Forest Hills Service to Help, Connect Older Residents

This initiative will help older people to remain in their own homes.

Link-Age-to-Age, a service to help older residents stay in their own homes, will debut in in July. 

It will connect seniors in the borough to reputable repair resources vital to maintaining safe, secure living environments, and ensure that many more options are just a phone call away. 

Similar to the "Village" programs that are springing up in cities across the nation, Link-Age-to-Age will support neighbor helping neighbor. At its core are about a dozen residents who read about "Village" and realized that Forest Hills was already ahead of the curve when it came to serving its older adults—its senior center with branch library and its Flivvertransportation system fill many local needs.

Organizers, all volunteers recruited from borough council, civic organizations and churches, have been working since November to assess adult needs, available assistance and more.

They found that Eastern Area Adult Services, Meals on Wheels, the Forest Hills Ministerium and other health and welfare providers do a great job of fulfilling care needs, and that a bigger problem is communication.

As Margaret Reed, of Sharon Drive, put it: "Seniors either don't know about these programs or don't make the calls necessary to access them." 

They realized that many older residents also could use help with the simple tasks that frustrate them at home, things like changing ceiling light bulbs, repairing leaky faucets, or replacing broken cabinet or door hardware. To this end, organizers began gathering business cards from local workers they'd used and posting them at the Forest Hills Senior Center where the information is accessible to all. That way, residents who need to have work done at home can check the Resource Board, pick and choose from postings, then negotiate the fees for service.

Another component of Link-Age-to-Age is a neighbor-to-neighbor program. Through it, a resident receives four postcards for recording and exchanging emergency information. That resident and two of his or her neighbors would list contact names and phone numbers. Each would keep a card to place on their refrigerators. The fourth card would be sent to the Forest Hills Police Department to aid officers called to their homes for medical or safety emergencies. 

Link-Age-to-Age will maintain a presence at the , with staff and volunteers there answering telephone inquiries and directing callers as is most appropriate. Residents are urged to telephone 412-824-5610 or visit the center on Avenue D to find resources to help them at home.

The official Link-Age-to-Age kick-off will be July 4, Community Day, in Forest Hills main park. Stop by the Link-Age booth to learn more about the new service.


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