ElderHelp receives many heartfelt thank you notes from area seniors that we help.
Read below to see how we’ve made a difference.
Meet our Members
Joe G. is a very friendly and social 74-year-old man originally from New York. With a bit of a lisp, he’ll tell you in great detail about the best places to eat back in Brooklyn, as well as which places to avoid. Joe never married and has no children, so he relies on neighbors for social contact. Although he struggles with diabetes and severe arthritis, he still manages to keep an upbeat spirit through it all.
Joe rented a one-room apartment in a converted hotel downtown, where he spent the majority of his time watching television or gathering with other residents in the common area. There was no kitchen in his apartment, so through a grant from the Change A Life Foundation, ElderHelp was able to get Joe a small refrigerator, freezer, and microwave. These appliances allowed Joe to buy frozen meals, which are easy for him to prepare.
Despite these improvements, Joe’s apartment was very small and flooded whenever it rained. Unhappy with these living conditions, Joe wanted to move to a new apartment, but found the process overwhelming. ElderHelp’s volunteers assisted Joe in gathering necessary documents, filling out paperwork, and packing his belongings. With the support of ElderHelp, Joe recently moved into a brand new apartment with a view of the ballpark.
Gretchen M. is a feisty 86-year-old woman who enjoys cheering for the Padres and praying for other people. Although Gretchen deals with arthritis and osteoporosis, her main health struggle has been with macular degeneration, which greatly affects her eyesight. Gretchen’s struggle with her sight created stress and frustration and left her dependent on family, neighbors and volunteers to read and write private letters, help with bills, and write out recipes large enough for her to read. Increasingly, she found herself losing her independence and self-reliance. That’s when ElderHelp stepped in.Gretchen’s Care Manager knew that she would benefit greatly from a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), which would magnify items and allow her to see more clearly. Unfortunately, like many seniors, Gretchen is on a very fixed income and she does not have any family or friends who are in a financial position to assist with the costs of such a device. Through the efforts of her Care Manager and a grant from the Change A Life Foundation, Gretchen received a CCTV at no cost to her.
Now Gretchen is able to slide notes, letters, and magazines under the magnifier and adjust the image to a size she is able to see. In addition, with the large TV monitor that came with the CCTV, Gretchen can now see her beloved Padres play. She can look at a recipe any time she wants or write out a check to pay her bills. Through ElderHelp, Gretchen has regained her independence as well as her feelings of self-confidence and self-worth.
Harry C. recently lost his wife of 65 years. He is an elder orphan, having outlived all of his friends and family. After receiving a referral, Beth, an ElderHelp Care Manager, contacted Harry to set up a home visit. Beth determined that he needed assistance with transportation, bill paying, home maintenance, and preventing isolation. Together, Beth and Harry developed a care plan to address his needs.
Today, ElderHelp’s trained volunteers regularly visit with Harry, shop for his groceries and assist him in tracking his monthly bills. Beth continues to monitor his needs and visits with him regularly.
ElderHelp has enabled Harry to remain living successfully in his home and retain his independence. “I don’t know what I would have done without ElderHelp,” says Harry. Fortunately, with the assistance of ElderHelp, he won’t have to find out.
John D. was a frequent visitor to ElderHelp’s office. He would often drop in and chat, ask questions about resources, or simply put his feet up for a few minutes. At age 80, John became an ElderHelp client when he became ill. At the first home visit and assessment, it was apparent that John would need long term care management in order for him to continue living independently in his home
John’s Care Manager advocated for him with his doctor and helped him apply for transportation assistance. She helped him get a free phone for the hard of hearing so he could set up his many medical appointments. She matched John with volunteers who grocery shopped for him and helped with minor home repairs. She helped him find a housekeeper, arranged for daily RUOK calls to ensure that John had daily contact with someone, and referred him to a daily home delivered meals program. Recently, his Care Manager helped him apply for Southwest Airlines’ Home for the Holidays program so he could visit his daughter in Tennessee.
Now 84, John has been a client of ElderHelp for four years. ElderHelp saw him when he was feeling strong and helped him when he was ill. He often says if he stops doing things for himself, he knows he will become weaker and have to leave his home. His optimistic attitude—along with the assistance of ElderHelp—has helped John to retain much of his independence.
Letters from ElderHelp’s Members
Deirdra and I want to thank you so much for the grocery store gift cards that help us pay for groceries. It’s helped enough that I have been able to put funds together to pay my property taxes. I had been worried I would have to borrow to meet the deadline but I am okay for the taxes as of now. ElderHelp had been very good to me.
Just a few words to express our gratitude and thanks for the gift cards you have been sending us. They have been a great help, not only in helping us with our food supply but also our dignity. As we grow older and lose many of our friends, it is nice to know that there are still people who care about us.
Albert and Esther E.
Just a note to thank you so much for helping me. I never forget people’s kindness. You continue to make a dreary, void life full of joy. You help me to live a life of hope and feel more “normal” by actually being able to have food and help. You’re always in my prayers!
We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for changing Don’s life. He is now able to hear 100% better as he enjoys his new hearing aids. We want to thank God for answering our prayers. We are grateful to have you, ElderHelp and Change A Life. Without both of you it wouldn’t have been possible to have changed Don’s life. Again, we appreciate all that you have done for us.
Henrietta and Don S.
For the last year I have been trying to find a way to get a good, reliable roommate for my elderly mother. Craigslist and newspaper ads were just too frightening to pursue, not knowing what type of person I might find. Fortunately, my internet search came up with ElderHelp, and, even more fortunately, led to you. The fact that the background checks are performed on both parties convinced me to forge ahead (as well as your expertise, which inspired confidence).
Our seeker moved in last Saturday and things are going smoothly. I feel very confident that this is an excellent match for my mother, and will always remember that you were instrumental in putting the two together.
I know it is “your job”, but I want to say that you do your job extremely well, and I am very grateful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Holiday Angels Program
Something wonderful happened at my house the Saturday before Christmas. A large gift basket was delivered by a young UPS driver who came with three of his children. The basket was filled with all sorts of treats.Even my dogs were remembered with pooch pleasures. There were beautiful warm socks for my 86-year-old cold feet, plus a woolly lap robe and if I found myself hungry and unable to get to the market, plenty of good edibles.
But as bountiful as the basket and its contents were, my delight was compounded by the young UPS driver and his charming children. I can’t remember ever being kissed so often by children who had never seen me before and by their father too! We all went out into the garden where the dogs and children loved each other. There was so much warmth and love in my house and garden that it makes this Christmas one of the most memorable in my life. My grateful thanks to all who made it possible.