Municipal Agent Wears Many Hats

An advocate for the elderly, Denise Stein’s position as Elderly Outreach Worker – Municipal Agent has her wearing a number of different hats on any given day.{{more}}

Stein can be found in a tiny office in the Community Services section of High Plains Community Center.

She has been with the town for two years. Prior she was in Fairfield she said.

She has 20 years vested in human services.

Stein said the multi functions of her job keep it interesting.

“People call and ask a lot of questions. They might be worried about their neighbors asking for welfare checks. When I get calls like this I always try to visit the person,” Stein said.

The municipal aspect of her job allows her to consistently advocate for the seniors in town.

This is an appointed position

“I had to swear an oath,” she said.

As an advocate she is always reaching out to various agencies for town residents.

Through these agencies she can sometimes get medical treatment

She can also help with copays on prescriptions and doctors’ visits or hospitalizations.

She also oversees entitlement programs such as Medicare, food stamps, cash assistance and administers the energy assistance program

For seniors who come to her for assistance she automatically checks to see if they qualify for the medical savings program.

This is based on income.

To potentially qualify a single person must make less than $2,356/ month. A couple must earn less than $3,180.78.

She also maintains the town’s At Risk list which includes the frail and elderly.

This list, she said, alerts the emergency responders to know where they live in the event of a disaster.

She maintains the senior/subsidized housing status as well.

“There is a waiting list to get on the waiting list,” joked Stein referencing Silverbrook Senior Housing.

“There is not enough senior housing no matter where you go. I don’t know how seniors do it these days,” she said.

Stein said there is a five year wait to get into to Silverbrook.

She is also part of TRIAD which is comprised of the public, police and businesses in town who work together to inform people about any scams.

She said she also gets a lot of calls regarding junk mail asking if the endorsements are true, saying some junk mail referenced a prominent politician’s name in its advertising making it appear that politician was endorsing the product