Assistance for our elders

A recent article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette has raised the awareness of the fragility of our senior population during times of duress. A resident here in Polish Hill was in dire need of assistance in getting basic needs met. The kindness of  James Gambrell and his coworkers at the Oakland Postal Station were timely and very much appreciated. The PHCA has been made aware that another neighbor has been assisting with property and utility issues for this particular elder. We have such nice neighbors here in Polish Hill.

A number of our neighbors here in Polish Hill are in their senior years. Maybe you are one of them or maybe you have a talking over the fence, passing the time of day, relationship with a senior neighbor. If you do, you might want to pass some information on to them. It might not save their life, but it might make their quality of life much better.

The central point of contact for aging-related services through the state and county is SeniorLine, a phone line that connects you to services such as senior center activities, care management, home health and many others. One pertinent point that you should know is that it can take months before a determination of eligibility for assistance is reached. Even though an elder citizen is not in immediate need, it might be best to at least register for the service so that you are already in the system. Processing eligibility will be much simpler for emergency services if the agency already has a history with an applicant. Call 412-350-5460 or email Many thanks to Senator Ferlo’s staff for providing this information. Visit the website

Another source for basic assistance is the Jubilee Kitchen, which provides foodstuffs to individuals. This can take the form of canned and boxed food. The organization delivers to the door, which is a great boon for individuals whose transportation is limited to walking and public transportation. Call Jubilee Kitchen at 412-261-5417.

Another provider for assistance is Meals on Wheels. Through this program, hot food is delivered on a daily basis to your home. You can speak directly with the provider for Polish Hill at 412-392-4450. Providers vary by neighborhood, but you can check here for your nearest provider.

One other thing that bears mentioning: some of these programs require that you register in person so that they can verify your age. Mostly, this is done at your local senior center, where a coordinator can also assist you in finding any additional programs that you may need.