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Seniors Taking Charge Via Elders In Action

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Too often, we hear the stories of senior decline, abuse and chronic illness. The tales of empowerment, success and fulfilled lives are the ones that tend to go unrecognized in the chasm of sensationalism. Elders in Action, a nonprofit advocacy group in Portland, Oregon is one of them, although they have become a group that would hardly be assayed as going unnoticed. Established in 1968 as a county agency and in 1997 as a private nonprofit, Elders in Action is powered by the experience of more than 150 volunteers and 7 staff members who work to solve problems, tackle important issues and help businesses and communities better serve the senior citizen customer base.

They believe the quality of life should never depend on age and welcome the talent and wisdom that older adults can share to make communities in the state of Oregon more livable for all. Their mission statement is “To assure a vibrant community through the active involvement of older adults.” With an annual budget of $517,900, Elders in Action relies on volunteer support and donations from individuals, corporations, as well as grants and fees for services. They have established contracts with Multnomah County and the City of Portland to help improve the quality of life of older adults in the community. They have wisely established an Endowment Fund to help ensure their future.

Elder Friendly® Business Certification

The elder population represents a large and growing consumer group. Implications for business success are clear: Improved access for older consumers and knowledge of their needs are important factors needed to be competitive in the business arena. Elder Friendly Business Certification is a licensed assessment program that provides this needed knowledge. Using specific guidelines, trained elder evaluators from a licensed aging agency “shop” a business anonymously for a nominal fee, much like the concept of “secret shoppers.” Senior evaluators review the effectiveness of telephone and customer service, building layout and access. They then provide feedback and training information to management. When in compliance, the business is awarded certification in the form of a window decal that lets everyone know that the business is Elder Friendly Certified.

elderly sign by ~stephyPHOTOG on deviantART

The organization is continuously looking for innovative programs that will enhance the quality of life for older adults while improving the overall health of the agency. Elder Friendly Business Certification is a program that benefits everyone. “Elder Friendly” means businesses care and while other agencies are looking for ideas that enhance the quality of life for senior citizens, Elders in Action is offering their registered, “Elder Friendly” program to private nonprofit organizations in other communities for replication through a licensing agreement. The progressively inspired organization also offers Personal Advocate Services.

Personal Advocate Services

Personal Advocate volunteers speak out for older adults. Elders in Action Personal Advocates are trained volunteers who offer personal one-on-one assistance to local seniors who need help in areas of:

Housing –

Healthcare – such as Home Healthcare Medical and Home Care Non Medical services

Crime – such as discrimination or forms of Elder Abuse.

Personal Advocates provide one-on-one problem solving assistance. The type of assistance volunteers provide varies, depending on the problem. Volunteers assist in the areas of housing, healthcare, crime, and elder abuse.

Volunteers assist by:

  • Researching problems
  • Helping to make phone calls or fill out forms and paperwork
  • Providing a “listening ear” and emotional support
  • Providing information about community resources
  • Supporting senior’s rights to make their own decision

Those people who are eligible to receive the service are:

  • Those 60 years or older who are experiencing an issue in the area of Housing, Healthcare or Crime and Elder Abuse
  • Live in Washington, Clackamas or Multnomah counties in the state of Oregon
  • Live independently, not in an Assisted Living Facility.

Through June of 2009 over 3,500 individuals were assisted by the program. In the past year, Elders in Action Personal Advocate volunteers recouped $231,726 for seniors due to fraud, wrongful billing and other problems.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Houston and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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