Friday, September 13, 2013

Gateway Trainings

Because of their unique role, our volunteer drivers have the tremendous potential to serve as bridges—or gateways—connecting seniors to other needed services.   But it can be overwhelming or confusing to determine what to do or where to turn when a senior is in need.  Therefore, we have collaborated with Senior Services’ Information and Assistance (I & A) program to offer three Gateway Trainings for our volunteers.   These seminars are intended to support participants in deciding why, how, and when to make referrals to the appropriate contact, as well as what typically happens once a referral has been made. 

Linda Phillips, I & A Advocate, conducted our first Gateway Training on September 10 in Shoreline.   She described some of the typical signs demonstrating that a senior is in need of additional assistance (including but not limited to):
Linda provides volunteer drivers with various case studies.
  • Unkempt appearance
  • Strong odors on person and/or in home
  • Depression, confusion, forgetfulness
  • Substance abuse
  • Caregiver stress
  • Financial and social problems
  • Physical losses
  • Yard and/or pets neglected
  • Home needs repair
  • Recent change in behavior.
If one of these red flags is observed, Linda recommended that volunteer drivers share their concerns with their Volunteer Coordinator/Scheduler, or the I & A program can be contacted directly at: 206-448-3110, 1-888-435-3377, or  She further explained how I & A advocates may make additional referrals/reports (e.g.:  to the Geriatric Regional Assessment Team or Adult Protective Services) if needed.  Overall, the hour-long training was very informative, and volunteer drivers received answers to many of their questions.

If you were unable to attend the Shoreline gathering, do not worry! We will host two more: one on Tuesday, September 24, at the Des MoinesSenior Activity Center @ 3:00PM and the other on Tuesday, October, 15, at the North Bellevue Community Center @ 3:00PM.  Please RSVP to Hilary at if you'd like to come.  Additionally, the video embedded at the top of this post (produced by St. Luke’s Eldercare Services) provides similar information.
It is our hope that we can all work together to gently direct seniors and their family members to curative services, fostering improved quality of life for this vulnerable population.


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“Behind the Wheel” offers stories, reflections, news and updates about Sound Generations’ (formerly Senior Services') Transportation Program. Throughout King County, our inspiring volunteers provide needed mobility to local seniors, supporting them in their efforts to remain independent, healthy, and happy. Please drop by to read more about the unique experiences of our volunteers, clients and staff!
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