Telespond Senior Services provides life-enriching services to older adults and their families on a community-wide and individual basis.
We aim to:
- provide high-quality, community-based care to older adults and caregivers
- enhance the well-being of older adults by promoting independent living
- offer low-cost alternatives to institutionalized care
- collaborate with service providers and healthcare experts to ensure effective delivery of programs
Since its inception in 1974, Telespond Senior Services has served older adults and their caregivers in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Our programs and organization were designed to encourage activity, promote independence and provide valuable programs and services to enrich the lives of clients and families navigating the aging process.
At Telespond Senior Services, we care for individuals 55 years of age and older with wide ranges of cognitive and physical abilities, including individuals who are physically or cognitively impaired and unable to perform their activities of daily living (ADLs) independently; are experiencing chronic health conditions that require regular health or medical supervision; and adults newly discharged from an acute care hospital or rehabilitation center.
Our on-site adult day care services are located at 1200 Saginaw Street, Scranton. Clients from across Northeastern Pennsylvania utilize our transportation program to take part in our on-site program in Lackawanna County. You’ll find comprehensive physical and occupational therapy services, as well as day-to-day personal care support like on-site showers, haircuts and manicures available to clients each day.
Along with on-site care, we offer non-medical in-home personal care services to help with the activities of daily living—including bathing, grooming, grocery shopping, meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping and companionship. This program is designed to keep living at home and as independently as possible, rather than transitioning to an assisted living home and/or nursing facility.
Telespond Senior Services’ Senior Companion Program in Lackawanna County is the perfect option for seniors who could benefit from a bit of help with day-to-day activities and would enjoy some company. This program is made possible through our robust network of active volunteers. The program, of course, benefits the client, but it is also so important in providing their caregivers with some well-deserved relief. Through this program, our volunteers give more than 220,000 hours of their time annually, assisting with activities such as getting dressed, shopping, running errands, light house cleaning, sharing a bite to eat and taking part in social activities. If you’re interested in this program, or in becoming a senior companion volunteer, please get in touch with us.
Our full-time social worker is focused on care coordination activities to facilitate the maximum eligibility of services and community connections. Organizationally, we are constantly evolving our services in response to client and family feedback.
Along with focusing on the needs of our regional elderly population, our staff understands the importance of healthy and supported caregivers. Family dynamics are complex, and caregivers need greater recognition, information and support to not only fulfill their roles as caregiver, but to also maintain their own health, financial security and mental well-being. Our in-person and virtual support groups allow caregivers to safely unwind from daily caregiving stressors and openly share their stories and experiences. We are excited to formally launch our Caregiver Connection program in the fall of 2020.
Telespond Senior Services is a 501(c)(3) non-profit funded through a dynamic mix of community partners, foundations, private donations and government sources.
Our current funders include:
- PA Department of Aging
- Lackawanna County Board of Commissioners
- Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging
- The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties
- Human Services Development Fund
- Foundational support and grants
- Private donors and estate giving
A Message from Our President/CEO
COVID-19 has undoubtedly impacted all of us in many ways. Whether it be economic woes caused by permanent job loss or temporary furlough, inability to visit family members, spending less time with our friends, or visiting our favorite restaurant, we have all been affected in one way or another.
The impact on our seniors has been even more devastating. In a recent article by Marcia Ory and Matthew Smith of Texas A&M Center for Population Health and Aging, CDC safety guidelines to self-isolate have put seniors at greater risk for a myriad of health-related conditions such as decline in cognitive functioning, a feeling of isolation and despair leading to depression and anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts.
Results of a National Poll of 2,000 adults aged 50 to 80, conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, 56% said they felt isolated from others, double the 27% in 2018. According to John Piette, Ph.D , professor at UM, “as the pandemic continues, it will be critical to pay attention to how well we as a society support the social and emotional needs of older adults.” Nearly 75% of those polled said their mental health was fair or poor, and they felt isolated. The use of technology to connect appears to be a double-edged sword, with those who use social media and video chat being more likely to say they felt isolated.
Thankfully, organizations like Telespond Senior Services are trying to address the issue of senior isolation through programs designed to help those most in need. Since 1974, Telespond has operated the federally-sponsored Senior Companion Program, which is available to volunteers 55 and over who can serve a minimum of 15 hours per week. They help fellow seniors live fuller, more independent lives, helping soothe feelings of loneliness and isolation. Senior companions visit income-eligible seniors twice per week for four hours, helping with household duties, preparing lunches, and providing much needed companionship. Our seniors and their families have reported improved mental outlook, increased appreciation of the opportunity for social interaction, and improved performance with activities of daily living (ADL’s).
Our fully staffed senior daycare offers a variety of activities, games, exercise and social interaction in a home setting, staffed by qualified caregivers, nurses, and therapists. Transportation is also provided, and clients can choose the number of hours per week through our flexible scheduling format. Interested families can take a tour and meet the staff. The daycare is open 5 days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., allowing clients to interact, engage, and participate in fun activities, while providing respite for their families.
Telespond typically serves individuals 60 and over including, but not exclusive to the following: Individuals who are physically or cognitively impaired and unable to perform their activities of daily living (ADL’s) independently, those with chronic health issues that require medical supervision, and adults newly discharged from hospitals rehabilitation centers, or home health.
We provide the services that allow families to keep their beloved, elderly relatives in the comfort of their homes for extended periods, thus delaying or avoiding placement in more costly alternatives such as retirement homes.
It is incumbent upon us to help our seniors connect and engage throughout this public health crisis and beyond. We owe it to them!
President and CEO
Telespond Senior Services, Inc.
Telespond Senior Services’ Board of Directors
Joseph Grilli, President & CEO
Honorable Andrew Jarbola