We believe everybody deserves to live well
Our goal is to offer guidance and selecting options for you to choose the care you need. We understand that aging well, living independently and with dignity is a priority. It's about getting the right support for your personal health needs, and staying connected to family, friends and your local community. We work every day towards these goals.
Our two licensed social workers, Elise Feuerstein Karras and Mary Jo Motyka, are available to coordinate services, short term counseling, referrals and guidance. Members, regardless of age, income or status, are encouraged to contact Social Services when they feel the need. We see people in our office, their homes, hospitals and nursing homes. Our social workers can help with plans for your active years or retirement and provide information about important documents, such as advance directives.
How can we assist you?
Coordination of Services
We take an individual approach in connecting our members to community resources by helping them access appropriate programs. For example: Meals-on-Wheels, Access-a-Ride, and Legal Services for the Elderly are only some of the programs with which we connect.
After a hip replacement, Ms. M realized she could no longer get to the places that were important to her. We called for an Access-a-Ride application, helped her complete it and accompanied her to the interview.
We assess eligibility and refer to appropriate benefits and entitlements, i.e. Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, etc. We also field questions regarding Swiss benefits, entitlements, and citizenship.
A 79 year old member who is living independently was having difficulty covering her basic monthly expenses. By reviewing the benefits for older NYC residents, we discovered that she was eligible for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE). We helped her to apply for it.
We provide in-home, on-site (hospitals, rehab and nursing homes), and telephone or in-office counseling to help support the emotional well-being of our members. We remain in ongoing contact and make follow-up calls and home visits to supplement this goal.
A long-time SBS member recently learned that her closest relative in Switzerland had died. Given the dynamics of the long distance between her and her native country, we provided supportive counseling to help her process her loss and get through a period of grieving.
Information and Referral
We offer information and referral services to our members, including, but not limited to, medical, legal, social, and financial issues based on individual and personal needs.
A young mother who recently relocated to New York from Switzerland with her husband and young children needed to find child care in lower Manhattan. We were able to refer her to child care agencies and talked to her about what to look for in seeking child care in NYC.
Addressing End of Life Issues
We guide our members and their significant others in meaningful discussion on the practical, personal, and legal aspects of planning for the future.
Because we have known our members for so long, as their frailty increases, there are issues that arise which need our professional attention. Often with no family in the US, we are the ones who share with them in their life review, a discussion of their legacy, and also practical considerations such as legal, financial, and burial planning.
Other areas we can help you with:
- Benefits / Entitlements assessment
- Help staying at home
- Referrals to care services (including services for careers of people with a disability)
- Updating home environment and security to fit your needs
- Advisory services and case management
- Dementia care
- Housing help, Assisted Living