About Us

Senior Advocates of the Desert was founded so that low-income seniors can make one phone call and be provided the information, assistance, and advocacy they need to navigate through the government benefits application process.

Too often, seniors make a phone call to a government agency and they get the runaround, whether it’s not being able to talk to a “live” person or if they do, not receiving adequate assistance in the application process. Frequently they just give up.

• We meet personally one-on-one with our clients and advocate on their behalf to ensure they receive the benefits to which they are entitled.

• We collaborate with many other agencies in the valley to extend our impact in the senior community.

• We don’t charge for our services.

Seniors Need Assistance With Government Programs

Some people are turned away from Social Security for retirement benefits and Medicare, even though they paid into Social Security and are eligible for benefits. Often, this is because they cannot provide the required documentation.

Likewise, some clients who are fully eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are never told about SSI, or are incorrectly told they are ineligible. These seniors need an advocate to assist them one-on-one in accessing benefits they are entitled to.

Many seniors are not aware of their eligibility for Medi-Cal, which greatly reduces their out-of-pocket expenses for medical care. In addition many seniors are not familiar with the In Home Supportive Services program, which provides in-home help so seniors can stay at home safely as apposed to having to move into assisted living, a board and care, or a nursing home.

With respect to housing, many seniors struggle to pay market rent not knowing that they may be eligible to live in a subsidized senior apartment complex for approximately 30% of their incomes. Likewise, many veterans and surviving spouses of veterans do not apply for veterans benefits because they are not aware of the different veterans programs and how to apply for them.

For actual examples of how some clients have been helped please see our Success Stories.

Senior Advocates of the Desert is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. You may see more information by visiting the following link: http://www2.guidestar.org

Meet Our Team

Chris O’Hanlon, MSW

Founder and President

H. Douglas Galt, JD

Chair of the Board and Treasurer

Ann E. Whittlesey


Nena McCullough


Timothy Baker


Cat Moe


Paula Padelford, BSN, RN


John Foley


Dena Bates

Senior Advocate

Rob Warren

Senior Advocate

Do you need help navigating through the government benefits application process?