For Janet, JFCS Senior Services provides assistance – and a remedy for isolation

By Karin Onarheim • Senior Services Intake & Care Coordinator

Recently, Janet had been going through a difficult time. She was feeling down and disconnected, and was also in need of more support at home. She was referred to JFCS Senior Services and when our staff connected with her, she shared about how her family visits occasionally, but had their own families and busy schedules. Though they got together for the holidays and an occasional lunch, Janet was mostly home alone. Things she used to do on her own had become more difficult.

JFCS Senior Services, which support the dignity and independence of older adults, provided Janet assistance in several areas. She now has a Shopper who helps her buy groceries, Drivers from JFCS’ Garber Transportation services, a Care Coordinator to assist her at doctor visits, and an Outreach Visitor Volunteer who enjoys spending time with her at home. Not only can Janet continue living independently at home – she now has a group of loving people in her life she didn’t have before.

Through Care Coordination, JFCS Senior Services supports clients’ independence, promotes safety and encourages connection. In observance of World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, we are reflecting on human connection. While it’s important to have good nutrition, housing and medical care, so is having strong and meaningful human connections. Without the means or opportunities to be with others, one can experience boredom, loneliness, isolation and/or withdrawal.

With winter on the way, it’s common for many seniors to stay inside even more. Fear of falling on the ice and difficulty getting to and from places are two barriers to getting out. JFCS’ Garber Transportation offers a friendly, safe, reliable ride and good company. It’s an easy way to get around and visit loved ones in the area.

For those who do less cooking now or need an extra hand, our Shopping service and Kosher Meals on Wheels offer regular friendly visits and tasty, healthy food.

Our Outreach Visitor volunteers love getting to know their neighbors both during the holidays and year- round. Either over the phone or in-person, seniors can connect with a volunteer to share stories and conversation, hobbies and favorite recipes, a drive around town and maybe even a matinee.

Care Coordinators guide and support seniors and their caregivers. We help clients and their families find resources, plan for the future, and can even take clients to the doctor. Especially during the holiday season, we want to ensure seniors can worry less and enjoy more time with their loved ones.

Lastly, Senior Services works closely with our Counseling team to get seniors the mental health support and professional care they need when times get tough. It can really help to talk to someone.

If you’re interested in services for yourself or a loved one, just call JFCS at 952-546-0616. Let’s connect!