National Able Network’s Senior Services Department is piloting a new program, Senior Ambassadors!

What is a Senior Ambassador?

Senior Ambassadors are advocates and educators. They are seniors who are trained and educated about different social issues that are relevant to peers in their communities. Their purpose is to provide clear, straight-forward information about these social issues, share resources and facilitate referrals to community based organizations. The different topics that Senior Ambassadors can be trained on are numerous, covering such topics as: elder abuse awareness, identity theft/scams, Medicare/Medicaid or health and wellness.

Able’s five Senior Ambassadors have come from our Seniors Having Information For Tomorrow (SHIFT). Program. All Ambassadors are interested in learning about community engagement, education and customer service.

For this pilot year, Able focused on training   the Senior Ambassadors on the Affordable Care Act. The Ambassadors are responsible for going into their communities to educate and raise awareness about the importance of the Affordable Care Act and the positive changes that it can bring to individuals, families and communities.

One of the goals of SHIFT is to enhance employable skills for program participants.  The Senior Ambassadors have developed and enhanced many skills and have also learned some interesting lessons. Through their outreach activities, the Ambassadors have expanded their communication, public speaking and networking skills; which will assist them greatly as they continue working towards their employment goals.

Since early November, Ambassadors have been conducting outreach activities within their communities and among National Able Network programs. Through these efforts, the Ambassadors have been successful at referring close to 100 people to Able’s partner agency the Center for Economic Progress (CEP). CEP is responsible for assisting individuals with registering for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. During this time, Ambassador outreach efforts have been targeted towards individuals who are eligible for the Medicaid expansion, also known as County Care. Having learned that many people eligible for Medicaid are already signed up, the Ambassadors have now switched their focus to people who need to purchase insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace. We look forward to seeing the results from these new outreach efforts!