The Bright Side Family was originally founded as Geriatric Services Inc. in 1990 by Executive Director, Elizabeth Davis, and Geriatrician, Charles Davis, as a response to the lack of affordable supportive housing that was facing their clients and patients at Beth Israel hospital in Newark, NJ.
That same year, Geriatric Services Inc. took over management of Bright Side Manor, a historical 50 bed licensed residential health care facility that had been operating as senior housing since 1916.
At Brightside Manor, Elizabeth and Dr. Davis were able to provide the quality affordable housing for seniors that so many communities were lacking.
In 2002, Elizabeth secured funding for a $5 million construction project, completed in 2003, that enabled Bright Side Manor to become licensed as an assisted living facility and increased its capacity from 50 to 65 residents. As of today, it is the only assisted living facility in Bergen County that is affordable for low and middle income older adults.
Continuing to address the continued shortage of subsidized senior housing, in 2009, the organization located a property site and secured funding to build The Brookdale- a 62 unit subsidized senior apartment building in Teaneck. In 2014, after a long struggle to secure zoning approval, ground was broken for construction and the project was completed in April 2016.
Further expanding on the goal of creating housing for seniors where they can safely age in their homes, the PALS (Portable Assisted Living Services) assisted living program was created. Assisted living programs are licensed to provide services for seniors in subsidized housing who are no longer independent, but cannot afford or do not wish to move out of their community. With expertise in providing assisted living services in a holistic and cost-effective manner, Bright Side Family now operates two PALS Program locations. Launched initially at Westwood House, a senior apartment building in Westwood, NJ and has expanded to two locations, now in Garfield, NJ. This model has been extremely effective and will be further replicated in the coming years. With support from PALS, tenants can remain in their own apartments, while being provided assistance with personal care, meal preparation, medication administration, housekeeping, laundry and health monitoring services.
In 2016, Bright Side Family launched the Age-Friendly Teaneck Project with support from The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation. Age-Friendly Teaneck is based on the World Health Organization’s strategic goal of “facilitating the inclusion of older persons to make our world more age-friendly”. The initiative in Teaneck collaborates with local stakeholders to improve overall livability for community members and serve as a model for other New Jersey communities committed to supporting an aging population.