Housekeeping, medical assistance and preparing meals are just some needs that senior citizens find difficult to meet. However, downtown-based ElderHelpLV attempts to tackle issues in meeting these needs by providing temporary housing and various resources to seniors throughout the valley.
Carolyn Walden and Curtis Davis, a husband and wife who head the nonprofit group, moved from their Swifton Court location to one on Howard Avenue, where they operate the Curcarlin House, providing temporary, as-needed housing to seniors by appointment. The center, which combines the couple’s names, exists to provide a place for seniors in need of short-term housing and assistance with general resources.
“We’re not a transitional living facility or a nursing home,” Davis said. “If someone needs a place to stay for a few days or a week to regroup and get on their feet, that’s what we (provide).”
Davis said those who call in seeking assistance from finding counseling services to personal care and live-in home services are typically family members of seniors. Whenever someone drops by the Curcarlin House or phones in, Davis tries to point them in the right direction for their needs, providing a list of services throughout the valley.
“Our whole purpose is information,” Davis said. “We needed health care information (for seniors), and there was no way of finding information. People call and get discouraged because they can’t find the information they need. There’s a lack of resources, and we want to make those available.”
The inspiration behind ElderHelpLV came from an event in October 2006 in which Davis had a three-month stay in the hospital. When he was discharged, Davis had difficulty caring for himself, and Walden struggled to care for him while working full time.
“When he got out (of the hospital), we didn’t know where to go or who to turn to,” Walden said. “Once he got back home and we realized there are other people out here with the same struggles or worse, we started this organization.”
Coupled with his personal experience and inspiration from a friend in Ohio who ran Visiting Angels, a similar senior care organization, the pair established the organization in 2009 and have since served “a few hundred” people through phone calls and housing, according to Davis.
But the couple want to do more by reaching out to senior citizens in mobile home parks and working with students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to survey seniors in particular neighborhoods. Their ability to operate ElderHelpLV comes from fundraisers, donations from senior care providers, which secure a spot on the organization’s resource list, and the pair’s own funds.
Walden said help from family members, co-workers, volunteers and community members have played a vital role in the nonprofit’s operations.
“It’s amazing how generous people are about seniors,” Walden said. “We were on a shoestring, and there were people who said (this project) couldn’t be done. People helped furnish the house, and everyone’s chipped in to do all that they can.”
Although money helps, Davis said the most important message he preaches is awareness for seniors’ needs in the valley.
“People need help out here,” Davis said. “It’s an ongoing situation. I think personal care and transportation are at the top of the list (of needs), and we’re going to find a way to help them. “
Although the pair works around the clock with ElderHelpLV, Walden said being able to assist elders in the valley is worth all of their efforts.
“People do take advantage of seniors,” Walden said. “Every day , this is a mission, and we’re committed because of what Curtis has been through.”
For more information on elderhelplv, call 689-0536 or visit elderhelplv.org.
Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter Lisa Carter at email@example.com or 383-4686.