Ask Pike County Area Agency on Aging’s APPRISE Coordinator Kathleen Sidorski why she does what she does for Pike County seniors, and you’ll get an earful, but most of it will be about what still remains undone.


Ask Pike County Area Agency on Aging’s APPRISE Coordinator Kathleen Sidorski why she does what she does for Pike County seniors, and you’ll get an earful, but most of it will be about what still remains undone.
 
What do you think the most important issue facing Pike County seniors is today?

 “I know there are at least three or four hundred seniors in Pike County that are really in need of subsidized, low income housing that is accessible to them, but right now we don’t even have a housing authority. We have to bring people way up here to Waymart just to talk to someone, and it takes a year just to get an appointment. I know of many seniors who live in third floor walkups in Matamoras because it’s all they can afford.
 “It really shouldn’t be that way. We should really take better care of our seniors than we do. We have enough land in Pike County that is just sitting there, like that industrial area up on Route 434. There are already roads in, why can’t we put housing in there that’s accessible to the elderly? There’s room there where you could have a clinic, dentists and everything right there, and they would be safe and secure. As it is now, we don’t even have houses to put them in to protect them.”

What are some of the other issues seniors face?

 “There are insurance scams, tax scams, and so many more, but a lot of the time, the people who get ripped off are embarrassed, so they don’t want to call and report it. Part of what I try to do is help people in that situation find some kind of help.Somebody has to be there to fight for these people. Somebody has to be there to stop people from taking advantage of them.”
   
Why is working for seniors so important to you?

 “To me, these people have worked all their lives through harder times than these, and they’ve got their due coming to them. To me, the best thing I can do for [seniors] is to make it easier for them to be happy and enjoy what used to be called the ‘golden years’ without feeling threatened by past due bills or people taking advantage of them. I want them to be safe where they’re living and free from exploitation by family members or others they think they can trust, which is a big issue. I’ll do anything I can to help, and I think I’m blessed with the opportunity to do all that. I just want to give back all that I can.”

More about Kathleen Sidorski:
• Resident of Hemlock Farms
• Employed with Pike County AAA since August 2005
• Other Duties:   Home delivered meal assessments, processing tax rebates for injured veterans, LIHEAP applications for low income heating assistance, PACE applications for low income Medicare recipients, USDA loans and dental referrals for low income people.
Recognitions: Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s 2011 Delta Award for achieving impressive improvement in service to the APPRISE program in Pike County.