Senior Services for Frail Elderly

Caring Neighbors

Being alone never bothered 78-year-old Harriet Spree until constant bronchial infections left her so weak she couldn't even fix herself something to eat. "I'd lay awake at night feeling so afraid, knowing there was no one I could ask for help," Harriet explains. Finally, a neighbor grew alarmed over Harriet's deterioration and contacted St. Jude Medical Center's Caring Neighbors Program, a unique community service that provides volunteers to help frail and homebound elderly

With a goal of helping seniors maintain their independence and improve their quality of life, volunteers assist in a variety of ways: home repairs, grocery shopping, errands, laundry, even light housekeeping. But for many seniors, it is the companionship – having someone to laugh with – that is the most important benefit of this innovative program.

A volunteer began visiting Harriet each weekend to help with laundry, errands and to be a friend. A volunteer handyman in the program made badly-needed repairs to Harriet's house, fixing broken lights and leaky faucets, while some high school volunteers cleared the overgrown weeds and bushes from her yard. The effect of the regular visits and the new friendships is obvious in the almost miraculous change in Harriet. "Just knowing there's someone who will check on me has taken away the terror," she says.

If you know someone who might benefit from the Caring Neighbors Program or would like to volunteer, please call (714) 446-7064.

Senior Transportation

A lack of transportation is a significant barrier for many frail elderly, causing doctors' visits and medical care to often be missed or delayed. St. Jude's Senior Transportation Program provides non-emergency transportation to and from medical appointments at the medical center and affiliated physicians' offices. This program serves as a bridge to OCTA’s Access program.

Low-income seniors can take advantage of this service by calling (714) 446-7160.

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