Many of us spent time with parents, grandparents, or older loved ones over the holidays. During that time, you might have noticed that the pills in their pill box didn't match the days of the week. Or maybe their conversational skills seemed a bit off and they had unexplained bruises. It was enough to make you take pause, and now you can't get it out of your mind.
There is always a spike in calls in November, December, and January from people who are concerned about older folks with whom they spent the holidays.
Fortunately, there's a trusted local resource to contact for guidance: the Multnomah County Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) Helpline. Anyone can reach the helpline at (503) 988-3646 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
. All contacts are free, confidential, multilingual, and available 24/7.
Roughly 40,000 people reached out to the ADRC helpline last year. More than 6 out of 10 people called on behalf of someone else, and common requests included information on Medicare, SNAP (food stamps), long-term care, and help with paying utility bills.
You might be unsure what constitutes potential cause for concern. One or even two stand-alone issues might not be cause for worry. But several issues together might be a reason to give ADRC a call.
While not an exhaustive list, here are some red flags concerning seniors:
- Seems socially isolated
- Is refusing doctor visits
- Seems confused or is repetitive in their questions and conversation
- Looks underweight, frail, or weak
- Has an unclean physical appearance
- Has a vague or no explanation for injury
- Poor medication management
- Experiences frequent falls
- Poorly maintains their home, animals, or self
- The home is in need of major repairs
- You suspect a misuse of money or financial neglect
- You see signs of hoarding or extreme clutter
Adapted from an
by Matt Kinshella, Digital Strategies Coordinator at Multnomah County's Department of County Human Services.
We love our volunteers! Happy Valentine's Day!
"Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in."--- M
While we can't predict what future changes will affect the region's human services sector, one thing is clear: Now more than ever, nonprofits like JFCS will rely on the generosity and loyalty of volunteers.
According to 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in Oregon the estimated value of volunteer time is approximately $21 per hour -- an immense cost savings for financially strapped agencies.
Here at JFCS,
volunteers help us fulfill our mission and serve in important roles, such as Friendly Visitors for housebound elders or drivers for isolated, low-income Holocaust survivors.
We are currently in need of additional volunteer drivers to
make it possible for clients to attend our Café Europa events. Loneliness and isolation can have serious consequences for seniors' physical and mental health. Our monthly Café Europa events provide important social support and camaraderie for local Holocaust survivors, but transportation can be a barrier to their participation in these and other activities.
Please sign up to be an "on call" driver. There's no obligation on your part to drive every month -- only when your schedule allows. The events are fun and interesting, and drivers are always welcome to stay and enjoy them!
If you're interested in lending your time and talent, please visit our website to learn more about JFCS volunteer opportunities by clicking
or by contacting Carrie Kaufman here.
Life Without Limits
Held each February, Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) is a collaborative campaign among Jewish groups worldwide to raise awareness and to foster the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Discussions about inclusion often focus on children and the education facilities and curricula they need. But nonprofits and agencies are increasingly appreciating that disability support services must also take into account the needs of older adults -- not only the vast number of aging baby boomers, but also their parents.
Of the nearly 20% of the U.S. population that has a disability diagnosis, seniors skew high: Among people ages 18 - 64, the rate of disability is 10.5%. But for people age 65 and older, the rate of disability skyrockets to 36.6%. Yet assistance for older adults lags behind that of other age demographics.
Inclusion helps foster a sense of belonging and healthy social-emotional well-being. But for the tens of millions of disabled seniors who live in isolated settings, true communication can't be accomplished online.
For example, some synagogues now live stream services for people who are unable to attend. And while that's a positive step, participating remotely is a very different experience than being physically present, surrounded by fellow worshippers. Even when watching a live service, the individual is typically sitting alone, unable to share in communal prayer and participation.
Many seniors don't drive, and need help with transportation to services. An email or phone call inviting someone to synagogue, and offering a way to get there, can help diminish isolation and marginalization. Actions like this are simple, effective ways to foster inclusion, particularly among older people with disabilities.
For more information, contact Janet Menashe, TASK Program Inclusion Specialist and Skills Trainer, Partners for Independence, at 503-226-7079, ext. 155, or at
MARTY MICHAELS, GRANTS MANAGER
What was your first impression of JFCS?
During my initial interview for the job, I immediately noticed the camaraderie and intense sense of purpose, and nearly two years later I still do.
What has surprised you most about working at JFCS?
I was an editor at The Chronicle of Philanthropy for 15 years, reporting on the nonprofit sector. I've also worked as a fundraiser at Ipas, a global women's health charity, and at the National Audubon Society, so my formal nonprofit experience was limited to public health and the environment.
Working at a locally based social services agency is a very different experience. There's an immediate, visceral sense. While I liked raising money for rare birds in Belize, I'd much rather connect with my community.
What do you wish the public knew about JFCS?
Too often, people think of so
cial service groups like JFCS as providing triage, a quick fix to meet desperate needs. And while we do some of that, our role involves so much more. Direct services are just one aspect of what JFCS does.
Our work isn't just about benefiting vulnerable individuals, about providing a so-called ladder so that people can clamber up. It's not about assessing the "worthiness" of recipients; it's about the collective benefits when we can all construct and live a good life.
What do you do when you aren't working?
Like everyone I know, I watch far too much Netflix, which lately has meant "The Detectorists," and I'm earning a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Save The Date!
Please save the date of Tuesday, May 2nd for "Celebrating Our Caring Community," our fifth annual luncheon to benefit clients of Jewish Family & Child Service. The event will take place at the Multnomah Athletic Club on May 2nd from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm.
Co-chaired by Eve Rosenfeld and Mark Rosenbaum, our luncheon shines a spotlight on how the support of our caring community enables us to support the Jewish and general communities through counseling, skills training, emergency aid, and other services.
Guests can look forward to an engaging program by a well-known speaker (soon to be announced), as well as a delicious lunch, and will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of Portlanders who are experiencing hardship and adversity.
Would you like to have a reserved table? Become a Table Host and invite nine of your friends and associates to join you for the luncheon. Click here to sign up.
Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Teri Patapoff at 503-535-4360 or at email@example.com.