In early 2016, Innovations in Aging Collaborative led a team of organizations to develop a local implementation of Senior Reach, a program which identifies older adults with mental and behavioral health needs and connects them to appropriate resources in the community before they reach a crisis situation. After incubating the initiative and forming collaborative partnerships within the community Innovations in Aging passed Senior Reach along to Silver Key for implementation. Now offered under the umbrella of Silver Key services, the program is called Silver Key SOS.
The Senior Reach model is an evidence-based program that provides behavioral health treatment, wellness and care management services to individuals over 60 who are frail, isolated and/or need support. The model integrates behavioral health services, publicly provided services and quality of life support services for older adults to support aging in place. We utilize a collaborative model of subcontractors and a steering committee that is in place with Innovations in Aging, Silver Key, the CU Aging Center, AspenPointe, 211 of Pikes Peak United Way and the Area Agency on Aging.
The model calls for the training of “community partners” (volunteers) on how to recognize early warning signs when an older adult may need assistance and where to refer that individual. These community partners become keen observers of seniors’ personal appearance, mental and emotional states, personality and physical changes, poor health, social problems, substance abuse, caregiver stress, abuse or neglect, social isolation, financial hardship, and risk factors for suicide.
Silver Key SOS creates a single entry point for referrals and screening for depression and at risk substance use in order to provide follow-up services. Calls will go to Silver Key and will receive calls forwarded from 211. Each call by a concerned Community Partner will then be followed up by staff member of Silver Key. Appropriate telephone assessment and resource and referral will be provided. A home visit may follow to further assess and evaluate the need for services.
If individuals over 60 are identified at-risk for a behavioral health condition a referral for treatment at the CU Aging Center will be given and the team will support client engagement.