Knowing that by 2030 adults age 65+ will comprise 20% of the population, NIH’s evidence-based Senior Reach® program will improve the quality of life by bringing community services closer to seniors. Funding was made available in 2016 through the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards (now the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan) from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to employ Senior Reach® staff to assess home-bound, often reclusive, seniors who are referred by trained community partners, friends and family. Continuing funding for the program was received from CMHAM and the DMC Foundation.
The Senior Reach® Community Partners are trained volunteers who identify older adults who may need help. Community Partners contacts NIH to make a referral. The Senior Reach® Specialist then talks with the senior to determine need and willingness for intervention. If the older adult agrees, Senior Reach® will help connect them with appropriate services such as counseling, care management referrals, connection to community resources, depression screening and treatment, and identification and early intervention of prescription drug misuse or abuse.
Watch for the following signs that could indicate that an older adult is in need of help:
Mental State: confusion, disorientation, memory loss, repetitveness
Physical: difficulty in seeing, hearing or walking, alcohol or substance abuse
Emotional: recent loss of spouse, appears depressed, anxious or withdrawn, loss of appetite
Social: isolated, possible victim of abuse, neglect or exploitation
Appearance: unkempt, dirty clothes, weight loss
Environment: home needs repair, trash or debris in yard, neglected pets
Economic: confused about money matters and an inability to afford necessities
For information or to refer a senior, please call 313-308-1400 or toll-free 844-202-9932.