Jewish Elder Access, a free information and referral service for Jewish adults over 60, has existed in Tucson since 2010. In just four years the program has become so well-known that Ilene Lloyd, program manager, receives calls from people in nearly every U.S. state and countries such as Spain, Japan and Israel.
“We assist seniors in identifying their needs and getting them connected to programs and services” in Tucson, Lloyd told the AJP. “It’s common to receive calls from adult children in other states who are concerned about their moms and dads living in Tucson. The adult children may live thousands of miles away, and their parents say, ‘I’m fine,’” but maybe they actually need some assistance.
Meanwhile, the callers are busy with their own children, grandchildren or careers and can’t get to Tucson that often, says Lloyd. “The concern is that Jewish seniors aren’t having their needs met, or perhaps are 60+ and considering moving here,” yet they don’t know about the services available to them. That’s where Jewish Elder Access comes in.
For example, Lloyd helped a recent client in her mid-70s who was living in a fairly upscale neighborhood that she could ill afford. Lloyd found HUD subsidized housing for her at B’nai B’rith Covenant House. “She’s very happy. Her expenses will be reduced tremendously.”
Lloyd can refer people to services such as transportation, elder care attorneys, counseling services and caregivers at agencies she’s vetted, so seniors feel secure. For safety concerns in and around seniors’ homes, she says, the Federation funds wraparound grants for improvements such as adding railings to porches or installing grab bars in showers.
The program, housed at Jewish Family & Children’s Services, was developed by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Senior Task Force, which consists of representatives from other Jewish agencies and individuals in the community.
With the growth of Jewish Elder Access, says Lloyd, “the Federation and JFCS are getting a wonderful worldwide reputation!”
For more information, contact Irene Lloyd at 795-0300, ext. 2232, or illoyd@jfc stucson.org.