Non-profit Silver Key says elderly calling in 'crisis mode' asking for help

Posted at 12:54 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 16:10:26-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The non-profit Silver Key has always worked to find ways to support our seniors citizens, and since that population has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak, they're seeing increased demand for their services every day.

Right now, folks are relying on services like wellness checks on the phone, and access to their food pantry and meal delivery service.

Silver Key says based on March's data, their calls of reassurance have gone up by a thousand a month and they went from providing about 700 meals a day to more than 1,200.

Volunteers and staff estimate they're seeing about five to ten new people daily signing up for their services.

"Folks call us now more in that crisis mode," said Derek Wilson, Director of Development at Silver Key.

The pandemic is only intensifying existing issues.

"Folks that, you know, are already on tight budgets, [and] it may have just become tighter," Wilson pointed out.

Especially since our elderly, who are at-risk, now have less options.

"They're scared," Wilson noted. "They're frantic because they can't get out, [and] when they do get out, they're having trouble finding the things they need."

Silver Key is stepping up to fill these gaps, even delivering meals to those who can't leave their homes.

But most importantly, they're doubling down on the emotional support for a population already sensitive to social isolation.

"They're not engaged, they're not interacting, they're not connecting. That loneliness drives down the quality of life and with that, quantity of life is affected through all kinds of things like anxiety, depression, and loneliness," Wilson explained.

"So, [our calls of reassurance are] a way to have a bright, friendly, engaging conversation with a senior."

Silver Key has about 450 active volunteers and 70 staff members working.
Those who are helping out in-person are all being provided protective gear, and following social distancing guidelines.
But now,a large part of their volunteer force is now staying home due to health reasons.

If you would like to contact Silver Key Senior Services to find out more about the resources they're providing, you can call them at (719) 884-2300.