Like many older adults, Michael was facing some challenges that come along with aging. At 85 years old, he was having trouble getting around. The mobility issues were further compounded by his limited vision. Then, to make matters worse, Michael was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Michael was in a medical facility recovering from COVID. When he returned home, he discovered that his home was infested with bed bugs. Michael did not have any family members in Arizona, so he knew that he needed an extra hand to tackle this problem. Fortunately, Maricopa County Human Services was there to step in and lend a hand.
The Senior and Adult Services Division is a specialized part of Maricopa County’s Human Services Department that works closely with people aged 60 and older and adults over 18 with physical disabilities. The wide variety of services they provide allows clients who can remain independent and live in their homes, with a connection to resources through a Senior Adult Independent Living (SAIL) program case manager. In some situations, the case manager is also there to help a client recognize when it is no longer safe for them to be living alone.
When case manager Traci Pretty learned about Michael’s situation, she consulted with him to help create a plan to tackle his situation. With health and safety as the biggest and most immediate priority, Traci arranged a clean and safe place for Michael to stay. He was temporarily relocated to a hotel. The infestation was so severe that Michael was not able to save most of his belongings, including his clothing. Traci made sure that Michael was provided with new clothes. But her care didn’t stop there.
Knowing that it would be difficult and unsafe for Michael to return to an empty home to live alone with no family in the state, Traci talked to him about options for housing where he would have help and be able to enjoy a better quality of life. Using community resources, she helped Michael make the transition into an assisted living facility where he could be cared for, comfortable, safe, and have people nearby to help him.
Maricopa County’s Human Services Department SAIL case managers provide care and connection to the county’s aged population and adults with disabilities. Their goal is to help these members of the community have safe and healthy homes where they can live independently for as long as possible. And, in Michael’s case, when they are no longer able to safely live alone, people like Traci and her colleagues are there to help them find their best options.
Family members, neighbors, friends, and community members who recognize that an older adult or person with a physical disability might benefit from a connection to the County’s support system are welcome to make a referral by calling the Senior Help Line at 602-264-4357 or toll-free at 888-783-7500 or TTY/TDD 7-1-1. View the program flyer here.
For more information on the programs and services available through Maricopa County’s Senior and Adult Services Division, visit www.Maricopa.gov/SASD.