Ethos offers care to Rozzie seniors

November 4, 2011
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Ethos, an elderly support non-profit based in Jamaica Plain and serving Roslindale, is offering new programs to Rozzie seniors.

Ethos provides supportive services to elders and their care-givers to keep elders in their own homes.

Among other new programs, Ethos has started an “Out to Brunch” event on Saturdays at Roslindale House at 120 Poplar St. for older lesbians.

“Older lesbians didn’t have a male partner [from whom] to inherit Social Security, so they tend to work late in life,” said Ethos Executive Director Dale Mitchell, explaining the unusual weekend date. Ethos’s other regular “cafés” are all during the week.

Ethos is also offering new programs like counseling for elders and caregivers who are thinking about moving to a nursing home, or transitional coaching to prevent re-hospitalization for at-risk elders leaving a few local hospitals.

The organization is also offering a new program for elders who may be considering leaving full-time nursing care to rejoin the community. Ethos’s program helps those elders and their families to find a new balance outside institutional care, Mitchell said.

The several-weeks-long waiting list for one of its programs is gone, and a few new programs have been recently implemented.

“Anyone who needs home care and qualifies for the program should call us,” Mitchell said.

But the shadow of budget cuts looms ever large, Mitchell said.

But “the dark cloud on the horizon,” Mitchell said, is hovering over Ethos’s elder protective service programs, which work to prevent abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of elders.

“We’ve had to limit the people allowed into the program,” Mitchell said. In the last fiscal year, Ethos had to turn away three times as many people as applied.

“That’s very disturbing. That’s something were very concerned about,” Mitchell said. “Not being able to respond to neglect is a great source of frustration and concern.”

“We’re hurting like everybody else is hurting,” Mitchell said.

“It’s kind of a weird schizophrenic period of all of us. The good news is, the state government is recognizing that home- and community-based care is better in every perspective than institutional care. The bad news is it’s not consistent. It’s very piecemeal. We have growth in some areas and cutbacks in others,” Mitchell told the Gazette.

Ethos can be reached at their website, ethocare.org, or 617-522-6700.