formats

Help is available to find local services for seniors

Joan Hatem-Roy Chief Executive Officer

Q: I am trying to gather information for my elderly next-door neighbors. Over the past year, they seem to be struggling to take care of their home and get out to do their grocery shopping. I help when I can, but they need much more than what I have time for.

I have spoken with them and their biggest concern is cost because their financial resources are limited. How are the services your agency provides paid for?

A: Our agency’s mission is to assist people in living safely and comfortably in their own homes.

Elder Services has numerous programs and services to meet the needs of older adults and their caregivers in the Merrimack Valley and on the North Shore. Some are provided directly in consumers’ homes and others are delivered in community settings such as skilled nursing facilities and senior housing. Each of these services has specific eligibility criteria such as age, need and income. Many are free of charge, while others may require a fee or co-payment.

Your neighbors’ first step would be to contact our agency so that we can determine needs and make the appropriate recommendations. If warranted, an initial home visit by a care manager is offered at no cost. A care plan will then be customized to fit their needs.

Our services in the home include help with personal care, housework, and daily meals. We also have transportation to take older adults to medical appointments, support for caregivers, and health and wellness programs on a variety of topics, such as how to reduce your risk of falling.

We recommend that anyone with questions contact us so we can discuss their situation. If our agency cannot meet the needs of your neighbors — or anyone else who reaches out to us — we will make every effort to assist them in finding other options. With their permission, we can make referrals to other organizations in the community. Many people are unaware of the array of services they may be entitled to through veterans’ or Medicare benefits, fraternal organizations or charitable groups.

Our programs and services are funded by a variety of sources, including state and federal contracts, grants and donations. We would not be able to meet the needs of the more than 40,000 consumers we assist each year without this extensive funding stream.

Are you struggling to care for an older adult or having difficulty locating resources? Our experienced staff is available to help. Visit us online at www.ESMV.org for more information. You can also call us at 1-800-892-0890 or email ageinfo@esmv.org. Joan Hatem-Roy is the Chief Executive Officer at Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore.