MISSION & HISTORY.
The roots of our nonprofit organization, The Bright Side Family, trace back to 1990 when Executive Director Elizabeth Davis and Geriatrician Charles Davis founded Geriatric Services Inc. Their motivation stemmed from the pressing need for affordable and supportive housing for their clients and patients.
In the same year, Geriatric Services Inc. assumed the management of Bright Side Manor, a historic residential health care facility that had been dedicated to serving seniors since 1916. With this opportunity, our organization could finally offer high-quality, affordable housing for seniors, addressing a critical need within countless communities.
Today, Bright Side Manor stands as the only assisted living facility in Bergen County that genuinely provides affordability for low- and middle-income older adults. We take immense pride in our ability to make assisted living accessible and enriching for all deserving seniors in the area.
Recognizing the growing scarcity of subsidized senior housing, we took action to address this challenge. In 2015, we introduced the PALS (Portable Assisted Living Services) assisted living program. This program, now operating in three locations - Westwood House in Westwood, NJ, and Golden Tower and Belmont Gardens in Garfield, NJ - serves seniors in subsidized housing who may no longer be fully independent but wish to remain in their beloved communities. PALS offers a holistic and cost-effective approach to assisted living, providing essential services such as personal care, meal preparation, medication administration, light housekeeping, laundry, and health monitoring. PALS is currently the only assisted living program for seniors in low-income housing in Bergen County, one of only 14 in the state of New Jersey, and the only one with a full-time social worker on-staff.
In 2016, we proudly opened The Brookdale, a 62-unit subsidized senior apartment building in Teaneck. It's designed with aging-in-place in mind, and is perfectly suited to serve the care needs of its residents as they grow older so that they can safely and comfortably remain in their homes as long as possible. We are currently working on building a second, 40-unit affordable senior housing building in Teaneck.
In the same year, we launched our Age-Friendly Teaneck initiative with generous support from The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation. Inspired by the World Health Organization's strategic goal of "facilitating the inclusion of older persons to make our world more age-friendly," Age-Friendly Teaneck collaborates with local stakeholders to enhance the overall livability for community members and serves as a role model for other New Jersey communities dedicated to supporting an aging population.
In 2022, we proudly introduced "Senior Checks," a transformative financial wellness program designed to empower seniors in our community. This free money management program offers a comprehensive range of services, including bill payment assistance, budgeting support, mail management, check writing assistance, guidance in navigating online banking, access to vital social services, and protection against financial scams. As a testament to our dedication to inclusivity and tailored support, we also launched an ongoing series of workshops, exclusively designed for older women in Bergen County, addressing their unique financial concerns as they journey through life.
At The Bright Side Family, our history is built on a strong foundation of compassion, dedication, and a commitment to empowering seniors. As we look back on our journey, we continue to seek innovative ways to make a positive impact on the lives of older adults and the communities they call home. Join us as we create a brighter, age-friendly future for everyone.