News Release

PO 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Christine Grant
Commissioner
For Release:
August 19, 1999
For Further Information Contact:
Rita Manno or Dennis McGowan
NJ DHSS
(609) 984-7160
Margaret R. Chester, Executive Director
Middlesex Co. Office on Aging
732-745-3295
NJ Home Page DHSS Home Page

NJ EASE System Starts in Middlesex

TRENTON -- Middlesex became the fourteenth New Jersey county today to implement a streamlined system for seniors to obtain information and services under the New Jersey Easy Access, Single Entry (NJ EASE) project.

"For Middlesex seniors and their families, one-stop shopping for information and services has arrived," said Governor Christie Whitman. "NJ EASE will promote wellness, dignity, independence and choice for older adults and help put an end to the confusion often experienced by those seeking senior services."

NJ EASE is a state initiative developed in partnership with a number of county governments to create a new and easy way for seniors and their family members to learn about services within their communities. Instead of contacting many agencies, individuals in NJ EASE counties can now call one state-wide, toll-free telephone number to learn about and apply for needed services. That number, unveiled by Governor Whitman during her state-of-the-state address in February, is 1-877-222-3737.

Health and Senior Services Commissioner Christine Grant said, "NJ EASE will make it easier for the more than 110,000 seniors who call Middlesex County home to get the information and services they need to remain independent far into their later years."

"Whether you want to apply for an established program or find out about emerging health care and housing options, like alternate family care or assisted living, the answers to your questions are as close as the nearest phone," Grant told seniors, local officials and service providers attending the county's NJ EASE kickoff celebration today at the Piscataway Senior Center.

"Middlesex County is proud to add programs such as NJ EASE to our current service system," said Freeholder Jane Z. Brady. "Through the Office on Aging and the designated access points, our older residents can feel assured that they will get the answers and help they need."

Noting that services for seniors is a high priority for the Freeholder Board, Freeholder Director David B. Crabiel said, "Our Office on Aging has worked diligently to bring NJ EASE to Middlesex County and to bring access to services within the reach of a telephone call."

By calling NJ EASE in Middlesex County at 1-877-222-3737, seniors and their families can obtain:

In addition to Middlesex County, Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Essex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties have begun serving seniors through the NJ EASE program.

Middlesex has established 16 access points for NJ EASE services at the Middlesex County Office on Aging, East Brunswick Senior Center, Edison Senior Center, Highland Park Senior Recreation Center, Middlesex County Board of Social Services, Middlesex Township Recreation Center, Milltown Senior Center, Monroe Senior Center, New Brunswick Senior Resource Center, North Brunswick Senior Center, Old Bridge Senior Center, Piscataway Senior Center, Sayreville Senior Center, South Brunswick Social Services Department, South River Senior Center, and Spotswood Office of Aging. They have also established NJ EASE care management services through Family & Children's Services of Central New Jersey, Comprehensive Services on Aging (COPSA), Jewish Family & Vocational Services, and Woodbridge Multi-Service Program on Aging.

State planning for NJ EASE was supported by a $238,251 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant and $400,592 in matching state money.

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