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Elders Living at Home

Nature and Purpose
For over 25 years the Elders Living at Home Program (ELAHP) has been serving homeless and formerly-homeless Boston elders (55+).  ELAHP’s mission is to support elders in making the transition out of homelessness, to provide supportive services that build on the individual abilities of elders and to help them overcome the barriers to permanent housing.

Services we provide to newly-housed elders and elders at risk of becoming homeless include:

  • Intensive Case Management
  • Nursing Assessments
  • Home Monitoring
  • Medication Management
  • Crisis Intervention

 New programs we have include:

  •  Project HERO (Healthy Eating for at-Risk Older Adults)—a multi-faceted online assessment we’ve developed will provide food prescriptions based on health indicators, level of food insecurity, and in-home food inventory.  Program will provide ongoing free healthy food deliveries to elderly clients.

Note the average income for our clients is roughly $650 per month and an estimated 20% are non-English speakers (majority of whom speak Spanish).  Additionally, students will be exposed to and working with undocumented elders, many of whom have zero income.

Within the homeless service field, terms like prevention and stabilization are often tossed around.  What do we mean by them…?  Students will gain first hand exposure and knowledge of the causes leading an elder towards homelessness.  Students will see that oftentimes homelessness is not the direct result of a single event, but of a downward cycle in which an elder lacks the resources or ability to upright themselves.  For example, an elder goes without food in order to afford their rent, they get sick and cannot afford their medication, they then lack money for transportation to and from the hospital, etc.

It is our hope that PULSE students will come to understand our diverse and integrative approach towards stabilizing at-risk elders.  We must make sure they have food, affordable health care, transportation, a primary care doctor, are getting enough exercise, have a reliable income, etc…the tasks we offer will allow PULSE students the opportunity to understand the complex nature of our mission and our services. 

Tasks
PULSE students may:

  1. ESL/English Conversation (1-1 with potential for small group)—Help elder immigrants learn to speak and understand English, prepare for citizenship exam, feel more comfortable speaking the English they do know
  2. Walking Group (socialization focus)---Gather and Facilitate group of clients to walk around hospital grounds, helps to promote exercise and socialization
  3. Co-facilitate healthy aging classes (informal and potential evidence-based)---Utilize online tools and nutritional education materials to promote healthy diet
  4. Fruit and Vegetable of the month club---Promote social interaction of our clients, use healthy eating materials and online tools to gather recipes and preparation methods
  5. Intro to Computers---Sit down one on one with elders, help them learn how to find affordable recreation/activities, establish email accounts, investigate their interests

Time Requirement:
The preferred hours for this site are Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00am - 1:00pm.

Supervision
The students will be supervised directly by the placement supervisor on an ongoing basis.

Address
Boston Medical Center 850 Harrison Ave
Yawkey Building Office 4S-18 Boston, MA 02118