Gifts to Our Community: ElderServe
Besides many other services, ElderServe helps combat crime by becoming an advocate for seniors who are crime victims.
As we embark on the season of gift giving and receiving, let’s take a moment to appreciate some of the community-wide gifts that benefit residents of Louisville and Southern Indiana. If you haven’t appreciated these gifts as much as you could have, now is the time.
Although ElderServe has been around since 1962, it has morphed with the times, offering different programming in various locations and expanding its services along the way. Its focus, however, has never wavered. “Our goal is to empower older adults to live independently with dignity,” says CEO Julie Guenthner. ElderServe has four primary objectives to help older adults in the community: reduce social isolation, improve wellness, foster independence, and protect. While it offers a strong safety net for the senior community at large, Guenthner says ElderServe strives to meet the individual needs of older adults and their families.
Some benefit from ElderServe’s financial programs such as Representative Payee, which helps seniors manage their finances to ensure their rent and utilities can be paid. Referrals for this program come from Adult Protective Services or the Social Security office, but other interested individuals can simply call ElderServe to join the program. For older adults without family support who may suffer from dementia or abuse, ElderServe offers guardianship, which is court-appointed and aids seniors who either don’t have family or whose family is unable or unwilling to make medical and financial decisions.
Guenthner says ElderServe is one of only four organizations in the nation that offers a crime victim service specifically for people ages 60 and older who have experienced financial exploitation, abuse, neglect, or assault. This federally funded program allows ElderServe to work with the local police department in order to establish contact with older crime victims.