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Social Worker Reaches Out to Seniors in Need

March 02, 2015

Sometimes a little help means a lot. For the 200 older adults who are 

Aiden Cassidy’s clients, his work on their behalf can make all the difference in the world.  Aiden is one of the 72 social services professionals employed with North Shore Senior Center, the majority of whom work with Community Care Program (CCP) clients. 

Established in 1979, the Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program (CCP) helps seniors who might otherwise need nursing home care remain in their own homes by providing in-home and community-based services.

“I can’t help with financial problems, particularly for people who have family around them for support,” Aiden said. “What I can do is make calls on their behalf.”

In the case of Clarita Manaois, a CCP client who moved to Illinois from California in September 2014, Aiden was able to arrange for her to receive in-home services and an Emergency Home Cellular Response unit, as she does not have a landline.

Aiden was also able to track down a missing Social Security payment— money that Clarita needed for daily living expenses. “When you have so little, you pinch your pennies,” she said. “I called and called and they said ‘call back later.’ There is nothing there.”

And indeed, nothing was—but Aiden found out why. “There were some overdue premiums for Medicaid and the government took them all at once,” Aiden said. “Unfortunately, they didn’t tell her that. And her bank could only tell her that the deposit had never arrived.”

As a temporary solution, Aiden was able to give Clarita a gift card for a local grocery store to help her buy food. North Shore Senior Center receives donations to purchase these cards, which can be used to provide emergency assistance to clients.

Clarita was born in the Philippines. Since she has bronchial asthma, COPD and mobility limitations, her family convinced her to move to the Midwest so they could oversee her needs. “I’m getting old and my son said, ‘I can help take good care of you because I can see you every day. Why don’t you try it here?’”

After learning about North Shore Senior Center, the Manaois family contacted us for help in caring for Clarita. They needed to ensure that she would be safe when she was alone and they were all atwork. Aiden visited their apartment to complete an assessment of Clarita’s living situation and health-related issues.

“I need to determine what a person can do for themselves and what the family can do for them. Then, I can determine how many hours per week of assistance we can provide," Aiden said. 

To help make Clarita’s home safer, Aiden borrowed assistive devices for her bathroom from the Center’s Lending Closet. This free service allows older adults to check out items like canes, shower chairs, walkers and wheelchairs for a period of three months. Extended borrowing periods can be accommodated, if inventory permits. There are no membership, residency or income requirements for those who wish to borrow Lending Closet items.

In Clarita’s eyes, Aiden is more than a social worker, he is her friend. “I am so grateful that I came here to Illinois because I was able to meet professional people like Mr. Cassidy. He’s always included in my nightly prayers.”

For more information about North Shore Senior Center's Senior & Family Services Department and its outreach efforts, please call 847.784.6040, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.