Ridgefield, New Jersey

photos of Ridgefield
Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living

Delagtes to Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living

Michael Jacobs, Delegate                                                       1-01-2023 - 12-31-2023

Donald Uhl, Alternate                                                             1-01-2023 - 12-31-2023

Bergen Family Center

Mission Statement

To provide a broad range of therapeutic services and programs that maintains and restores the physical, emotional and social health of the elderly. Self-sufficiency and independent living is the goal to avoiding premature and indeed any institutionalization. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) social services agency for seniors, SESCIL recognizes the need of the elderly to be motivated to live a fulfilling and productive existence.

Please Visit The Link Below for all Programs


In 1978, when Community Development (HUD) funds became available, 11 municipalities from the Southeast region of Bergen County, New Jersey (Bogota, Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fairview, Fort Lee, Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield and Ridgefield Park), decided to pool their allotments and have a collective project of their own, along with other projects for their municipalities. They chose a health project, the Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living (SESCIL), which provides preventive and maintenance health care services to the elderly on an individual basis.

From its inception to the present, SESCIL has had a community-based policy-making Board of Directors consisting of representatives of the 11 municipalities in the region, and an approximately similar number of health and geriatric professionals, as well as several client representatives.

Until July 1, 1992 administrative matters were handled by the County. At that time SESCIL became an autonomous, independent non-profit organization.


If you know friends who are 55 or older, please encourage them to JOIN YOU NOW at SESCIL and enrich their lives with a $25.00 annual membership by calling Carol Jones at 201-569-4080! We offer a variety of programs that are fun, promote physical and emotional fitness, encourage social interaction, and last - but by no means least - provide important tips and information about real-life issues for seniors.

Belly Dancing for Fitness and Fun

Belly Dancing (also known as Bellydance) and all the movements that go with it are ideal for Seniors. In the words of SESCIL Instructor Sandi Cohen:

"Bellydance is a very ancient folkloric art form. Its movements are consistent with those of childbirth, and older women are the ones to instruct the younger. The movements are mostly circular and spiral. There is little pressure on the joints, which for many of us have been weakened or stressed over time. In fact, it's known by rheumatologists that Bellydance stimulates the synovial fluid which lubricates the joints.

"In our classes we learn all the basic movements, which are of isolations and undulations of the torso and hips . There is not a part of the body from the head to the toes which is not used. The movements may prove difficult at first for some women of certain age or culture. But they have been told early on not to move in ways that might be construed as suggestive. I consider most of the movements of this dance form to be acceptable, sensual and graceful; I do not suggest that the women use pronounced sexual movements or touch the body... the arms are used throughout the dance, and surround - rather than touch - the hips or the torso. Much of the class is spent learning to use arms beautifully and gracefully.

The music also is very different from what most of the women are used to. It is Mid-Eastern, but also Spanish, Greek, Celtic, Israeli and a touch of New Age electronic. We could just as well dance to classical music. I find that once the ear has adjusted to the music and these rhythms, the dancing becomes proficient and the women are freer to move the way they should.

Seniors are much less self-conscious about themselves than many of the younger women I have taught. They are finally able to laugh at themselves and find joy in acting silly at times or letting go. We often do independent mini-dances at the end of the classes. This factor in itself, the freedom that comes with age, is a wonderful facet of learning to dance later in life.

On the whole, Mid-Eastern Dance or Bellydance, is a beautiful and artistic dance. It allows for improvisation and self-expression, which are also assets for those who are tired of living within the confines of "what is expected of them". We dress in long skirts and wear hip belts, which to me are essential. Not only do they add beauty and charm, but they give a sense of purpose and a special mood to the dance. We can become someone else - of another time, another place. I often see ordinary women become beautiful when dancing.

Bellydance has nothing much to do with the 'belly'. It's one of the oldest dances that we have in history and is fused with many other folkloric dances. The true beauty is in its freedom. The true difficulty is in saying to oneself, 'these are natural movements of my body, and I can do them in time.

There is a well-known woman in Australia who has written a book on Bellydancing for Senior Women. She is known worldwide, having started to dance at 60 and opened the door for thousands of women who now have added a new dimension and a new-found sensuality to their lives. Her husband dances as well. They are both now hovering around 80.

I have always loved this dance and started to learn it in my twenties before it became popular in this country. I am so glad now that I have spent so many years involved with it, and absolutely love to see the transformation in my 'mature women' when they finally learn to move and to experience the Bellydance and all of its expression and emotion.

DENTISTRY - (by appointment)

Dr. Patrice Schoebrun is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 a.m. for those who have made an appointment.

Seniors 55 and over are eligible to join with no delay

* Low-fees - at least 50% less than the "going" rate elsewhere!

* Two New Jersey-licensed Dentists and two Hygienists are on staff

* Services include: X-rays, cleanings, fillings, simple extractions, root canals, crown and fixed bridges, and full & partial dentures

* MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY by calling Carol Jones at 201-569-4080!



* Objectives
- Improve cardiovascular system, thereby decreasing blood pressure
- Increase muscular endurance, strength and flexibility, thereby improving posture and bone density
- Increase range of motion in all joints, thereby improving balance and preventing injuries
- Increase circulation, thereby promoting mental alertness and overall well-being.
* Organization
I Warm Up Segment
II Cardiovascular Segment
III Toning Segment
IV Abdominal and Core-Body Strength Segment
V Stretching Segment

Stretch and Flex
Stretch & Flex on Mondays and Wednesdays involves a strengthening exercise to increase muscle power and stretches to promote flexibility. The focus is on developing muscles you use: mainly legs, hips, back and shoulders. On Thursdays, the overall goal is to engage participants in a wellness program that will help them to perform the activities of daily living. Emphasis is on flexibility, weight training and balance.

* Flexibility is the range of motion at a given joint. It is likely the most neglected aspect of physical fitness and should be a part of everybody's weekly fitness routine.
* Weight training strengthens and tones muscles and helps build stamina. Adults who are not on a safe, effective strength-training program will experience an annual half-pound loss of muscle and half-percent reduction in metabolic rate unless they begin some form of strength training.
* Balance is vital to normal everyday life activities. The ability to maintain balance is a complex process that depends on three major components: the sensory system providing information about the body's position; the brain's ability to process this information; and the muscles adn joints for coordinating the movements required to maintain balance. A fitness program should include coordinating the muscles and joint movements required to maintain balance.

Chi Kung
Closely related to Tai Chi (below), Chi Kung is a quiet, relaxing exercise, stressing balance, deep yoga breathing and massaging the body to increase circulation and flow. It is ideally suited not only for the frailer segment of our population, but also for those wanting to relax and meditate and feel everyday stress vanish. Chi Kung provides a nourishing and stimulating environment in which to relax and replenish the body, mind and spirit. Its methods are simple, yet its effect is profound.

Tai Chi
Tai Chi goes beyond the mere physical aspects of Chi Kung because of its mind-body connection that leads to overall better health and a sense of well-being. Tai Chi is an internal art. Learning the mechanics of the form is only the beginning. Indeed, it is a lifelong journey filled with revelation at the personal level. You will learn a lot about yourself, if you make the trip.

Aimed at integrating mind, body and spirit to enhance health and well-being, Yoga progressively improves posture, bodily alignment, range of motion and overall strength. Through the knowledge and practice of various breathing techniques, practitioner's nervousness and anxiety calm down considerably.

Source: SESCIL's Annual Report: July 1, 2004 - June 30, 2005

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