Services to Older Adults
Senior Services Case Managers coordinate services for seniors (residents age 62+) living in public housing units within the Horner/West Haven neighborhood. Each carries a caseload of families with senior Heads of Household or families with senior family members. Senior Services staff are knowledgeable of the service needs of the older adult population to improve their quality of life, and work closely with the older adult and family members to develop a service plan that respects each individual’s wishes while supporting health and safety.
They provide advocacy, assessment, and case management services to individuals and families through face to face contact. Case management plans assist clients in addressing such issues as personal and family adjustments, finances, employment, education, food, clothing, housing, physical and mental health, and substance use. Senior Services Case Managers refer program participants to community resources and other organizations as appropriate, creating partnerships that benefit older adult residents (e.g. health resources, recreational activities) and direct linkage to DFSS’s senior services.
Senior services staff complete a standard Senior Assessment for all older adults on their caseloads. This assessment includes the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) scale, which helps to assess seniors’ functional level by associating scores to areas such as mode of transportation, food preparation, and ability to handle finances. This assessment establishes client needs for case management and service coordination.
Benefits Check Up
Staff assist residents with utilizing this comprehensive website, which helps those 55 and older identify and obtain information about the benefits they are eligible for, and enroll in public benefits programs: www.benefitscheckup.org.
File of Life
A voluntary program designed to help first responders to quickly obtain in an emergency an individual’s necessary medical history, support their needs, and their emergency contact information. A File of Life tri-fold card is filled out by Senior Services Case Managers, placed in the pocket of a red plastic refrigerator magnet labeled ‘File of Life’, and hung on the outside of the resident’s refrigerator.
Held on-site and off-, Senior Services staff hold monthly events for older adults that combine social, educational, and wellness activities. Highlights of 2013 included games, bingo, a jazz concert, attendance at the Mayor’s SeniorFest in Downtown Chicago, a movie night, and guest speakers from Miles Square Health Center and the Chicago Police Department’s 12th District.
Senior Services Case Managers can connect older adults who are unable to live at home without assistance with resources for medical care and supplies; family and household support such as emergency food assistance, ramps and respite care; assistive devices and other goods or services related to health and safety.
Some older adults may need assistance keeping their homes clean and functional in order to remain independent, or assistance with tasks such as dressing, light housekeeping and meal preparation may make it possible for some older adults to remain in their own homes.
Homemaker Service through DHS is an option for older adults who meet certain financial eligibility requirements. In addition to housekeeping, trained homemakers may assist with self-administered medications, personal care and chores outside the home.
Health Care Access and Information
Senior Services Case Managers refer older adult residents to community-based health providers for neutral information and decision-making support on health care options, including Medicare benefits and programs, enrollment, Part D prescription drug plans and managed care options.
Reasonable Accomodation/504 Compliance
Senior Services staff assists older adult residents with completing requests for reasonable accommodation to property management companies to ask for minor modifications made to their homes in order to enable them to remain safely in their homes (e.g. ramps, grab bars, wider doorways).
Senior Services staff assists older adult residents with completing the Benefits Eligibility Checklist to obtain a Senior Ride Free Card. They also complete applications for residents to obtain PACE ride service, which will pick eligible participants up from
Senior Services Case Managers assist Property Management companies in conducting well-being checks during extreme weather or other emergency situations, by phone and in-person. They also maintain an updated list of the most vulnerable residents, who may need attention first in these extreme conditions, because they may need walkways cleared to utilize wheelchairs and walkers, or a cooler with ice to keep refrigerated medication cold.