Our History

Jackie Lelong
Founder Jackie Lelong, 1930 – 2018

Independence and Dignity for All

Family Eldercare was founded in 1982 by two women with a ground breaking idea: develop resources and training for families caring for their aging loved ones. Jackie Lelong and Tina Dublin were experts in the field of aging and they took action to fill an unmet need. Over the last 40 years, the legacy of our founders lives on in the innovative programs we create to meet the evolving needs of our community.

Our History

1982

Founding

Family Eldercare was founded by Jackie Lelong and Tina Dublin to provide resources and training materials for family caregivers.

1986

Guardianship

Family Eldercare was approved to provide guardianship services. Guardianship is established by a court of law when a person can’t manage their daily care, safety, or finances. Under guardianship, Family Eldercare has the legal responsibility to make decisions on behalf of a person, their estate, or both. Our Guardians are dedicated to promoting dignity, well-being, and as much independence as possible. Learn more about Guardianship.

Financial and Housing Stability

Initially established for persons who needed help managing their social security benefits. Because most couldn’t afford to live solely off social security, we expanded our scope by connecting persons to other available resources. Today, we are the only Professional Fiduciary Service for veterans and the only Benefits Enrollment Center in Central Texas. All services aim to promote independent living and stability, including among persons formerly experiencing homelessness. Read about our programs.

1988

Consultation & Referral

Before there was the 211 hotline, there was Family Eldercare. We managed the public information and referral hotline designed to assist persons age 60+ find resources. We managed the hotline and produced a resource book for an 11-county area that covered health, wellness, fraud prevention, and crisis response to name a few. We also provided individual consultations on a limited basis. Our experience inspired what would become our Summer Fan Drive, in-home care, and counseling programs.

1990

Summer Fan Drive

Family Eldercare officially launched the Summer Fan Drive as a community-wide initiative that provides life-saving fans to persons without AC and at risk for heat-related illness. In our first year, we distributed 20 fans. Today, we distribute more than 7,000 fans a year, impacting 10,000 lives across 13 counties. The Summer Fan Drive is possible because of community support and partnerships with local media, businesses, city agencies, and volunteers. Learn more about the Summer Fan Drive.

1995

In Home Care

Family Eldercare began offering professional caregiving services to support aging at home. Services included light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders, medical transportation, and caregiving services.

1997

Housing & Community Services

Navigating the aging process can be challenging. We’re more likely to get sick, have financial hardships, and be socially isolated. Our nationally recognized model offers on-site and virtual services to residents of low-income housing complexes. Our services promote health, well-being and social connection. We know a supportive community is a great place to grow old. Learn more about Service Coordination and Healthy Connections.

Elder Shelter
Family Eldercare opened the Elder Shelter in collaboration with a local housing developer to provide emergency housing for older adults with little to no income. Residents were often fleeing abusive or unsafe situations or were homeless. Once in the shelter, we connected them to services and resources in the community. The shelter grew to 17 apartment units but was closed after the property owner was unable to continue the partnership. Our experience led to a more sustainable model that would become Lyons Gardens.

2004

Lyons Gardens

After three years of raising capital and planning, Family Eldercare opened the Lyons Gardens Senior Community. Lyons Gardens is a 54-unit supportive housing development for low-income residents in East Austin. It is recognized as a national model of affordable housing because of the supportive services we offer onsite. We support healthy aging by linking residents to services that promote health, wellness, financial stability, and community connection. Learn more about Lyons Gardens.

2006

Holiday Giving Drive

Recognizing that many of our clients were alone during the holidays, Family Eldercare began our Holiday Giving Drive to bring holiday cheer to many of our resilient and inspiring clients. Each year, our Holiday Giving Drive serves 350-500 clients. Learn more about our annual Holiday Giving Drive.

2010

In-Home Counseling

We initiated our in-home therapy services to meet the mental health needs of older adults who could not leave their homes to get traditional counseling services. Our Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) travel to the individual’s home and assist in managing ongoing mental health issues and concerns that can happen as a result of the aging process. Learn more about our in-home counseling program.

2018

Rapid Re-Housing

Family Eldercare was awarded funding from the Moody Foundation to pilot a “Rapid Re-Housing for Older Adults” project. Our successful outcomes soon inspired the City of Austin to invest in this work, formalizing it into a strong program with dozens of staff. Since then, hundreds of case-managed households have already transitioned from homelessness into housing.

2020

Community First! Village

Family Eldercare began a partnership with Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ Community First! Village. Austinites who have experienced homelessness receive housing through Mobile Loaves & Fishes as well as service coordination and case management through Family Eldercare.

COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic hit many of our clients particularly hard, especially those already at risk for financial and housing instability and social isolation. In 2020, after 25 years, we made the difficult and necessary decision to transition out of in-home care and shifted our focus to serving as advocates for persons who need this service and those who provide it. Read why we did this.

Family Eldercare participated in multiple government programs designed to help people who had been financially affected by COVID-19. We successfully distributed millions of dollars in relief funding to Central Texans of all ages, provided case management to households at greater risk of housing instability, and expanded our phone-based Lifetime Connections Without Walls program to combat social isolation. Learn more about Lifetime Connections Without Walls.

2021

Winter Storm Uri

Winter Storm Uri shut down power to many in the State of Texas for several days, affecting millions, while our community was still in lockdown from the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing that many of our clients would have significant barriers to accessing disaster relief services, Family Eldercare quickly mobilized staff and volunteers to respond with clean water, food, and financial assistance to impacted Central Texans.

Learn more about Family Eldercare

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