The Little Brothers' Resource Guide
The basic task of the Little Brothers' New York branch organized by Jerome Michaux is to visit the elderly in danger of isolation. Started almost three years ago, the group enlists volunteers to make once-a-month visits to three or four elderly people. In my experience those visited are delighted to have these encounters. However, Jerome asks the volunteers to report on what they see and particularly wants to hear if there are problems, problems that may need to be looked into. Is someone having trouble with her landlord, is she getting enough to eat, is she in good health and seeing a doctor, is she getting medication, does she take her medication, if there is a helper, is the helper being attentive and kind, can the elderly person get around, does she need a wheel chair? All the problems that old people must face can be multiplied several times over for a person who is isolated.
To address the problems old people have, Jerome has created a resource guide. It is a handy booklet filled with useful information that might be used by the elderly themselves, by their caregivers, whether social workers, doctors or attendants or by member of the families. There is now a third edition which I have in my possession. Take for example the chapter on “Supermarkets and Farmers' Markets.” Two supermarkets that I know of, Fine Fair and Key Food, have discounts for seniors on certain days and free home delivery. There is information about the Farmers' Market at Grand Army Plaza on Saturdays. There is a list of churches that have food pantries. I saw the one I am familiar with at Shiloh Seventh Day Adventist Church with a phone number and a contact person Denise whom I have met. For someone with knowledge supplied in the guide and the ability to get around, it would be possible to eat for free.
Of course, having the ability to get around is not something all old people have, but these people might consult the section in the guide on transportation. There one can find out about Access-a-ride and Ambulette. The first gives free transportation and the later will take a client to routine medical appointments.
Altogether there are twelve chapters, each one filled with important information. However, such a guide needs up-dating and there is room for expansion. Jerome intends to add about fifteen pages to the forty-five in the 3rd edition. For example, he wants to create a section on doctors who will come see homebound people. He would like to get more sponsors and print more copes and distribute them more widely. This worthy effort needs support. To contribute, send your check to:
Little Brothers Cincinnati
Attn: New York Expansion Site
5530 Colerain Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45239