Senior Women Target Outreach Effort

This group works fast!

After just two meetings, the group of senior women participating in the Women’s Fund ‘Power of 10’ initiative has identified the top need it wants to use $10,000 to address.

The target: Identify women in need and establish a personal contact to get them to the resources they need.

This on-going outreach will be targeted to help senior women, who are:

  • 65 or older
  • home-bound/shouldn’t drive
  • lives alone or is a care-giver
  • proud
  • private/introverted/scared
  • beginning to find life a bit confusing
  • has lost communication systems

The group believes these women need someone they can trust and turn to for help.

Listening to their discussion, it sounded somewhat like what Big Brothers Big Sisters does for students – but this time for senior women. It is part friendship, part problem-solving, part resource identification.

How did the women get to this?

Looking back, the idea came out early in the first session. One of the women shared that she is an advocate for breast cancer patients. She helps them navigate the health care system, finding the specialists, support groups and treatments that they need. Her job is to make the diagnosis and treatment experience less overwhelming. Because she herself is a breast cancer survivor and she knows the resources available, she is able to just that.

As the group talked more about legal services, hunger and health insurance—the Big 3 issues identified in the first meeting—it became clear that services for all are available. The trick is in knowing where to find them – and trusting someone enough to ask for help.

That’s where the gap is.

Now, the group is asking the Women’s Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation to bring together agencies that serve seniors and find a way to help seniors and their families navigate the complex web of services available. We’ll report back to them on what we’ve found later this month.

What an exciting idea! We’ll keep you posted…

Submitted by: Brenda Haines, Women’s Fund Board of Directors

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