Client Stories:

listening/helping/caring one senior at a time

“Carol”

Tracy has been Carol’s Care Manager for just a few months. Carol participates in the Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults. She lives with her husband, who is very ill with terminal cancer. Carol has been paralyzed on one side since she had a stroke years ago. Tracy was able to put services in place which have transformed Carol’s life. She had been home-bound for a long time, as she could not manage the step out of the home onto the porch, and the additional three steps onto the driveway. A threshold and a ramp were built and now she can get outside and sit on her porch, something she dearly loves. Her home, which was infested with pests, has been treated, and is insect free. She has a home care aide, who provides needed company and with whom she is very happy. She receives personal care supplies that make her more comfortable. Her quality of life is much improved. It is important to know that Carol is a positive woman who advocates for herself and eagerly participates in her own care plan. Tracy assures that Carol’s likes, dislikes and preferences are always respected.

Without this program, Carol would most likely be in a nursing facility separated from her husband of many years. Helping older adults remain well, and as independent as possible, for as long as possible, is the mission of Alamance ElderCare.

“Robert”

It started with a referral phone call to Alamance ElderCare. When Tammy, Care Manager, met Robert he was 67 and had been homeless for four years. He lived in a tent for a year and a half, getting around on a bike. He eventually got an old car, which he lived in for another three years. He had to stick with a strict schedule to avoid being charged with trespassing and loitering. An agency in town provided him with a place to shower. Others provided food, including a local restaurant which helped him out with an occasional meal.

He was referred to Alamance Eldercare in January of 2019 and began Options Counseling with a goal of finding a permanent home. Tammy helped him apply for Social Security and housing, locate used furniture to make the apartment “his” own, and source funds for utility deposits and the first month’s rent. There were many twists and turns along the way, but he is now in safe, affordable apartment. He says his “back sure appreciates that bed. It’s much better than trying to sleep sitting up in your car”. He has met his neighbors and created an additional support network. It is such as pleasure to see the huge smile on his face as he says, “I have a place of my own”. Robert needed someone to be right there with him, and to help him work through each part of his plan. Tammy was that person.

He is NOW approaching one year in his home. Despite all the challenges, including COVID-19, he is happy – and we are happy to see him succeed! Tammy still works with him, helping him to set-up a budget, organize his mail, and address his safety issues and medical needs. He is an example of how a person may start with a call and move through various programs at Alamance Eldercare to help them with needs or services that they were unaware existed.

“William”

Angela, Program Manager, is working with William, a 70-year old gentleman with stage four cancer. He was initially referred to Alamance ElderCare by his son who described him as “neat and very sharp” until the last six months. William’s son is part of the sandwich generation. He struggles to care for his young children while trying to help his father and serving as a live-in caregiver for his mother, with Alzheimer’s disease.

William’s son was quick to let Angela know that his father is not open to assistance and would not discuss a referral to hospice or palliative care. Angela reached out to him anyway, and quickly understood that William is a proud person who has taken care of himself and his family his whole life. He informed her he was just fine but, would talk to her anyway. They developed a good rapport and after that initial conversation he calls Angela – a day before – to remind her to call him the next day!

Despite his illness, William is caring for his disabled adult nephew who he brought to live with him from a group home a few years ago. William at first asked Angela to find a new group home for his nephew. Angela began to work on this. But, recently, he informed her he has changed his mind, since his nephew does not want to go. She shares this story because often those who seek guidance from Alamance ElderCare are not ready to act. She understands that she cannot force upon William what appears to be the logical next steps: hospice services for himself and a new group home for his nephew. Angela is patient, and continues the conversations, checking in on William frequently. He is eager to speak with her, and she hopes that eventually he will be ready to discuss end of life planning for himself and a long-range plan for his nephew. She states that she is “a support for this family” and that “I pride myself on accepting that their strength is in finding the path that leads to their family’s total wellness.”