Avenidas Care Partners Manager Paula Wolfson accepted a 2022 Stanford Community Partnership Award on behalf of the Avenidas-Stanford Elder Care Partnership in a ceremony on March 4.
For more than four decades, Stanford faculty, staff, and students have supported and collaborated with Avenidas programming including the Avenidas Rose Kleiner Center, Avenidas Care Partners, Avenidas Chinese Community Center, Volunteer Corps, and Door to Door program.
During the pandemic, the deep foundation of the relationship between Mona Hartmann, Resource and Referral Coordinator of the Stanford WorkLife Office, and Avenidas Care Partners Manager Paula Wolfson allowed both to quickly pivot to meet the sudden and unprecedented need to care for hundreds of older adults and their caregivers with programs for frail and disabled seniors, family caregivers, monolingual Chinese, and older adults seeking social connection.
Avenidas and the Stanford WorkLife Office supported family caregivers through phone consultation and online resources, including guidance and advice for Stanford employees, retirees, and students. Campus caregiver groups provided support and built community among neighbors.
Another pivot happened when Avenidas joined Stanford in a collaboration they had with PAMF called “Operation PPE,” designed by geriatricians to get vital equipment to local care facilities and agencies who otherwise had no access.
Paula brought in Avenidas employees Jyllian Halliburton, who oversees two Avenidas programs—Volunteers and Transportation—and Margaret Bennett, Avenidas driver, to handle the warehousing, inventory and distribution of over 100,000 units of PPE.
On a related note, Paula has kept in touch with several Stanford students who served as Avenidas Fellows, and they told her the perspective their experiences gave them.
“When I was a Fellow at Avenidas, I studied senior nutrition and interviewed many family caregivers for my pre-med course on Population Studies. Now that I am in my second year of medical school, I have researched and initiated a project on the health of family caregivers.”Akua Nyarko-Odoom, Stanford Pre-Med Graduate, Second Year Medical Intern, University of Virginia School of Medicine
“My generation is immersed in a first world where everything is digitized, yet my experiences being a caregiver in the homes of clients have taught me that empathy, trust and companionship cannot be enabled with lines of software code or telemedicine. We need new options, and to rethink ways of engaging multigenerational support, empower and pay family caregivers, and create new models of care for healthy aging in place.”Nicholas Berhardt-Lanier, Stanford Longevity Fellow, Working Caregiver
“Joining the Avenidas Care Partners support group for several sessions helped me become aware of how challenging it is to care for your loved ones as they become frail. It helped me plan ahead. My parents are young, but I was able to assess financial, insurance, and legal options so that when the time comes to care for them, I’m fully prepared.”Ezequiel Halac, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Senior Director, Virtual Care, Rightway, NYC.