What is a service coordinator? Service coordinators help save taxpayer dollars by connecting low-income people to vital supportive services. Some of these services, helping seniors maintain their independence, include in-home care, rent subsidies and food stamps. According to the American Association of Services Coordinators, the cost of these services plus a share of the service coordinator’s salary cost approximately $2,200 monthly. Let’s assume the average nursing home costs $6,500 monthly. This means that by providing supportive services to seniors in lieu of moving to a nursing home to obtain the same services, taxpayers save around $4,300 per month.
Eaton Senior Communities has had a service coordinator on-site for many years. In June 2015, Kate West joined Eaton as the ‘Resident Services Coordinator.’ She graduated from Metropolitan State University in May 2015 with a degree in “Program Coordination for Integrative Health.” Kate had previously interned with Eaton Senior Communities in 2014 and fell in the love with the community.
So, what does Kate do? The Resident Services Coordinator acts as a referral source to help individuals meet their needs in an independent setting. From the get-go, the Resident Services Coordinator establishes a relationship with residents during the prospective tenant home visit. Once the resident moves to Eaton, the Resident Services Coordinator completes a Vitalize 360 wellness assessment in order to get to know the resident and his or her needs. At this time, a care consultation plan is developed to address any outstanding needs.
Beyond the initial move-in process, the Resident Services Coordinator also assists with any issues that may arise throughout the resident’s time here. Whether they need assistance with finding grant funding for unexpected medical bills or help with understanding their benefit programs, the Resident Services Coordinator spends ample time addressing these issues in one-on-one appointments with the residents.
A large part of the Resident Services Coordinator’s role revolves around benefit and entitlement programs. Navigating Medicare, Medicaid and low-income subsidy programs is crucial to accessing supportive services. By educating residents about these programs, the Resident Services Coordinator strives to provide as many resources to Eaton’s residents as possible.
The Resident Services Coordinator also designed a website to act as a resource guide for residents so that they are able to get a brief overview of the resources available to them at Eaton. You can visit the website at http://residents.eatonsenior.org in order to view the resources and programs that the Service Coordinator frequently draws upon.