Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by virtuous living. - Proverbs 16:31
St. Martin de Porres is one of nine agencies throughout Rhode Island which work in partnership with The POINT, Rhode Island’s Aging and Disability Resource Center. St. Martin’s provides this service for all of Providence.
An established part of the aging network since 1970, St. Martin de Porres Center coordinates with over 40 agencies in bringing services to Rhode Island’s seniors. As a designated “Focal Point on Aging”, the agency is recognized nationally, as well as statewide, as an important resource for information on issues relating to the older population. Training is provided to lay leaders, civic groups, college field placement students and family caregivers.
Staff is available to guide older adults through the social service maze to locate resources such as Social Security, SSI, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Pharmaceutical Assistance, and subsidized housing. Much needed information and advocacy is also provided to the Latino community through an Hispanic outreach worker.
The Center’s social service staff continually follows up on referrals from neighbors, friends, family and other agencies, leading them to older people with problems of abuse, self neglect, financial management, lack of food, no heat, poor health and other crisis situations. Home visits are made to those unable to get out. After a needs assessment is made, the case management team develops and implements a comprehensive plan to meet the needs of elderly in crisis.
Access to the health care system is all too often an overwhelmingly complicated process. St. Martin’s staff nurse consults with elderly about health concerns, then helps arrange appropriate medical services such as doctor appointments and lab tests. In many cases the nurse escorts the person to appointments to facilitate better communication and understanding between medical personnel and patient. The center also hosts health screenings and speakers who give valuable information on various health topics. The ultimate goal being to keep older people healthy, independent and in their own homes.
St. Martin de Porres Center is also a place where older people can enjoy life. The center’s program coordinator develops and implements activities for “today’s” seniors. Seniors can join a computer class and explore the internet or stay in shape with a fitness group. Maybe they would like to do volunteer work in the community or be a part of intergenerational programs that offer an opportunity to bring students and elderly together. Craft classes are offered. Many enjoy playing a friendly game of cards or watching a good movie. Some just socialize and enjoy daily noontime meals. As one Center participant expressed, “Coming to the Center gives me a chance to get out of the house and feel good about myself. I forget my problems for a while.”
Day Services for Seniors are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.