Shalom Austin’s New Inspired Aging Initiative Addresses Total Wellness for Older Adults | Shalom Austin

Shalom Austin’s New Inspired Aging Initiative Addresses Total Wellness for Older Adults

Jewish Family Service, The Jewish Outlook

Oct 6, 2023

JCC members enjoy an aqua aerobics class tailored to all levels of abilities including seniors, prenatal, rehabilitation or cross-training enthusiasts. Credit: Dalia Seidner

By Rabbi Amy B. Cohen and Rachel Wimberley

Shalom Austin proudly introduces Inspired Aging, an innovative program offering enrichment, social services and fitness experiences for adults ages 60 and older. This integrated wellness model provides opportunities for older adults to live their best life.

Recent studies highlighted by The New York Times reveal that staying active physically, socially, mentally and cognitively fosters the creation of new neurons and synapses in the brain. Shalom Austin’s Inspired Aging unites Jewish Family Service and Dell JCC offerings for older adults to help them cultivate these new connections.

Inspired Aging was brought to life by the visionary leadership of Barbara M. Barron, who chaired the JFS committee at Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service. During her tenure, she revolutionized the volunteer-led nurse-patient advocacy program. In memory of Barron’s legacy, the Barron Family Trust challenged JFS to build on Barron’s dream to grow various areas of Shalom Austin to serve the older adult community.

Collaborations to serve the Greater Austin Jewish community come naturally to Shalom Austin staff as members of every program serve older adults in various ways. JFS offers robust mental health, case management and nurse-patient advocacy services to older adults, while the Bernard & Audre Rapoport Center for Jewish Culture & Education engages all in educational programming. The Health and Wellness Department at the Dell JCC ensures that physical health remains a priority for all ages. Together, in partnership, Shalom Austin offers Inspired Aging to ensure aging is celebrated while addressing the realities people encounter with age.

Funding from the Barron Family Trust allows Inspired Aging to not only serve individuals within the walls of the Dell JCC, but to provide transportation to medical appointments, events and to religious services at local synagogues. It supports the creation of programs never before offered at Shalom Austin including financial wellness programs, Wise Aging, grief and loss support as well as comprehensive case management to enable community members to identify referrals they need from JFS social service partners. Inspired Aging serves older adults and those who love them by walking alongside families as they navigate the challenges of aging.

In his book, “Tuesdays with Morrie,” Mitch Albom writes, “People who are always saying, ‘I wish I were young again,’ reflect unsatisfied lives, unfulfilled lives, lives that haven’t found any meaning. Because if you’ve found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more.”

Inspired Aging recognizes aging as a blessing and invites the community to discover new meaning and embrace the fullness of life. To learn more, visit

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