Jefferson News

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During JULY Support Seniors at Langenstein’s

As you plan your July Summer parties, think about helping seniors who might be isolated or unable to prepare their own meals. Each dollar donated at the check out line at Langenstein’s will help ensure our seniors receive the resources they need. Thank you Langenstein’s for caring for our seniors!!!

800 Metairie Road * 122 Sauve Road, River Ridge


Jefferson Parish Senior Expo Was a Success!!

The Jefferson Parish 2018 Senior Exposition for senior citizens was held Thursday, March 29th, at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.  The theme was “The Groovy 1960’s” and we saw lots of tie dye shirts, flower headbands and peace signs.

Seniors received vital informative health and welfare information. They  equipped themselves with advice on  increasing their longevity and improving their quality of life. (as well as pens, bags and useful gadgets). Seniors were able to talk directly to the experts about health promotion opportunities, disease and injury prevention and health issues or concerns. Some of the vendors included Medicare advantage companies, dentists, hospitals, home health care companies, Jefferson Parish agencies, and Parish councilmen, among many others. Lots of information was exchanged and wellness was promoted.

Jefferson Council on Aging had two tables offering information about our services (meals, home care, transportation, senior centers) and information about the Aging and Disability Resource Center (Medicare, insurance guidance, and general aging issues).

A pasta lunch was served and guests enjoyed an address from Jefferson Parish President, Mike Yenni. 

The Senior Expo was  hosted by Jefferson Parish, the Jefferson Council on Aging and LifeStyles 55+. 



Purple Martin Spotlight: Olivia Cardona

By Rosalyn Eason


A single phone call can brighten someone’s day. That is what Olivia Cardona hopes each time she dials one of the 40 numbers on her list of senior citizens. She not only is calling to check on them, but also to be a friend and a contact with the outside world. It is a service that Cardona is happy to provide to seniors to improve their quality of life.

Cardona makes calls to Jefferson Parish seniors who have requested the service offered by the Jefferson Council on Aging Cares program. The seniors often feel isolated due to age, living arrangements or health issues and many live alone. Her main responsibility is to check on them, but her call gives them much more and in some cases genuine friendship.



“Believe it or not, many have children but since they are old, they (children) want nothing to do with them. They tell me, ‘The only voice I hear each week is yours so don’t stop calling me,'” Cardona said.

This connection is what motivates Cardona to hear their stories, answer their questions, and provide assistance resources.

Cardona, 75, joined JCOA eight years ago after a career in the medical field. The mother of four had lost everything in Hurricane Katrina and survived breast cancer but still had energy to give. She went to JCOA looking to volunteer and ended up with a job.

As the first Cares management assistant, Cardona had one senior to call. New seniors were added to her list if they requested her service when they visited the JCOA. At one time she had up to 125 calls to make each week. Usually, she calls 10 seniors a day between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“I have a few that want me to call at 8:30 to make sure that, ‘I am awake and not dead,'” Cardona said with a laugh.

Some seniors only want a quick call and others have a lot to say. Cardona enjoys telling the story about her 97-year-old who loves to talk about her children and her 98-year-old boyfriend.

“She wants me to out with them and have some drinks. It makes me laugh,” Cardona said.

So far Cardona has had three marriage proposals and many requests to meet in person. She has learned about her seniors’ hobbies and interests including one senior’s postcard collection. Now, Cardona sends the senior a postcard for her birthday and other holidays. She gets postcards in return.

Some have become so attached to Cardona that they worry about her.

“When she (Cardona) is on vacation and doesn’t call they call here worrying about her and asking, ‘Is she okay?'” JCOA Development Director Liz Yager said.

But not every call brings laughs.

“It’s a lot of fun but some days are very sad,” Cardona said.

Due to her attachment to her seniors it is hard when one dies or moves. Her first senior died after six years in the program–a very sad day for Cardona.

Despite the sad times, Cardona enjoys it. Her family wants her to retire but she still has energy to give to each senior she calls.

“I want a purpose to go to work every day,” Cardona said.

She has that–spreading joy by talking to her seniors.

The Cares program is one of the many programs offered by JCOA to Jefferson Parish residents 60 years of age and older. Their mission is to assist the senior citizens of the parish to age with dignity independence in the place and manner of their choice. The programs they offer include senior and disability resources, senior centers and care management, nutrition, senior employment and transportation services.

Cash donations and volunteers are needed to assist the JCOA in their mission. Call Liz Yager at 504.207.4691 or click here to donate now.

If you didn’t already know it, Jefferson Parish is home to hundreds of thousands of visiting Purple Martins.  These birds roost under the Causeway Bridge on their way to South America for winter each year.  Much as our Parish provides safe comfort to these travelers, we are also an ideal place for Seniors on their own journeys.

Growing Senior Population and Limited Funding

“Most of these people are living by themselves, and the meal I bring is usually the only well-balanced nutrition they will get that day”, says Casey, who delivers for the Jefferson Council on Aging.  Read more to learn about the senior meals program, the growing needs of the senior population and funding issues… Click here to read the article than ran in The Advocate June 25, 2017.

We’ve Updated Our Look!

JCOA has debuted a new, modernized logo and website to better serve our seniors!  Still based on the Purple Martin theme, the new logo is more legible and brighter.  This new website was developed to work better on mobile devices and to provide easy-to-read events calendars for JCOA’s constituents.

Sixth Annual Senior Moments was a Success!!

Senior Moments are to be celebrated! That’s what it felt like Saturday evening (August 26th) when Jefferson Council on Aging (JCOA) hosted their Sixth Annual Senior Moments. Over 260 guests gathered at the Chateau Golf and Country Club and reveled with Latino Flair throughout the evening. Their support will help provide the guidance, empowerment and support for Jefferson Parish seniors to they can age with dignity and independence. We value the leadership, passion and hard work of the Senior Moments’ Chair, Miriam Brown and key volunteers Marie Clesi, Holly Hanford, Claudia Shabetai and Doris Rappold. If you were unable to attend, please consider making a donation …it means so much.

The evening featured signature dishes from the Chateau kitchen including coconut lobster, chicken quesadillas, empanadas and a fajita station. To top off the evening, warm brownie bites were passed to our guests. We had signature margarita cocktails and special sangria that was passed to our patron guests

The Hispanic theme flourished with music from Julio & Cesar. The engaging festive music rarely left the dance floor empty.

The Patron Party featured special hors d’ouevres and a unique salsa dance exhibition by NOLA Casino Son Dance Studio.

Guests enjoyed a silent auction with over 70 featured items ranging from jewelry and artwork, hotel stays and restaurant offerings. Saluting our Hispanic theme at the auction table was a numbered and signed print from our featured artist, Colombian native, Gustavo Duque.  Sought after items included a framed, numbered and signed print by James Michalopoulas, a ruby and diamond pendant, plus an extreme car experience from NOLA Motorsports Park. Patrons also purchased deluxe trips to San Francisco, France and Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

The evening would not have been possible without the sponsorship level of support from key businesses and individuals within the community. Leading the sponsorship team at the Level was Entergy, Gulf Coast Bank & Trust, and Henry and Pat Shane. We thank the Experience Level sponsors: First Bank & Trust, JenCare Medical Center, New Orleans Catholic Cemeteries, Pontchartrain Capital, Treasure Chest Casino, and Tulane Health System. Each of these top sponsors had a dedicated table and received a handmade iron sculpture donated by James Gorman Iron.

We are grateful to all our supporters from staff members and volunteers, the Senior Moments committee, and the JCOA Board of Directors who took a leadership role in advocating our cause.

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