The number of senior citizens is increasing at the fastest rate ever seen in our country’s history. Phoenix Family's Senior Empowerment Program improves and maintains the status of older adults in terms of their personal economic development, health, and community engagement., leading them to a higher quality of life and allowing them to age in place with dignity and choice.
Physical and/or social isolation, financial hardship, and lack of transportation all conspire to limit low-income older adults' access to critical programs and services. Because older women and minorities are the most likely to have the lowest incomes among the older adult population, they are even more likely to face these barriers, which limit their ability to purchase the health care, goods, services, and housing options that could help them to remain independent.
Additionally, as people age, they invest more time and effort in meeting their basic needs. All of our residents have such a limited income that they are often forced to make critical choices between paying for health care services and life sustaining medications or food, rent, utilities and other daily living requirements.
Phoenix Family’s Senior Empowerment Program combats the barriers low-income older adult residents face in their daily life. Many residents, due to financial constraints, lack of transportation, physical and/or mental handicaps and a host of other factors, are isolated socially, physically and financially from the community at-large. This isolation affects every resident, regardless of age. A person’s quality of life is determined by more than his or her physical health status. By addressing the root causes, those we serve can find lasting solutions to complex problems. By promoting independence, encouraging greater self-reliance, offering physical and psychological support and providing emergency relief in times of need, their ability to live active, independent lives and avoid early institutionalism increases significantly.
Since Helen first moved in thirteen years ago, she has been one of the community’s most active members. When you saw her, she inevitably had a smile on her face and she always had a kind or funny word for everyone.
Last year, things started to change. Helen stopped attending community events, stopped cleaning her apartment, and even forgot to renew her Medicaid assistance. Soon, Helen’s smiles and kind words were a thing of the past and she was often confused and forgetful. Her family worried that it was time for her to move to a nursing home. Phoenix Family saw these changes and encouraged Helen to visit her doctor. Her doctor discovered that she had had several small strokes/seizures and was also suffering from depression.
Phoenix Family worked to connect her with various services, such as Meals on Wheels and to get her a homemaker's assistant. We also helped Helen to reapply for her lapsed benefits. After several months of medication and extra support services, Helen is feeling and looking better. Helen recently said that she feels like she “finally has her ducks in a row!”