March 12, 2018
This even has been canceled for tonight but will be rescheduled. Please check back for further information.
December 14, 2017
Deaconess Nurse Ministry is an organization devoted to improving and promoting the health and well-being of the St. Louis community. This organization is dedicated to advocating for the voiceless and marginalized in the healthcare system. This mission can be seen through their work serving older adults living in impoverished parts of our community.
Through their Senior Health Faith Community Nurse Program, Deaconess is committed to improving the quality of life and empowering older adults in the St. Louis community to remain in their homes. The program utilizes an innovative approach that goes beyond caring simply for individual’s physical well-being but promotes health of the body, mind, and spirit of older adults. This unique program emphasizes the importance of community and meets clients where they are, performing services in familiar community locations such as soup kitchens and food pantries. This emphasis on community helps build trust between clients and their “community nurse” as the registered nurses in this program are known. Community nurses work within community places to promote access to healthcare services to high-risk older adults. Soup kitchens and food pantries are vital outreach locations because the low-income older adults who use these services are twice as likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, and mental health concerns. Without effective screening, education, and referrals, low-income older adults often struggle with isolation and lack proper treatment. Community nurses address this need by providing consistent, easy to understand health screenings and education to empower older adults to remain in their home safely and independently as long as possible.
Each community nurse takes the time to truly listen and understand their client so that they are able to provide the best quality of care and services. Nurses act as educator, caregiver, and advocate to ensure that the person’s mental, physical, and spiritual needs are addressed. Clients in this program receive much needed social service referrals to support them in remaining independent in their home. Community nurses teach about topics personalized to individual needs such as medication administration, disease management, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices. Through this education, individuals are empowered to take control of their own wellbeing and are better able to lead healthy, independent lives. Taking the time to provide education has proven to be highly successful with 96% of clients able to demonstrate compliance with their medications and 83% able to demonstrate knowledge of their disease process. Support is ongoing with the community nurse visiting at least twice a month, as well as receiving a phone call each week. Care is provided for a minimum of three months or until individual healthcare goals are reached. Through their Senior Health Faith Community Nurse Program Deaconess Faith Community Ministries serves about 360 older adults annually and hope to continue to touch more lives through this impactful program.
For more information about Deaconess Faith Community Nurse Ministries please visit their website: www.faithnurses.org
September 25, 2017
The St. Louis New American Alliance, has launched its New American Hotline available Monday-Friday 8am-4pm to connect immigrants & refugees to service providers! The number is 314-277-5824. Questions can be asked via call or text. The hotline is also available via Whatsapp. Right now, answers are only available in English, Spanish, and French. However, they hope to add additional language capacity soon!
February 27, 2017
The Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis has been actively engaged in supporting organizations that help immigrants and refugees with the many challenges of their new lives in America. In the spring of 2014, the Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis, Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, and the Saint Louis Mental Health Board hosted three gatherings to convene area provider groups serving immigrants and refugees. The purpose was threefold: to strengthen the work provided to our region’s aspiring Americans by increasing the networking and relationships among professionals and key stakeholders; to enhance understanding of the gaps in safety net provisions available; and encourage proactive planning to prepare the community for changes to the nation’s immigration policies. The gatherings confirmed that efforts underway to serve this population were increasing as new programs were being introduced resulting in knowledge gaps about available resources. The outcome of these gatherings was the formation of an all-volunteer community-based group of concerned professionals and citizens known as Immigrant Service Provider Network or ISPN.
With nearly thirty members, ISPN has since formalized its structure by identifying executive committee leadership, creating bylaws, and forming working groups. Since 2015, this all-volunteer network has developed membership support and strategic outreach, started a resource directory, implemented a community education and enrollment outreach designed to explain the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) programs. Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA) serves as the primary convener and fiscal conduit for project activities. With MIRA’s support, ISPN has offered free of charge educational clinics to help prepare immigration documents and delivered webinars on topics including Immigration 101, employment, and DAPA training. The coalition also created a website and developed education materials.
The funder collaborative between Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis and Lutheran Foundation continues to support the staff position at MIRA assigned to actively support ISPN outreach as well as host for the ISPN work groups. The collaborative between MIRA and the ISPN participants has led to a leadership development strategy to strengthen member and volunteer capacities for effective action. In 2016, approximately 450 immigrants and refugees living in the St. Louis region received assistance as a result of ISPN’s collaborative work.
For more information on Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA) & Immigrant Service Providers Network (ISPN) please visit the following website
February 24, 2017
The senior population over 65 is the fastest growing group in the United States. Between 1980 and 2010, the population rose over 60%, and experts predict that adults over 60 will double and adults over 85 will triple by 2050. One out of every four 65 year olds today will live past the age of 90, and seven out of ten of those same 65 year olds will need long term care. In the Saint Louis region (St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County), counties expect their population over 60 to increase by an average of 10%. While the population is obviously rising exponentially, government funding through the Older Americans Act for home and community based senior services has dropped by 35%. This means that for every dollar there was per senior in 1980, there is only 47 cents per senior today. This does not even take into account the growing burden on social security funding as this population grows and lives longer than ever before.
There is great need, despite what might be assumed from the decrease in funds. In the St. Louis region, 10% of Missouri Seniors live in poverty, 19% live with the threat of hunger and half of all senior women devote more than a third of their income to housing. About 37% have a disability, 12% have two or more disabilities and a senior is 30% more likely to fall in Missouri than the national average. Unfit homes, lack of mobility, medical concerns and other obstacles severely impact quality of life for seniors. Nursing homes and assisted living are expensive and nearly twice as much as the cost of adult care givers or home based services. Most seniors would prefer to live independently in their own home rather than a facility, but at this point many are unable to do so because of safety, health and mobility risks.
This is where the Seniors Count of Greater St. Louis entered the picture. This collaborative, community based initiative was dedicated to develop local solutions to improve the quality of life of older persons and their caregivers, especially those who are most vulnerable. This grass roots organization, spearheaded by a committee of leaders from area senior services providers, began in June 2013 when the Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis funded a survey to assess community perceptions and concerns about the needs of seniors who desire to live independently, as well as the willingness to support a local tax levy that, if passed would create local support to serve older adults. Results showed an interest in a levy, because there were not enough services available.
The Seniors Count Initiative proposed a small, personal property tax levy to form a Senior Services Fund, which would provide financial support for community services for seniors that allow them to age in place. Other counties in Missouri have implemented similar programs such as Clay County outside of Kansas City. In 2015, Clay County Senior Services provided almost $1 million in funding for transportation, home repair, educational opportunities, emergency response systems and exercise classes to area seniors. These services and more can make a huge difference in the quality of life for a senior.
Congratulations to the City of St. Louis which passed the Seniors Count Proposition S, which was on the ballot November 8, 2016. They now join 54 other counties in Missouri which have implemented this quality of life initiative for seniors in their areas.