1/13/2022 | By Terri L. Jones

Seniors Guide writer Terri L. Jones reports on a not-for-profit community center in northern Kentucky that has recently increased its already robust services for aging adults by opening the new Senior Resource Center.

Getting older comes with many challenges, and, subsequently, a never-ending list of questions for seniors and their families. Am I safe to age in place? Where do I purchase a wheelchair? What level of care do I need? Where can I find subsidized housing? How do I apply for Medicaid?

St. Charles Community in Covington, Kentucky, understands how overwhelming it can be for seniors to manage the many complicated issues they encounter as they age. For the past five years, the not-for-profit senior living community, which has always been focused on giving back, has maintained a free inhouse resource center to help Northern Kentucky seniors answer their many questions and secure the care, equipment, and services they need.

But the community’s board knew that they could do even more.

The birth of the Senior Resource Center

“We thought if we moved our senior resources into the community, we could really reach some of those folks who are lower income and really need the help,” says Margie Volpenhein, who is a community liaison for the new Senior Resource Center, which St. Charles launched in Latonia in October 2021.

The mission of the Senior Resource Center is to inform, educate, and empower seniors to help navigate the maze of aging services. Not only do the center’s experienced professionals help a senior meet their individual needs, but they also consider many different resources to find the best option for that person.

Related: Senior Services in all Seniors Guide coverage areas

For example, if a senior needs grab bars installed in their bathroom, the center will suggest a variety of grab bars from which to choose, find a company to install the selected grab bars, and check back to ensure the job is done. This service, which is offered free of charge to low-income seniors who are 62 and over (the center is not rigid on this age restriction), takes a huge burden off seniors and their families.

Volpenhein says adaptive equipment, subsidized housing, food, and Medicaid have been the most common needs brought to the Senior Resource Center; however, the staff has provided resources for everything from adult diapers to long-term care insurance. And if the person requesting assistance cannot afford the walker, mattress, etc., the Senior Resource Center has even covered the cost for many of these items.

While there are certainly many avenues for seniors to seek resources and assistance, the Senior Resource Center’s responsiveness and follow up set it apart. “We have people who have said, ‘You are the first people who even took the notion to talk to me about what my needs are. You called us back,’” explains Volpenhein. “We don’t want people to hit dead ends. We keep following up and making sure people have what they need.”

The Senior Resource Center finds that Northern Kentucky seniors appreciate this high level of attention and care. Linda, a widow living on a fixed income, needed a rollator and adaptive equipment to remain in her home. She turned to the center for help. “Losing my husband and the use of my legs has been very hard,” she says. “It’s good to know that there are good people out there to provide the equipment that we need.”

The impetus for creating a center that was located within the community was to reach and help more seniors and their families in the Northern Kentucky area. So far, the Senior Resource Center is achieving that goal. With Northern Kentucky Area Development District referring many seniors whom they are unable to help, the new center has more than tripled the average monthly number of seniors served inhouse at St. Charles in the first month alone.

But Ashley Eifert, a community liaison at the Senior Resource Center, says that there are still many more seniors to reach and lend a hand: “We’re trying to get the word out that we’re here to help!”

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over 10 years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide.

Terri Jones