Programs Help Manhattan Seniors in the Winter Months
New York City is home to some of the country’s best senior-focused services, but mobility restrictions made worse by winter weather can make it difficult for many to access these resources.
Fortunately, DOROT, a Manhattan-based nonprofit focused on bridging generational gaps through volunteer and social services, is currently offering a pair of helpful programs that can make all the difference for seniors struggling through the winter months. DOROT’s Door To Door program provides seniors with volunteer travel companions to make reaching medical appointments and daily errands easier, while their Winter Package Delivery program brings participating seniors a winter care package and friendly social visit to brighten up a lonely winter’s day.
Both of these programs are available to seniors living within the following areas:
West Side Services are available between West 59th Street and West 125th Street
East Side Services are available between East 50th Street and East 96th Street
Door To Door Program
Description: DOROT keeps four Travel Companions on staff, as well as a small group of trained volunteers. Seniors are encouraged to request an appointment between two and three weeks prior to a planned trip.
Travel Companions can help clients walk, catch a cab, or use public transportation to reach medical appointments for up to three hours at a time. It should be noted that Travel Companions cannot fill out medical forms or accompany clients into the examination room.
Travel Companions can also be booked for two hours trips around the client’s neighborhood to assist in shopping and other errands, or to assist clients with limited mobility go on recreational walks around the neighborhood.
Finally, Travel Companions can run errands for home-bound clients, like shopping or picking up prescriptions. In order to do so, clients must make a complete list of the items they need, and complete a short form that documents how much money they are giving their Travel Companion for the trip.
Signing Up: Anyone interested in these services for themselves, a client or loved one can begin the process by calling DOROT’s resource line (212 769–2850) any weekday between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm to speak with an intake worker. A DOROT social worker will then contact the potential client to discuss their situation and schedule an in-home visit to learn more about the senior and see if they can benefit from other DOROT services.
Scheduling and Suggested Donations: Once approved for the service, seniors can request a Travel Companion two to three weeks prior to the date they would like to receive assistance. DOROT does not charge seniors for using the service, however a $5 cash or check donation will help the organization continue to offer and expand its services.
Winter Package Delivery Program
Description: DOROT organizes package deliveries throughout the year, but puts a special emphasis on the program during the winter months, when seniors are least likely to be spending time outside and engaging with their community.
Through the program, one of a staff of more than 800 volunteers picks up a package of secular, non-perishable winter goodies from a DOROT community center, calls the senior to tell them to expect a visitor, and then make their way to the senior’s home for a friendly, 1-hour social visit.
Signing Up: Seniors can request a visit by contacting DOROT’s resource line (212 769–2850) to set up a short introductory meeting with a DOROT social worker prior to receiving a volunteer visit. This program is completely free of charge for participating seniors.
If you or someone you know is interested in this program, you are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible to be eligible for the next package delivery on April 2nd.
Volunteering: Running these valuable services depends on DOROT’s ability to field reliable, trustworthy volunteers. In order to become a part of DOROT’s volunteer force, you are encouraged to visit their website and learn more about the organization, as well as sign up for a volunteer orientation meeting. These meetings are generally held twice a month in one of DOROT’s Manhattan offices.
SelectCare is proud to be part of a community that can make these vital programs possible and hope that everyone struggling through the season seriously considers reaching out to DOROT and joining their community. In SelectCare’s 30-plus years of operation, we have time and again been impressed with the hard work and dedication displayed by every member of DOROT’s team.
As part of New York City’s vast network of senior services, SelectCare is always on the lookout for new programs and opportunities that can benefit our community. To learn more about how our staff of home health care experts can help older New Yorkers continue to live happy, healthy lives in their long-time homes through our team of compassionate home caregivers and identifying valuable local resources, call us today or request a free home care guide.
For those not living in Manhattan…
It’s important to remember that DOROT also offers a number of services to seniors living outside their catchment areas as well. The organization’s University Without Walls program is currently accepting registration forms for their Spring/Summer semester of telephone-based continuing education and enrichment classes. To learn more, check out their latest course offerings or check out SelectCare’s previous coverage of this great program.