Keeping Seniors Safe – A Team Approach!

Archie (name has been changed), is a 79 year old single man, with possible developmental delays. He was referred to Ethos’ EMHOT by Inspectional Services (ISD). His home, a house that he picked out for his parents when he was age 18 in 1959 and that he has lived in since 1962 was found to be in condemnable condition: he had no working toilet, the heating system was original to the home, the roof had squirrels coming in and out, and the interior and exterior were extremely hoarded with no clear pathways.  ISD engaged an inspector from Housing Court who reached out to a housing specialist from The City of Boston AgeStrong Commission.  In addition to reaching out to EMHOT, ISD also involved the Fire Department and The Department of Neighborhood Development (DND).  The Mental Health Case Coordinator also got Ethos’ Home Care Program involved.   Archie was aware that there were multiple agencies and authorities involved in his case.

All involved agreed that that every effort should be made to keep Archie in his home, as it would not be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic to have a 79 year old man in the shelter system, his only apparent housing option. And, it was known, due to Archie’s prior history with ISD and Elder Protective Services, that he would need a lot of structure and support to do so.

Archie made it clear that he also wanted to remain in his home. Housing Court mandated that he have the house cleaned out and accept Home Care services though Ethos as a condition for staying in the home. Archie used his savings to pay for the Hazmat team to do the clean out, and ISD and the Housing Court followed up with an inspection.  DND replaced the toilet and fixed the plumbing and is in the process of replacing the furnace. There are further plans to fix the roof weather permitting.

Home Care services have now been put in place for Archie; he is now receiving daily meals, laundry, and heavy chore services. Age Strong and EMHOT are working regularly with Archie on keeping the services coming in so that the conditions to not revert.  So far, this collaborative approach has proven successful; just recently Archie also had a Life Line system installed in his home!

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