In the early 1960s a study committee formed by the Community Chest (now Metro United Way) determined that a social and recreational center for senior citizens should be established in Louisville. As a result, Senior House (ElderServe’s original name) was incorporated in 1962. The National Council of Jewish Women, the City of Louisville and The Louisville Foundation were instrumental in the initial funding.
The original headquarters was at the old YMCA building at Third and Broadway. At the end of three years, over 1,500 elderly persons were being served annually by the agency, which was then admitted to the United Way. Recognizing the growing need for services for older adults, Social Services were added in 1967 to assist seniors with access to community and government resources.
In 1968 the agency moved its offices to Dosker Manor, a new high-rise public housing apartment complex, which at the time was seen as state-of-the-art housing for seniors.
In 1970, the agency established a network of sites in West Louisville, called Senior House West, to better serve older adults in that part of the city.
A HomeCare program was begun in 1986 to help older adults remain in their own homes. The Senior Companion Program, which pairs senior volunteers with frail seniors who need assistance in daily activities, was added in 1988.
In 1990 the agency changes its name from Senior House to ElderServe to signify the expansion of services.
The TeleCare Program, previously administered by the Kentucky Association of Older Persons, finds a new home with ElderServe in 1994.
In 1995 an additional location was established at the new Oak and Acorn Intergenerational Center at 28th and Magazine Streets, consolidating the agency’s services offered at the Senior House West sites.
Crime Victim Services, the first and only program for elderly crime victims in Kentucky, was added in 1996. The Emergency Crisis Response Team, the first in the nation, is formed in 2003 to provide emergency home care and shelter for elderly crime victims at risk. In 2005, an Emergency Protection Order Service for medically fragile/homebound elderly victims of abuse is initiated.
ElderClub, a medical model Adult Day Care Center, opened at the Oak and Acorn Intergenerational Center in 2000.
Today ElderServe continues its long tradition of responding and adapting to the changing and growing needs of our community’s older adults so that they can live safer, healthier and more meaningful lives.