Age Friendly Teaneck has developed a window decal for stores, banks and restaurants that want to show support for the cause of making the township’s business districts more accommodating for people of all ages. That goal starts with some common-sense design features, such as good lighting, accessible aisles and easy-to-reach shelves. But cosmetic changes alone aren’t enough. Businesses need to make sure all of their employees are treating older customers as a benefit rather than a burden. Some older people do require accommodations for declining vision, hearing and mobility. But it’s important not to treat every senior as if they are frail, impaired or difficult. It’s also worth noting that nearly 80 percent of the country’s net worth is held by people over 50, according to a study by the AARP. Translation: The older customer can also be the customer with the most to spend.
Age-Friendly Teaneck formed in 2016 with this mission in mind: A great place to grow up should be a great place to grow old. Our network of supporters includes some of Teaneck’s most-active government, business and civic leaders. The project is directed by Elizabeth Davis, a licensed clinical social worker who founded Geriatric Services, Inc., a non-profit with oversight over two of Teaneck’s affordable living options for seniors - Bright Side Manor assisted living residence and the Brookdale, a 64-unit affordable senior housing building. Project Coordinator Jacqueline Kates is a former mayor and township council member who recently retired as community relations coordinator at Holy Name Medical Center. A diverse group of township leaders and residents sit on our steering committee and five task forces, together working toward the common goal of better serving the needs of township residents of all ages.