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December 13, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Senior Services in Hamilton County

Aging adults in Hamilton County deserve the best senior services that can be offered.

Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County provides a variety of services to help older adults in Hamilton County age in place, which an overwhelming majority of older adults say they wish to do. The 2015 United States of Aging Survey reported that 75% of aging adults want to age in their current home.  

Senior services in Hamilton County provide a variety of programs and resources to support aging. There are three main areas of senior services: social interactions, connecting with resources, and aging assistance. Whether seeking senior services for a loved one or yourself, there are lots of options to support aging in Hamilton County.

Social Interactions

With aging comes an increased risk of isolation due to reduced mobility and a shrinking network of relatives and friends.  By participating in social programs, individual’s overall health and well-being can be improved. One of the senior services of Hamilton County provided by the Shepherd’s Center is our Together Today Program.  

Together Today invites adults 55+ to enrich their lives through fun, educational, and healthy activities with friends new and established. Breakfast and lunch are provided. There is no cost to adults for this program.  These groups meet weekly around the county in Carmel, Westfield, Noblesville, Fishers and Sheridan.

Here is a great example of how this senior service in Hamilton County has lasting impact…

John is 67.  He lives in a rural part of Hamilton County and has no family nearby.  

John retired from a manufacturing company two years ago where he had worked for over 30 years.  In the two years since he has been retired, he only leaves his home about once a week.

When he leaves, he goes to the grocery, sometimes the doctor, and occasionally a local restaurant.  However, he feels self-conscious about eating alone and prefers a microwave meal at home.

John has noticed his overall disposition change in the past few months. He is losing his desire to leave his house at all and finds no enjoyment in his daily tasks and TV watching.  John’s doctor has also informed him that his blood pressure and cholesterol have gotten unusually high in the past six months.

The doctor informs John that he would benefit from more activities and getting out of the house.  John doesn’t understand why that would improve his health, but hears his doctors concern.

The doctor informs John about senior services in Hamilton County and discusses the Shepherd’s Center’s Together Today program.  John attended a Together Today group and played cards with three other guys who retired in the last few years.

John enjoyed their company and the lunch provided and looked forward to coming back next week. Three months later, John hasn’t missed a Together Today group.  In fact, he started attending two groups each week.

John also found out one of the other guys in the group needed a ride, so he became a transportation volunteer and began to help his friend out with rides to the group. He also took his friend to the doctor or other appointments when needed.  

John returned to his doctor who informed him his overall health had greatly improved. John realized that he enjoyed getting out more, he liked his new friends, and felt productive for helping his friend with rides.

While John didn’t realize it, his isolation was impacting his overall health negatively.  Not only were his emotions down, but it was impacting his physical health. By being PROACTIVE at the recommendation of his doctor and getting out in a safe setting, he was able to find joy in new opportunities and friends.

Together Today is a great outlet to meet new friends in the same life stage.  It is a safe, welcoming environment where adults 55+ meet, play games, chat, and enjoy meals together.  If you are interested in learning more about Together Today and taking advantage of this great senior service in Hamilton County, please contact Lisa or call 317-674-8777.

Connecting with Senior Services Hamilton County

Another senior service in Hamilton county provided by the Shepherd’s Center is the Reaching Resources program.  This service is a resource guide, advocate and support of all things relating to aging in our community.

A Reaching Resources Coordinator has up to date and accurate information about these resources, programs and services for seniors in Hamilton County.  They will help seniors with the improved referral process and connect them directly with the resource.

Furthermore, they will complete a comprehensive intake interview to help determine what other Senior Services in Hamilton County the senior may benefit from in the area.  Reaching Resources serves as a central communication for the all seniors services in Hamilton county and a resource for multiple organizations that currently work together to provide senior services in Hamilton County.

Here is an example of how this senior service in Hamilton County is changing the way people age in our community…

A 78-year-old woman named Jane lives in Fishers.  She is being discharged from the hospital after an inpatient stay.  She was in the hospital due to falling. Jane lives alone in her own home.  

Before this hospital stay, has mostly been in good health. Jane drove herself around and her family lives a few hours away.  They visited her a few times in the hospital and expressed concerns about her returning home but weren’t sure what to do to help her.  

Jane returns home with no support in place besides a follow up appointment with her doctor.  She realizes she is too weak to prepare meals or drive herself to her appointment.

She can’t pick up the prescription medication she needs to take, and she doesn’t want to burden her family that lives a few hours away.  Unfortunately, her health declines and she has to call 911 and return to the hospital.

While this situation is difficult to hear about, it happens daily—multiple times a day—to older adults in our community.  While the Reaching Resources program can link Jane with senior services, the hospital is concerned it is unsafe for her to return home and Jane has to consider moving into assisted living.  

Now, that truly may be the best option for Jane, but let’s back up and let me give you a different scenario…

Jane attends learns about our Reaching Resources program from a friend.  Jane knows that she is going to have to have a hip replacement surgery in the next month and it may cause some challenges to her current level of complete independence since her family lives a few hours away.  

She contacts Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County about senior services and meets with a Reaching Resources Coordinator who helps her learn about the different rehabilitation options both at a facility and in her home.  

They discuss other home health services that may help her short term while she recovers. The Coordinator sets Jane up with Meals on Wheels for at least a month to help her get proper nutrition. They also arrange for a volunteer driver to take her to her follow up appointments, pick up prescriptions, and a few extra errands.  

Her volunteer can also help her with a few things around her house, like taking out the trash. Jane is able to receive grab bars through the Hamilton County Home Repair Partnership. Between home health, Meals on Wheels, modifications to her home to prevent falls, and Shepherd’s Center’s Community Caring program, Jane successful recovers from her surgery at home.

The goal of Reaching Resources is to connect seniors with programs and senior services in Hamilton County to improve their quality of life, prevent Isolation and help them maintain their independence.  

If you or a loved one is interested in meeting with a Reaching Resources Coordinator or find out more about this senior service, please contact Wanda at wanda@shepherdscenterofhamiltoncounty.org or (317) 674-8777.

Aging Assistance

Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County also has a senior service program called Community Caring. Our Community Caring program matches volunteers with home bound and isolated adults 55+ to assist them.  We reach individuals with volunteer assistance in Hamilton County who are dependent, financially fragile and/or physically impaired. This senior service is provided through volunteers to allow seniors to continue living independently with dignity in their own homes for as long as possible.

Volunteers can assist with a variety of things to help seniors remain independent in their home.  House cleaning, transportation, yard work, budgeting, or friendly visitation are a few of the most requested types of volunteer assistance Community Caring arranges for older adults in our community.  This senior service can be the link many individuals need in order to remain independent.

If a senior is needing personal care or medical home care, Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County works with several organizations that can assist with those needs.

This example shows how the Community Caring program is making a difference in the lives of seniors in Hamilton County…

Jack is 81 and is the main caregiver for his wife, Jill who is 79.  Jill has recently been diagnosed with dementia and needs consistent care to ensure her safety.  Jack is able to provide Jill the care she needs but struggles to take her to all of their medical appointments, errands, and community events.  Jack enjoys getting out of the house, but finds it is easier on Jill to remain home where she is comfortable.

Jack reached out to find senior services to help support his caregiving.  Jack found Community Caring and discussed his desire to have a friendly visitor meet with Jill at their home so Jack could run errands and attend appointments without Jill.  Jill was paired with Sue, a newly retired senior herself. Sue cared for her mother with dementia and felt it was important to give back after her mother’s passing.

Sue comes twice a month for a few hours to play cards and talk with Jill.  While at first Jill needed some time to warm up to Sue, they soon developed a great friendship. When Jack recently had an outpatient procedure, Sue drove him and Jill to the appointment and helped them both get back home. She also picked up groceries a few times for them during Jack’s recovery.

Sue would share that her friendship with Jill not only brought her joy but helped her overcome the loss of her own mother.  By volunteering to help with the Community Caring program, Sue found comfort in helping someone in need. Jill also enjoyed having a new friend.  Jack was relieved to have Sue in their life and have someone he could count on to help him care for his loved one.

Community Caring is an amazing senior service available to anyone in Hamilton County 55+.  If you are interested in volunteering or being matched with a volunteer, please contact Wanda at wanda@shepherdscenterofhamiltoncounty.org or (317) 674-8777.

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  1. Thank you for providing such wonderful services. I called today for the first time and look forward to hopefully getting assistance with my mother who is lonely and has dementia. I wish there were more places like Shepherds.

  2. Who in hamilton county can help an 86 year old connect and contact social security admn. She has no computer skills and has questions regarding ss/medicare.

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