Health Care Coordination: The IAC provides escort and advocacy, interpretation and translation, and general support services to non-English speaking elders. This includes assistance in navigating health care system changes, connecting elders to eligible benefits and helping access programs to meet their economic and social needs. Southcoast Health nursing staff visits the IAC monthly to conduct health screenings, and the IAC hosts an annual Health Fair bringing together providers with members of the immigrant community.
Elder Day Care: This program, which is made possible by the Association for the Relief of Aged Women, and Coastline Elderly Services, serves Portuguese non-English speaking immigrant elders in a weekly Health, Wellness and Social program where they learn to manage their physical health with preventive care and behavioral changes, and maintain emotional wellness through a sense of communal belonging and participation. Clients in this program are usually illiterate in their native language with no higher than a 3rd grade education from their native country. A high percentage are female and widowed and experiencing social isolation.
Crochet and Lace Project – Elders engage in the creation of crochet and lacework projects that require concentration and attention to detail, as well as memorization. Crochet and lacework feature prominently in the lives of many Portuguese women, and the final products are used to decorate homes and given as gifts, passing on memories from older to younger generations. The work is exhibited at Arts and History Night in New Bedford and at the Massachusetts State House.
Singing Group – Elders sing, play instruments and dance to Portuguese songs. The music provides therapy for the participants, and the communal, emotional, and physical benefits are strong. Songs are performed for other Portuguese elders at local nursing homes.
A Matter of Balance – A Southeastern Health Initiative for Transformation (SHIFT) workshop designed to build physical strength and balance in order to reduce fall risk and fear of falling, improve fall self-management and promote physical activity.
My Life, My Health – A Southeastern Health Initiative for Transformation (SHIFT) screening workshop for cancer and diabetes. Clients are provided with tests and instructions on how to self-administer. Intensive, personalized follow-up is provided to increase return rates of testing kits, and keep clients engaged with health care providers for medical intervention and prevention.
Healthy Eating for Successful Living – A National Council on Aging workshop providing basic nutrition guidance, demonstrating how good eating choices lead to increased health and wellness and disease prevention.
Day Trips – Travel to local museums, historic sites, and performances, engaging clients in community participation.
Current Event Classes – Current event topics are selected for education and directed discussion, offering opportunities for intellectual stimulation and social interaction.
The Elder Day Program is supported by generous funding from the Association for the Relief of Aged Women (ARAW).
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Our case managers are multi-lingual, speaking five languages, and multicultural, able to fully understand the subtleties of culturally-based dreams and fears.