JFS of Metrowest is thrilled to announce that, thanks to the support of our many donors and volunteers, this week the program completed its 1,000th appointment!
Piloted in 2012, demand for the program has grown steadily with 260 frail older adults enrolled in the Patient Navigator program. With 50 active Navigators, JFS is able to accompany frail elders to more than ten doctors’ appointments every week. These older adults live in Framingham, Natick and surrounding towns, and appointments take place mostly within Metrowest but the Patient Navigator volunteers have helped elders access medical care in Boston, Worcester and others.
Supporting JFS’s mission to stand up for those left behind, Patient Navigator fills a gap in the healthcare system by supporting older adults who are living independently in the community, making sure they have the information and resources they need to manage their own health.
Patient Navigators are trained volunteers that accompany adults aged 60+ to their medical appointments, preparing them for their visit, taking notes during the consultation, making sure that follow-up appointments are made, picking up prescriptions and returning them safely home, reducing the stress often associated with medical appointments.
Patient Navigators are especially helpful when family members live far away or can’t be available, or for those patients who, because of sensory, mobility, emotional or cognitive/memory challenges, need personalized support for medical appointments.
Volunteers are vital to the success of the program and enable JFS to offer this important service at no cost to the client. The program is also supported through private donations and grants provided by the MetroWest Heath Foundation, Framingham Union Panel, CJP, Massachusetts Health Decisions, and Mutual One Charitable Foundation.
“Your program is wonderful,” said Muriel Litchfield of Framingham, who was the program’s 1,000th user. “You do so much for me, without your help I would not be able to get to my appointments and it would be hard for me to remember everything I am supposed to do.”
“One penny weighs less than an ounce, but add 1,000 pennies together and they weigh more than six pounds” said Malka Young, JFS Director of Healthy Aging and Geriatric Care Management. “Similarly, one thousand visits provided by 70 volunteers over the course of 3 years add up to a substantial and generous contribution that enables older adults to age in place in our community. One of our clients said it best: ‘I am a grateful, thankful user of the Patient Navigator Program. I love, love, love, love, need, need, need and benefit greatly from the Patient Navigators. I feel taken care of, I feel loved, I feel powerful, most of all I feel secure and safe.’ I am very proud of the Patient Navigator team and having accomplished this amazing milestone.”
Follow the links below to learn more about the JFS Patient Navigator program:
- Get help with medical appointments for an older adult
- Volunteer to be a Patient Navigator – sign up now to attend the next training on January 14, 2016
- Help elders get the support they need – donate today!
About JFS of Metrowest
JFS a non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to standing up for those left behind and provides services to over 5,000 people in need within the Metrowest region each year, including afterschool tutoring for at-risk children, nutrition assistance for low-income families, refugee resettlement case management and support services that enable frail older adults to live independently. To learn more about JFS visit www.jfsmw.org.