The majority of older adults want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. As San Diego baby boomers enter the “silver stretch,” will the thousands of people turning 65 tomorrow have a plan for aging in place? Often a senior’s cost of living exceeds their fixed incomes, especially for low-income seniors. Chronic health conditions and social isolation can also have a negative effect on aging adults in our community every day. Fortunately, San Diego seniors can turn to ElderHelp for support.
By caring for hundreds of seniors on a daily basis, ElderHelp impacts the health, happiness, and well-being of the aging community. A small staff and mighty group of volunteers make sure seniors receive check-in calls, get to medical appointments and receive help with routine tasks like sorting through mail and paying bills. Each day seniors living in their homes know someone cares about them. Each day they know they are loved and respected.
ElderHelp volunteers recently escorted members to the Veterans Memorial Museum in Balboa Park where they enjoyed an informative lecture and lunch outdoors. This was especially meaningful to Curly, a Vietnam Vet, who relies on ElderHelp for grocery shopping and occasional home and garden services. Living alone and unable to drive, Curly is a regular attendee at quarterly outings arranged by ElderHelp’s Seniors A Go Go staff.
“I am happy to be a part of ElderHelp,” said Curly. “You are a brilliant service, well organized and filled with kind and caring people.”
But ElderHelp’s services go beyond occasional field trips.
· Seniors receive all services at no charge, allowing them to stretch their dollars through free transportation and home services that teach them how to manage budgets and gain access to community resources.
· Daily calls and friendly visits from Concierge Club volunteers help seniors monitor their health, stimulate their mind and mitigate any isolation and depression they might be feeling.
· Their HomeShare program allows seniors with a spare bedroom to earn additional income upon completing a successful match with a qualified adult in need of housing.
· Over 400 volunteers are carefully trained and fully vetted to support the seniors they serve.
A recent peer-reviewed study by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that “mortality rate was significantly higher among more socially isolated seniors regardless of a person’s health and other factors.” Researchers concluded that the lack of social interaction among the elderly population resulted in a barrier to proper care, adequate nutrition, adherence to outpatient medication regimens and assistance in events of real crisis. ElderHelp’s in-home services aim to significantly reduce social isolation, falls in the home, hospitalizations and readmissions. This reduction creates a ripple effect of reduced healthcare costs and improved quality of life for all.
But the ripple needs to turn into a wave. To accommodate the needs of our growing senior population, ElderHelp hopes to scale services to reach more people like Curly and make a greater impact on the health and wellness in our community.
To learn more about ElderHelp, visit them online.