Iona House Community Service Center offers a daily phone call service to homebound elderly persons in several neighborhoods in the far Northwest area, including Potomac Palisades, Friendship, American University Park, Spring Valley, Wesley Heights, north Cleveland Park and Chevy Chase-D.C.
Telefriend, begun last October, is manned by 10 volunteers, who call a total of 12 people each day to check on their welfare. In the event of emergencies, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase rescue squad is called.
Sally McCarthy, acting director of Iona House, said there is no charge for the Telefriend service.
The organization also publishes a directory of businesses that give a 10 to 15 percent discount to senior citizens.
McCarthy said that the center received a grant in 1976 from the D.C. Office on Aging to publish the directory. The first printing was completed last August and 8,000 copies are being circulated. Most of the businesses listed are small, family owned stores in the Northwest area.
"We want to get other senior centers across the city to solicit merchants in their areas to participate," McCarthy said.
The directory is available in Northwest Washington at the Spanish Senior Center, Barney House, the District Office on Aging and the Palisades, Tenley, Chevy Chase and Cleveland Park branch libraries. In Southeast, copies may be obtained at the Friendship House and the Southeast Neighborhood House; in Southwest at the Southwest Senior Center, and in Northeast at the Philip Johnson Center.
Iona House is located at 4200 Butterworth Place, NW. For more information on the discount directory or on Telefriend, call 966-1055.
The Senior Craftsmen Showcase at 2647 Connecticut Ave. NW, sells items that are handmade by seniors in the Washington area.
Dorayne Lyon, the project coordinator, said, "We have 490 consignors that are active now. The idea is to let people use the skills they already have. We're like a year-round bazaar. We try to organize it so that each person gets what he wants for the items he sells. We add on another one-third to defray the expenses of running the shop."
The non-profit store sells rag dolls, quilts, hooked rugs, jewelry, lamps and wood-working, among other things. It is funded by the D.C. Department of Recreation and the D.C. Office on Aging. Several community service organizations also serve as sponsors.
Lyon said that consignors are organizing a special exhibit of crafts that will be sent to a gerontological convention in Tokyo. Contributions and ideas for the exhibit are needed.
The showcase, which was organized seven years ago, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays. For more information on the exhibit or on the Senior Craftsmen Showcase, call 265-3611.
The D.C. Office on Aging offers an Information Referral and Follow-up Service (IRIS) for people over the age of 60. It lists more than 250 social service agencies that help elderly citizens and also provides speakers for groups of seniors and agencies to acquaint them with the resourses offered to the elderly in the District of Columbia, according to Alice Coner, the office's coordinator for public relations.
The IRIS number is 724-5626. It operates between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., from Monday through Friday.
Howard University has received a grant for $74,824 to study the Metro subway system and determine whether elderly and handicapped persons actually can make effective use of subways.
Don Coleman, director of the Urban Systems Engineering program and a proffessor at Howard said that the Metro system was built according to standards and requirements set by the American National Standards Institute.
Albert White, a research engineer at Howard, and Coleman will be the principal investigators for the project. They will be aided by Howard University graduate students in the Urban Systems Engineering program. They will study the accessibility of Metro stations by the elderly and handicapped and the compliance of Metro with the ANSI guidelines.
The one-year grant begins on July 1.