State Senator Kevin Kelly (left), and Samuel Deibler, President of the Board of Southwestern CT Agency on Aging (right) flank Alison Heim, Director of Social Work at SilverSource, Inc. as she received an Excellence in Support of Aging Award by the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging last month. (contributed photo)
STAMFORD, CT - Alison Heim, Director of Social Work at SilverSource, Inc., our area’s leading independent nonprofit agency serving the over-60 population, was recognized with an Excellence in Support of Aging Award, an annual award presented by the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging (SWCAA) which honors innovation, aspiration and dedication to the aging population. Ms. Heim was nominated by a team of care managers at SWCAA for this prestigious award.
“I felt surprised to receive the award,” said Ms. Heim upon receiving the news of the honor. “You’re just doing your job, right?”
Perhaps that’s the point. SWCAA care managers conduct assessments in the homes of older adults, developing a plan of care to patch together everything a client needs to stay in their home. During these assessments they uncover needs they know SilverSource can fill.
The help that SilverSource provides to our region’s older adults is extensive. This privately funded non-profit provides assistance with rent to keep people in their homes, contracts critical homecare services, offers transportation to medical appointments, delivers nourishing meals to those that are homebound and provides assistance with heating oil and utilities to keep people safe and warm in their homes.
“For instance,” said Heim, “When people apply for Medicaid, there is a gap of time until they can receive services. SilverSource can arrange for care such as offering a home health aide and pay for vitally important prescriptions until Medicaid coverage begins or provide a hearing or eye exam not covered by Medicaid.”
Marie Allen, Executive Director at the Southwestern CT Agency on Aging, concurs. “When financial information is submitted to the state it can take two to four months to determine eligibility. If a person is at risk and without services, we can turn to SilverSource for help until the official services start.”
The need is huge, and it’s growing. Connecticut is the seventh oldest state in the country, with roughly one third of its residents consisting of Baby Boomers. It’s estimated that in just fifteen years the number of Connecticut’s older adults will increase by 64%.
“There are a large percentage of seniors that are just one step away from homelessness. We can react quickly to situations. SWCAA knows they have a partner in SilverSource, and they know how responsive we are and how quickly we can help,” said Heim.
“Our case managers find such a wonderful compliment in the care that Alison provides,” said Allen. “They find her to be extraordinarily creative, firm when she needs to be and innovative in finding the resources to lift quality of life.” Allen continued, “The needs of seniors are so great, we can only be successful as a strong dedicated network. It’s a tapestry of aging agencies and certainly Alison is leading the charge.”
This is the second distinction SilverSource has received from SWCAA, having earned the designation as Stamford’s only Disability Resource Center in 2011. This designation, part of the Older Americans Act, is given to highly visible organizations where older adults can go for information and access to aging services.
The Senior Services Department of the City of Stratford was also a 2015 winner the SWCAA Excellence in Support of Aging Award. To learn more about the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging visit www.swcca.org or call (203)333-9288.