At times, a call to the Senior LinkAge Line® (SLL) is the last glimmer of hope for an older adult trying to get help with something as basic as access to food or as complex as navigating Medicare benefits. SLL staff who answer these calls meet the callers where they are, give them hope, and help them find solutions.
A recent example involved Hannah, a member of MAAA’s Community Options Team. Hannah answered a call from Ruth who spoke about being homeless. (To respect privacy, Ruth is not the caller’s real name.) Ruth called the SLL in hope of finding safe housing. Hannah learned that Ruth had been “couch hopping” for the last few weeks, had not eaten recently, and was in need of emergency assistance. Given the severity of these issues, Hannah completed a Vulnerable Adult report. But, she didn’t stop there. She kept the dialogue going and discovered that Ruth had a county case manager. Hannah contacted the case manager to see what short-term resources were available and she also put calls out to multiple shelters and homeless resource centers in the area.
No one had an immediate solution, so Hannah and Ruth kept talking and searched together for solutions. They found a local shelter with a weekly lottery where someone could “win” a room for 28 days. Ruth told Hannah, “I’m going to try to win the lottery!”
Hannah was determined to make something happen and connected with the Hennepin County Homeless Coalition. They knew the director at the homeless shelter running the lottery and reached out to see if there was a way to secure a bed without sitting through the lottery process. With assistance, Ruth was able to bypass the lottery process and secure an indefinite stay at the shelter, along with case management services.
Hannah stayed in touch with Ruth for several weeks to make sure her contact with the county case manager was ongoing. When Hannah last checked in, Ruth was in the process of securing an apartment at an assisted-living facility.
This type of call to the Senior LinkAge Line isn’t rare. On a weekly basis, older adults relay their stories of homelessness or high risk for homelessness. No matter how complex a situation and the subsequent resolution may be, MAAA’s staff members respond with respect and compassion.
Learn more about how MAAA delivers help and information to older adults and caregivers.