As published in the Old Colony Memorial Newspaper, March 9, 2016

With 235 employees, Old Colony Elder Services’ headquarters in Brockton was getting a tad cramped.

That’s why this nonprofit, which services the needs of elders and individuals with disabilities across 23 South Shore communities, has expanded, with offices in Plymouth now at 204 South Meadow Road.

Old Colony Elder Services hosted an open house Wednesday, March 2, sharing refreshments and chit-chat with visitors who roamed the 7,200-square-foot new facility, appreciating the new cubicles, rugs, fresh paint and meeting rooms.

Old Colony Elder Services Executive Director Diana DiGiorgi led a tour, noting that the Brockton location just wasn’t large enough for all the employees.

“We cover Marshfield to Wareham and out to Stoughton and Avon – more than 23 towns,” DiGiorgi said. “Our southern anchor now is Plymouth; our northern anchor is Brockton. Twenty-five employees are already here, and there’s room for 50.”

OCES’s service area includes Brockton, Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Middleboro, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland, Stoughton, Wareham, West Bridgewater, and Whitman. The mission of OCES is to support the independence and dignity of elders and those with disabilities by providing essential information and services that promote safety and health.

For example, OCES offers adult family care for those 16 and older who require daily supervision or physical assistance, all around home health care for eligible seniors, congregate housing for those 50 and older with a permanent disability, emergency assistance for qualifying disabled elders who need fuel assistance, minor home repair, help paying utility bills or rent or other needs. OCES also provides family caregiver support, home care management and nursing services, money management, options counseling personal care attendants, and the list goes on and on. OCES partners with a myriad of providers and programs, connecting seniors and disabled individuals with the assistance they need.

The kicker is, many don’t know about all the available services and are equally unaware that they qualify for them. A call to OCES is all it takes for the clouds to clear as staff assesses the client’s needs and what types of services they qualify for and require. Many struggle through problems with no idea there is help available to them, DiGiorgi said. OCES plays a crucial role in the well-being and happiness of many disabled and elderly residents by helping them stay in their homes, in the many cases.

“We believe in the right of self-determination,” she said. “Even though I don’t do direct hands-on care, my role is breaking down barriers and connecting people who know about the available services with people who need the services. It is very satisfying to me.”