Elders Listening Session held at the Salt River Community Building.

Committee Supports Community’s Elders

By Richie Corrales
Au-Authm Action News

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members who are elders, who are disabled, or both, have a resource to help with any needs and concerns related to their well-being. The Senior and Disabled Community Advisory Committee (SDCAC) assists seniors and Community members with disabilities regarding issues related to home repair, financial assistance, transportation and learning more about the many other community and regional services available to them. SDCAC acts as an advocate to help these folks voice their concerns and get the help they need.

“We try to see that services are carried out to these individuals,” said Janet Andrews, SDCAC committee member. Andrews explained that the committee recently helped a family whose home was damaged by flooding after the September rains. Another success from this program involved a Community member whose very old home had become infested with bees; the committee obtained assistance for that person and was able to get him into a new home.

“[It involves] working with case workers for the seniors and disabled, Health and Human Services, and just making sure [seniors] get the services needed, whether it is assistance from grants or other financial assistance.”

Andrews added that the SDCAC also makes sure people are aware of services or issues that concern them, both federally and statewide.

“We should have in mind what resources are available for our seniors and disabled and help them get those services, or check on the services for them, and overall be that voice for those Community members,” said SDCAC chairperson Merna Lewis.

SDCAC was originally created in 1998 with the Health and Human Services Department, and it is sanctioned by the SRPMIC Tribal Council. The intent of SDCAC was to be a viable voice and a resource for the elderly and those with special needs in the Community.

“Sometimes it’s not easy to ask for help, but we want to make sure [people] know there are services available,” said Leonard Dallas, vice-chair of the SDCAC committee. The committee meets the second Tuesday at Lehi Community building at 5 p.m. and the fourth Tuesday at Senior Services at 5 p.m. to discuss issues and concerns regarding Community seniors and the disabled.

For more information on SDCAC, or if you have a concern or need, call (480) 362-6350 or 362-5484.

Senior and Disabled Community Advisory Committee Members
Chairperson: Merna Lewis (Lehi)
Vice-Chairperson: Leonard Dallas, Jr.(Lehi)

Six Representatives (Salt River)
Janet Andrews
Maria Chavez
Patricia Enos King
Joyce Moquino
Serena Padilla
1 Vacancy - Salt River (If you are interested in sitting on the committee, please go to Senior Services and fill out an interest form).

Committee Purpose
The intent of SDCAC is to provide the elders of the Community a forum and representation to express their concerns and advocate in the public interest for services both for the elderly and disabled. This also was to include the active sharing and expression of tradition, culture and values.
The bylaws for the Committee were drafted to provide a means of communication for these issues, not only to various tribal departments but to the Community Council.

Committee Objectives
• To be a voice and advocate to the seniors and disabled.
• To review, research and recommend policy with the assistance of the Department of Senior Services, evaluate existing services, and coordinate services with input from the elders and disabled.

Committee Meetings
Seniors and the disabled are welcome to attend the meetings held the second Tuesday of each month at the Lehi Community Center at 5 p.m. and the fourth Thursday of each month at the Senior Services at 5 p.m.

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