Local service offers support to “elder orphans”


SARASOTA- People count on their children and family to assist them as they age, but when there is no family to help these “elder orphans” can be easily taken advantage of.

“It’s amazing how many people just don’t have any family,” Rob Galkoff said. “They don’t have any children or people close to them that can help them at times as their life changes or in an emergency.

IKOR provides support to these “Elder orphans”.

“People refer to us as there surrogate family,” Galkoff said. “Because they need the support on sometimes a day to day basis, whether it be going to see a doctor or if they get admitted to hospital, people can be frightened.”

IKOR acts as medical advocates going with people to doctor’s appointments, checking their medications, and asking questions.

“We’ll brief the doctors,” Galkoff said. “We’ll literally go through the case history of that client, and the doctor’s love it at the hospital because they’ve got the complete picture of the client.”

They can help make sure clients aren’t taken advantage of or talked into unnecessary procedures, like when a client nearing 90 needed oral surgery.

“She went in to see the surgeon and he said oh let me do all these sorts of procedures on you,” Galkoff said. “And my nurse turned around and said why? She doesn’t need all those procedures, she’s coming in for one complaint.”

IKOR also works with clients that have family out of state, so they have someone they trust locally in case of an emergency. And families can have access to IKOR’s online communication system.

“They can see all of our notes at all times,” Galkoff said. “So they can see what we’re doing, how we’re helping, and the decisions that we’re making. And we talk to them on a regular basis.”

IKOR also helps clients with financial services, power of attorney and fraud protection.

IKOR recommends people start looking at these services and talking about what they want as they age before they need them. This way they can put a plan in place.

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Samantha Sonner
Multimedia Journalist Samantha Sonner comes to the Suncoast from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she worked as a reporter and host for KRWG TV/FM reporting on local politics, immigration, and border issues. Samantha grew up on Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she worked at WAER, the campus NPR station and interned at television stations in Central New York. Samantha is excited for the Florida Sunshine, and to be living so close to fantastic beaches. Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter for story updates and news, or to send her story tips and ideas. You can also email her at samantha.sonner@snntv.com.