Program depends on neighbors to help identify ‘Silent Seniors’
FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Office on Aging wants to find seniors who live alone to see if they are in need of government services.
The program, called “Silent Seniors,” relies on neighbors to identify seniors who live alone and report them to Office on Aging staff, who will then do some outreach.
“The goal of this program is to find senior citizens who are unattended and isolated,” Freeholder Amy A. Mallet said. “We’re looking for people who don’t have anybody and might need some kind of assistance. We have no way to identify them on our own, so the public’s help is needed.”
Thomas Pivinski, director of the Office on Aging, said the “Silent Seniors” program should not be confused with the “Register Ready” program. Register Ready identifies seniors with disabilities and in need of assistance during an emergency, and places their names on a special needs registry.
Forms to sign up for Register Ready can be found at www.visitmonmouth.com
“There are countless seniors who are not connected, who do not get out regularly, who do not have a voice, who are Silent Seniors,” Pivinski said. “They are seniors who are in need of important services which they do not receive because no one knows they are out there.”
A Silent Senior might be an elderly person who never cuts his grass, hardly puts out any trash, who rarely has visitors to the house, and no one seems to know much about, Pivinski said.
“If this describes someone you know of but may not know personally, he or she is the Silent Senior we are asking you to help is with,” Pivinski said. “We don’t need their name. All we need is an address and someone from the Office on Aging will make a call and inquire about them.”
Oftentimes, elderly people who live alone need help shopping, going to the doctor’s office or even just someone to talk with, Pivinski said. Or, they may be in need of a regular meal, which can be arranged through the Office on Aging.
Contact the Office on Aging at 732-431-7450.