits include an assessment on how best Jewish Family Services can be of support. My first priority was to visit and check in with our Holocaust survivors, and next to identify the most critical cases where I could provide assistance. I have also been assisting families of aging parents with accessing services and navigating the complicated system of Medicaid and Medicare. I have also supported both the seniors and the families through the challenging transition from living independently to moving into an assisted living or nursing homes.
What is something that we don’t know about seniors in our Jewish community? There is a huge need and demand for support systems for the growing number of aging Jewish seniors. While my position is addressing these needs, we are just scratching the surface and we will need to continue to grow in order to meet these needs. We also need volunteers to visit with elderly members of our community who do not have any family here and are isolated and lonely.
How many seniors have you worked with so far? Since I started working in May, I have 32 older seniors that I have been working with; some cases have been more complex than others.
Is there a moment you are most proud of? I have been very fortunate to have a very fulfilling career working with older adults. The times that are especially meaningful are when I am able to give hope to the seniors and their families by helping them make informed decisions which ensure them that their aging needs including their physical, mental and social well-being are going to be met.
What should we know about you outside of this work? What do you do for fun? While I have had a successful career, I believe my greatest accomplishment has been raising three children, and now I am embracing being a grandmother to four grandchildren. Besides cherishing time with my family, I am a sports enthusiast. I love cheering for the NY Giants and Yankees, and I am a big fan of the Syracuse University Basketball Team. I also enjoy playing tennis and running. My big achievement was completing the NYC Marathon three years ago! Additionally, I love the going to the movies and the theater. I am always sad when Spoleto ends.
What can I do to get involved? How can I help? Currently, I am looking for volunteers who would like to become a Friendly Visitor to older seniors who are lonely and would really welcome a visit.
If you are interested, I welcome you to contact me directly at 843-614-6497 for more information regarding the Friendly Visitor Program.