Essence of Life Pre-Party

ElderHelp and Essence of Life Fundraiser –  January 30, 2020

Susan, Lisa, Heather, Shea, Alexis, Sandra, Heidi, Alicia, Julie, Maureen, Janice

Guest Speaker, Gretchen Veihl, Director of Philanthropy of ElderHelp

Gretchen’s mother died with dignity in her own home. She lived in a supportive community surrounded by people that cared for her. Caregivers loved her mother. Other people can love your loved one and help with care.

ElderHelp mission is to provide services to allow seniors to live with dignity in their own homes. Help over 6,000 people per year. Eighteen staff members make this type of impact in the San Diego community along with 400 volunteers. ElderHelp started 46 years ago to interact with lonely elderly people.

When someone falls in their home, average healthcare costs run at $30,000.

Costs ElderHelp about $10 per day to help senior stay in their home. ElderHelp does not provide medical care. Majority of clients are women, low to mid income, alone (no family around). Elderly don’t like to ask adult children for help. Match volunteers with seniors in a variety of ways. Some volunteers work with the senior for 10 years or more.

San Diego has over 400,000 people over 65 years old. 42% lack family or resources to make their ends meet. One affordable housing unit for 29 seniors that need them.  Waiting list for section 8 housing is 10 years. Home share matches roommates/renters in a senior’s home. The renter pays rent or provides some services. USD Non-Profit Institute: according to user comments, the best part of homeshare is companionship. Other benefits include healthy eating. Average 60-65 new matches every year. ElderHelp’s Homeshare program is now called Housing Services.

ElderHelp sticks close to their mission which is to keep seniors in their homes.

130 residents live in Hotel Sanford downtown. Housing program keeps expanding because the need is so great throughout San Diego.

Eligible for home share starts at age 55. Other services begin at age 60.

Care Coordination: social worker meets with senior to evaluate the situation and asks “What would you like?” Senior can receive up to 8 rides per month. Matched volunteers commit to at least a year and meet at least 2 hours every other week. ElderHelp manages a combination of about 300 people per month. Volunteers notice when something isn’t right with the older person; notice cognitive or physical changes.

Senior have to advocate for themselves and must be mobile.

Volunteers range in age from 20s to senior age. Average age is 40s. Volunteers need to be invested in the senior population. Volunteers is vetted, trained, background check, DMV check because they go into seniors’ homes.

No income guidelines for services. Clients receive mailers explaining value of services, cost of ride, and some will contribute what they can. No one gets turned away because they can’t afford to pay.

ElderHelp service 40 zipcodes in San Diego. They have been trying to expand home share program in North County. Many services are driven by volunteer availability and hours. For example, one client in Lakeside but not many volunteers.

$300 per month to keep senior in their home. Eighty cents of every dollar raised goes directly to the senior programs.

Webinars for family caregivers in the corporate world.

Essence of Life fundraiser held at Southwestern Yacht Club, March 22, Sunday afternoon. Talk to Julie if you’d like to go.