Real People, Common Problems, Practical Solutions
Below are a few real life stories about how we’ve been able to help some of our clients. Check back frequently for more stories and examples of how we are making a difference in the lives of our clients and in the fabric of our communities.
Client: We had been serving Miss Helen for years. So when she recently forgot about the medical appointment we had arranged one of our volunteer drivers to transport her to, we were concerned. We had our Eldercare caseworker go to her home and complete another assessment using a screening tool. We identified an increase in the number of new risks that could prevent her from remaining at home.
Solution: We shared how the screening had changed from a year ago and reviewed her action plan with her. She agreed she was in need of more services and it would help to include her adult children in an updated plan. We recommended a family meeting to address some of the identified issues and facilitated it. As a result, Helen’s children are now more actively involved in her cares and are all on board with her wishes to remain living at home for as long as safely possible.
Client: Marva, 89, lived alone as a widow for years. One cold fall night she was found confused and wandering around her neighborhood at 3:00 am. Her only son lived across the country.
Solution: We found an appropriate assisted living facility and helped move Marva there; we then began working with her son, encouraging him to take charge of his mom’s affairs. We helped him close-up her home, as well as directed him to an elder-care attorney who could advise him on legal matters pertaining to his mom’s cares.
Client: Gus was active as a hobbyist and collector until a stroke significantly reduced his mobility. His adult son lived with Gus in their home, and progressively became more and more involved in providing care for his father. We worked with the son empowering him as a family caregiver. As other disease processes encroached, Gus became less able to do self-cares, and his son was no longer comfortable or knowledgeable in how to give the cares needed to keep Gus healthy. A caregiver assessment revealed the son was nearing caregiver burnout.
Solution: Just after assessment was performed, an acute illness caused Gus to be hospitalized. We attended a discharge planning conference with all involved parties, during which time we advocated for the son and encouraged Gus and his medical team to consider options other than his return home. So when Gus was discharged to a long-term care facility we helped move his most favored collections there as well as directed his volunteers to continue visiting him there. They continue visiting him at the facility, and have even helped him share about those collections with his new friends.
Client: Hannah moved to her apartment from a women’s shelter in the metro area. She and her 5 year old son had escaped years of physical and emotional abuse. However their escape resulted in their having very little to begin life over again.
Solution: Our caseworker met Hannah and her son through a referral from a local school. Through our Furniture for Families program we provided beds, furniture, household goods, clothing, toys, food and school items so they could become re-established in their new home. Our caseworker continues to follow up with Hannah, helping her move towards her goals of self-sufficiency and healing through a person-centered plan of action.