DIVISION ON AGING
Division on Aging
The Union County Division on Aging is one of the State’s 21 designated Area Agency on Aging, tasked with connecting State, County and local government communities and residents through advocacy and innovation. It is the recognized lead agency for ADRC (Aging & Disability Resource Connection), the statewide system that coordinates access to services, care management and support services for older adults and the disabled. The office is responsible for leading the charge in providing information, referral and assistance to older adults, their caregivers, provider agencies and the general public who are in need of services and supports in Union County.
The Mission of the Union County Division on Aging is to provide and assist in the provision of services to older adults and caregivers of older adults in Union County, in order to improve the quality of their lives, such as:
- Promoting awareness of services available
- Addressing the changing needs and concerns as the population becomes more diverse
- Maximizing the use of resources in order to serve the older adults of Union County with equity
- Planning for future demographic changes as the older adult population grows at an unprecedented rate
The Division on Aging is available to answer your questions and provide the support and guidance you may need. Some of the information that is provided and/or discussed includes, but is not limited to:
- Housing information
- Home care/chore services
- Legal services referrals
- Questions pertaining to benefits
- Providing applications for certain community-based programs
- Referrals and coordination of support services
- Transportation assistance
- Caregiver information and support
- Nutrition support
- Social and recreational programs
Union County’s “ASK” program will visit four locations in September, including bilingual assistance in Spanish
Union County seniors and their caregivers can come to any one of four Union County Aging Services Kiosk events this September and meet in person with professional staff for expert guidance on senior programs and resources, including help with filling out applications and forms. Bilingual staff will be available to assist residents in Spanish during the event on September 21.
“The ASK program is a friendly, convenient way to find out about helpful programs and services, and our bilingual staff will help ensure that we can reach everyone who is seeking assistance,” said Union County Commissioner Chair Rebecca L. Williams.
ASK is a program of the Union County Department of Human Services through the Division on Aging and Disability Resources, serving seniors age 60-plus and their caregivers.
Staff at the ASK events can help seniors and care givers connect with a variety of services including home delivered meals, respite care, home care, adult day care and support services for caregivers.
Any Union County senior or care giver can visit any ASK event, regardless of their hometown.
No appointment or pre-registration is needed.
Thursday, December 1
Union Public Library
1060 Stuyvesant Avenue
10:00 am – Noon
Monday, December 5
Westfield Memorial Public Library
550 E. Broad Street
10:00 am – Noon
Monday, December 12
Clark Public Library
303 Westfield Avenue
10:00 am – Noon
Wednesday, December 14
Elizabeth Public Library
11 South Broad Street, Elizabeth, 07202
Noon – 2:00 pm
The Union County Nutrition Program, offering both Congregate lunches or Home Delivered Meals, is made possible by a grant from the United States Government under the Older Americans Act. The Division on Aging contracts with the local Meals on Wheels provider who prepares and delivers all of the nutritionally balanced meals.
Income Guidelines and Resources
There are no income guidelines to participate; however, each participant will have the opportunity to make a confidential suggested voluntary donation of $1.75 per meal. No one is ever denied a meal based on their inability to pay. Donations are used to offset the cost of the meals and to expand the program.
Congregate Lunch Program
The central objective of the Congregate Lunch Program is to maximize independence and dignity of seniors. The program has four goals:
- Health maintenance through improved nutrition
- Fostering social interaction
- Providing access to other supportive services
- Satisfying emotional needs, especially for those who eat alone
Any person who is 60 years of age or older or anyone married to a person 60 years of age or older is cordially invited to participate in the program. A reservation should be made two days in advance at one of the sites. There are over 20 nutrition sites located throughout Union County that also include two kosher sites.
November 2022 Menu – Click here
Home Delivered Meals Program
The home delivered meals program serves home delivered meals to Union County residents who, because of illness or physical disability, are unable to prepare their own meals or cannot shop for food. The program aids individuals in maintaining their independence and dignity and allowing older adults to remain in the community. Eligibility Requirements:
- Participants 60 years of age or older who are unable to prepare a nutritious meal
- Homebound disabled individuals
- Individuals recovering from recent hospitalization or illness
- A home assessment is necessary to determine eligibility
Call Meals on Wheels at 908-486-5100 to schedule your home delivered meal!
SHIP Medicare Counseling
There are several transportation options available in Union County, depending on your needs. To discuss any of the programs below, please give us a call.
Union County Paratransit System
The Union County Paratransit System is available to Union County seniors. It is a curb-to-curb service specializing in transportation for senior citizens aged 60+, people with disabilities and/or economically disadvantaged residents. There is a fare of $3.00 per one-way trip and fare exemptions may be applied for on request.
Out of county trips are provided Monday and Wednesday only and also provides services with a five (5) mile radius of Union County borders. Veterans’ transportation is available every Tuesday & Thursday to Lyons and every Monday & Wednesday to the VA Hospital in East Orange.
Reservations can be made Monday—Friday from 8:00 to 4:00 by calling the scheduling office at 908-241-8300. Be advised that masks are a personal preference.
New Jersey Transit Access Link
New Jersey Transit’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit program, known as Access Link, was established to provide public transportation to people with disabilities who are unable to use the local bus service.
To apply for Access Link, individuals can call NJ Transit at 800-955-2321 and speak to a certification specialist who will schedule an appointment for an in-person assessment.
The ezride Ryde4Life Program is a non-profit public-private partnership that strives to improve the quality of life for people in New Jersey by providing transportation services for commuters, older adults, and people with reduced mobility.
The program strives to build a culture of health by subsidizing the cost of transportation for medical visits and grocery store trips for eligible residents who are 18 years of older. Rides are provided Monday—Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in partnership with Transportation Network Companies like Lyft and Uber.
There is a non-refundable Membership Fee of $15.00 per year and a $1.00 administrative fee per ride. Rides are provided in real time with no advance reservations needed.
For more information call 866- 208-1307, Option 4 or online.
ModivCare (formerly LogistiCare)
ModivCare provides non-emergency medical transportation to NJ FamilyCare recipients living anywhere in the state. Passengers should call to request rides two days prior to their appointments and provide the following information:
- Your NJ FamilyCare ID number
- Your pick-up address and zip code
- Name, phone number and address of medical provider
- Appointment time and date
- Special transportation needs
To make an appointment for a ride: 866-527-9933
NJTIP @ Rutgers
The New Jersey Travel Independence Program (NJTIP) teaches individuals with disabilities and older adults how to use public transportation safely and independently. NJTIP customers learn how to read bus and train schedules, plan their trips, pay their fares and take safety precautions. The only cost to customers during training is paying their own fares. Each graduate receives a free one-month bus pass. Training is offered in English and Spanish through one-on-one instructions, and in-school instruction.
For more information, call 848-932-4499 or click the button below.
In addition to the above referenced transportation programs the following towns have busses to serve their senior population. Call your town for additional information on this service.
- Berkeley Heights 732 558 3912
- Clark 732 388 3600
- Cranford 908 709 7283
- Elizabeth 908 820 4044
- Garwood 908 789 0710
- Hillside 908 355 6475
- Linden 908 474 8600
- Mountainside 908 232 2400
- New Providence 908 665 0046
- Plainfield 908 753 3506
- Rahway 732 499 7930/7940
- Roselle 908 245 5600
- Roselle Park 908 245 0666
- Scotch Plains 908 322 6700
- Springfield 973 912 2227
- Summit 908 277 9419
- Union 908 686 7887
- Westfield 908 301 1287
- Winfield Park 908 925 3850
Caregiving is the act of providing unpaid assistance and support to family members or friends who have physical, psychological, or developmental needs. Caregiving can range from hands-on care with bathing and grooming, daily visits to check on the person’s well-being, to shopping for groceries or supplies.
The Division on Aging offers two State-funded caregiver-specific programs to provide relief and assistance to unpaid caregivers: Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving (JACC) and the Statewide Respite Care Program.
- Statewide Respite Care Program Brochure
- Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving (JACC) Program Brochure
For more information about these programs or to apply, please call the Division’s toll-free number: 1-888-280-8226, or 908-527- 4870 or 4858.
The Division on Aging is available to attend meetings and events to conduct presentations on the various services and programs available in the community. Some of the topics discussed include, but are not limited to:
- Adult Protective Services referrals
- Pharmaceutical Assistance (PAAD)
- Senior Gold Pharmaceutical Assistance
- Gas & electric bills (Lifeline)
- Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Universal Service Fund (USF)
- Congregate and Home Delivered Meals program
- Transportation referrals
- Home Care/Housekeeping referrals
- Medicaid waiver screening
- Farmer’s Market vouchers (summer)
- Statewide Respite Care Program for Caregivers
Note: Eligibility Requirements May Differ for Each Program
For more information on the available services, or to request a presenter from our Outreach Department, please call 1-888-280-8226. Information and presentations are also available in Spanish.
The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides vouchers to eligible Union County seniors to purchase fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey through farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture programs.
Participation in the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program is limited to those senior citizens who are 60 years and older and whose gross income (i.e., income before deductions for income taxes, Social Security taxes, insurance premiums, bonds, etc.) is equal to or less than the income poverty guidelines increased by 185%.
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Home Energy Assistance Programs
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
LIHEAP and USF are two utility assistance programs designed to help low income households. LIHEAP helps pay for heating costs and certain medically-necessary cooling expenses and USF helps low-income households pay for their electric and natural gas costs. Applicants can qualify even if their heating and cooling costs are included in their rent. One application serves both programs. LIHEAP applications are typically accepted from October 1st through July 31st of each year. However, you can apply for USF any time of the year. Applications for both programs must meet qualifying income guidelines.
Clients who have previously applied and been approved should receive an annual recertification form to shorten the application process.
To inquire about these services and to begin the application process, please call PROCEED Inc at 908-469-3229. Proceed Inc also offers utility assistance / home improvement services that offer energy conservation that tie programs together.
Lifeline is a utility assistance program designed to help eligible low-income individuals who are 65 or older or receiving Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income and has an annual income of less than $38,769 if single or less than $45,270 if married.
This includes utility customers as well as tenants whose utility bills are included in their rent. Lifeline benefits are provided only for electric and natural gas consumers. For more information, call 800-792-9745.
Weatherization Assistance Program
The Weatherization Assistance Program provides free comprehensive energy conservation improvements to reduce residential heat loss and energy consumption.
The LIHEAP application is also an application for the Weatherization Assistance Program and the Universal Service Fund (USF).
You can apply for three energy benefit programs at the same time. Applicants for the Weatherization Assistance Program must have a gross annual income is at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Winter Termination Program
Winter Termination Program protects specific categories of customers from having their gas or electric shut off between November 15 and March 15 of each year.
Those enrolled in certain other programs (including Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, USF, and Lifeline) are protected by the Winter Termination Program.
An additional “catch-all” category is also included for those who are unable to pay their utility bills because of circumstances beyond their control, such as unemployment or illness.
For more information about the Winter Termination Program, call 800-624-0241.
USF Fresh Start
Fresh Start is a partnership between the customer and USF to forgive past due balances and improve your payment record. If you have a balance of $60 or more on your energy bill as a USF customer, you may be eligible for additional benefits under the New Jersey Fresh Start Program.
Participants must pay the current USF-supplemented bill on time and in full every month and after 12 months of full on-time payments, the pre-USF program overdue balance will be erased.
If you are eligible for Fresh Start when you enroll in USF, you will be automatically enrolled by your energy company and will be sent additional information about how the Fresh Start program works.
For more information, please call 866-240-1347.
Payment Assistance for Gas & Electric (PAGE) Program
This annual program is intended to provide assistance up to $1500/year in benefits to low-to-moderate income New Jersey residents who are struggling to pay their electric and natural gas bills. Eligible recipients cannot be receiving or be eligible for Universal Service Fund (USF) or LIHEAP.
For eligibility guidelines and additional information, please call 855-465-8783 or visit www.njpoweron.org/page/.
Comfort Partners Program
Comfort Partners Program provides installation of free energy efficiency measures, personalized customer energy education and counseling for income eligible households.
The Comfort Partners Program is available to any New Jersey home with significant energy use, with a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines.
For more information call 1-888-773-8326.
Life-Sustaining Equipment Program
If you (or a member of your household) rely on electricity to operate life-sustaining equipment, such as a respirator or dialysis machine, it is important that you notify your utility company.
In such cases, companies work with you to prevent shutoffs should you fall behind in paying your electric bills.
How to Prepare for an Emergency
Natalie Zarrillo, Executive Director
10 Elizabethtown Plaza – 4th Floor, Elizabeth, NJ 07207
908-527-4863 (Se habla Español)
Toll Free: 888-280-8226
ADRC Toll Free: 877-222-3737
Monday through Friday
If you need in-person assistance, please call our office to schedule an appointment
The Division on Aging does not discriminate against any older adult or their caregiver because of race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.
No otherwise qualified disabled older adult shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any federally funded programs or activities administered by this division.
Request a Speaker