Federation-funded senior concierge making connections to vital services

By February 1, 2016July 21st, 2017Impact Stories

Our community’s seniors are among our most valuable resource. They hold a wealth of knowledge and our history and traditions. They deserve to age in place and with Jewish dignity.

The Federation recognized this and funded research to determine what services seniors wanted and needed. As a result of the study, a senior concierge program emerged, administered by our organizational partner Jewish Family & Children’s Service.

Janet Arnold, an active member of the community, was hired this summer. She quickly began compiling a comprehensive database of existing services and tracking where there may be unmet needs.

Janet Arnold Senior Services Concierge
Since July, Senior Concierge Janet Arnold has helped connect thousands of seniors to vital programs and services. The creation of the position was funded through the Federation as part of its initiative to help seniors age in place and with Jewish dignity.

“The first six months have far exceeded our expectations in terms of numbers of people helped and the impact on the community,” Janet said. “I receive calls daily from folks who are asking about socialization, education, transportation, home care, living facilities, legal assistance and more. I even receive calls from out-of-state relatives concerned about their local family members.”

As senior concierge, Janet connects the community’s seniors and those who care for them to vital programs and services. She helps them to find the answers to questions dealing with anything from social opportunities, classes and programs, to housing and transportation.

“Many of our seniors don’t know where to turn in times of need. The Senior Concierge Program provides easy access to information for those in crisis and those who have a question on any level,” said Ellie Schwartzberg, MC, LPC, vice president of Older Adults and Jewish Community Services for JFCS. “It has been a pleasure to work with the Federation on this project as they have been most receptive in supporting us with any request.”

Though the position is based out of the Valley of the Sun JCC on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Janet is available by phone and e-mail at other times. She is also reaching out to Jews throughout the valley. She has spoken to many groups, including Smile on Seniors, Arizona Jewish Historical Society, East Valley JCC, Kollel women, Jewish War Vets, Brandeis and Holocaust Survivors.

Arnold has an extensive, ever-changing, database of services in a wide variety of areas, as well as brochures on many services and companies providing assistance to seniors. She is working to address the interests and needs brought to her by the community’s seniors.

“I receive quite a few questions regarding Medicare, for example we set up a program to help folks navigate the over-whelming amounts of mail and paper work associated with signing up,” said Janet. “I’m happy to bring in speakers on topics and look forward to connecting people to the services they need and want.”

Janet has answered thousands of questions and helped connect hundreds of seniors to services since she started in July.

If you have a question for the senior concierge, please contact Janet at 480.599.7198 or janet.arnold@jfcsaz.org.