Never Too Late - July 2022

Neighbors Care Alliance

Valley Assistance Services

By Wes Moulton , Office & Program Administrator Who We Are By combining social services and community health programs, Valley Assistance Services (VAS) guides seniors, individuals, and families to live healthy, resilient, and vibrant lives, while remaining safe and independent. For over 50 years, our staff, volunteers, and cutting-edge programs have addressed challenges in clients’ lives by embracing prevention, education, and advocacy to provide holistic solutions Our 2,400 mile² service area includes Sahuarita, Green Valley, Amado, Arivaca, The last two years have proven difficult. In addition to our community’s usual needs, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic challenges have devastated clients and their families. VAS increased the number and scope of services including a 30% expanse in our service area and a 19% increase in clients served in the past two years. The Neighbors Helping Neighbors Senior Transportation and Socialization Program is one of our fastest growing programs. The pandemic saw seniors more isolated than ever before. In response, VAS expanded telephonic visitation for seniors in March 2020, and began making more than 1,000 friendly phone calls each month. In September 2021, in-home friendly visits began again. Despite consistent growth, we receive more positive feedback about our senior Tubac and Tumacacori. Community Needs

socialization program than any other program offered. VAS’s senior transportation program has also grown. Since 2020, volunteers provide 300% more errands and transportation trips to nearly double the registered participants. Volunteers log more service hours and miles than ever before, and seniors note that without these services they could not remain independent in their homes. Programs for Seniors Include: • Going Home with Care: Caregiving and advocacy to transition from hospital to home. Offered in partnership with the Santa Cruz Hospital in Green Valley. • A Touch That Cares®: In-home medical advocacy, by Registered Nurses, for seniors facing chronic illness. • SHiM® (Safety and Health in Motion): An evidence-based fall-prevention program, offered in partnership with the Green Valley Fire District. Provides in-home safety assessments and installation of safety equipment including night lights, reach sticks, and smoke alarms; and education and advocacy, by Registered Nurses, to address medical risk factors for falls. • Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Senior transportation and socialization program. Trained volunteers provide transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and other essential trips. Volunteers run errands for clients to meet nutritional needs. This program is a PCOA Neighbors Care Alliance partner.

• MAP-a-Plan (Monetary Assistance Program): Direct monetary assistance to qualifying clients for rent, mortgage assistance, or utilities to prevent evictions and homelessness. All clients receive 6 hours of budgeting and financial education, and 90 days of continual case management. • Neighbors AIM (Awareness in Memory Loss): Ongoing classes and peer groups that support loved ones, family, friends, and neighbors of dementia sufferers and persons with early-stage dementia, through creative events, simulation experiences, and education. • ConnectwithU: Volunteers provide over 1,400 monthly friendly phone calls to isolated seniors. • SASS (Socialization and Support for Seniors): In-person peer-group socialization. For More Information: Green Valley Assistance Services, Inc. dba Valley Assistance Services (520) 625-5966

July 2022, Never Too Late | Page 27

Pima Council on Aging

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