The Seattle Indian Health Board’s Elders’ Program provides lunch and social activities to Elders (over 55 years old) Monday thru Friday, except on holidays. Each elder receives two bus tickets to facilitate their visit to the program. They serve food to approximately 36 individual elders each day. Roughly 25% of the elderly attending the program live on the streets or in shelters. Nearly all of the remaining clients survive on the verge of homelessness. The average life expectancy in the homeless population is between 42 and 52 years, compared to 78 years in the general population [nationalhomeless.org]. Helping people over the age of 55 find stable housing saves and extends lives. Many of our elders are isolated at home. The program brings them to the clinic where they can socialize and better access their medical provider and SIHB ensures that all elders enroll into affordable insurance.
Case Management services continue to be the cornerstone and they intend to provide more encounters in the coming year. They aim to provide no less than 100 encounters per month and 30 encounters per month at client homes, hospitals and shelters, doubling last year’s projections. As they continue to assist more elders into houses, they can exert more effort into the secondary needs, like exercise and good nutrition.
They will continue to provide 12 in-service health and life skills education sessions with new subject matter. This year’s 1st quarter classes shall cover: 1) Social Security 2) Maintaining good bladder health as they age & how to use adult diapers and 3) Advanced Directives.
They intend to reach out to more elderly clients who haven’t attended the program by running a query from their Medical Database. They expect that half of SIHB’s elder medical clients have not utilized their Elders Program.
Seattle Indian Health Board
The Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 organization incorporated in the State of Washington. They provide community health care and services targeting the urban American Indian and Alaska Native population in the greater Seattle/King County area. They are state-recognized and our ambulatory health care services are nationally accredited through the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. They have been serving the community since 1970.