Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CCSO Reaches Out To Seniors

When an 89-year-old retired dentist with dementia lost his footing and fell in a local diner last December, a Good Samaritan intervened and drove him home.

The pair soon arrived at the cramped Golden Gate apartment the man shared with three roommates, but the rescuer was appalled at what he saw.

The apartment was filthy and smelled of cat urine. The furniture – including the loveseat the elderly man used as a bed – was stained and dirty. And worst of all, the three adults who lived with the man began berating their roommate for causing a scene in a restaurant.

The Good Samaritan left and promptly called CCSO’s Seniors Crime Assistance Unit, which immediately found a solution for the man.

Collier County commissioners on Tuesday proclaimed May as National Older Americans month in Collier County.

CCSO Senior Specialist Jackie Borchers responded to the Good Samaritan’s call. She took the elderly man out for coffee, where he acknowledged that his living situation was bad. He went on to explain that a court hearing had been set to appoint a guardian to help admit him to a nursing home but it was still two weeks away. He felt he had no option but to tolerate his current living arrangement in the meantime, he said.

Borchers got on the phone. After making several calls she found a creative way to get him into the nursing home that very day. She enrolled him in a Florida Department of Health and Human Services program that allowed him to be admitted on a temporary basis. That tied him over until the guardian was appointed two weeks later and made the arrangement permanent.

“It feels so good to know that he is safe and in a good environment and I don’t have to worry about him anymore,” Borchers said.

The case is just one example of how the Seniors Crime Assistance Unit serves the elderly in Collier County. The unit provides a variety of services, including mediating on behalf of seniors, arranging for welfare checks and presenting educational seminars on an array of senior-related topics. It also oversees Project Lifesaver, a program that offers a tracking mechanism to help find people who wander due to dementia or other medical condition.

For more information contact the Seniors Crime Assistance Unit at 793-9468 or by e-mail at seniors@colliersheriff.net.

Local organizations that assist Collier County's senior population were on hand Tuesday as county commissioners proclaimed May as National Older Americans Month in Collier County.