Things Didn’t Seem Right
Unpaid bills on the dining room table and a sprinkler that gushed when the water came on were the first clues that not everything was going smoothly when Jane Abernathy arrived from her home in Baltimore for a visit with her dad, Bud.
Bud was a former college art instructor who lived alone; Jane’s mother had died several years before, but Bud seemed to have adapted to life on his own.
Finding Out What Was Going On
Over dinner Jane probed a little: “I noticed a lot of really old leftovers in the fridge; are you able to get to the store okay? And have you had your eyes checked or been to a dentist lately?”
Over the next couple of days a picture began to emerge. It was clear Bud was just “getting by”. Jane called her husband and they talked about whether to move her dad across country so they could keep an eye on him. But Bud said, “Forget it; I’m not moving anywhere!”
A Helpful Suggestion: Try Geriatric Care Management
In an over-the-fence chat with the neighbor, Jane mentioned her concerns about her dad. The neighbor asked, “Have you tried geriatric care management?” Jane had never heard of it.
She called Pathways and met with care manager Stephne Lencioni, a social worker, who explained what she could do for Jane’s dad. “So you would be a ‘surrogate’ daughter?” Jane asked. “You could make sure he gets to the dentist, that the bills get paid, and that the sprinkler gets fixed? This is great.”
“Not only will I see that he gets to the dentist, I can go with him if that’s what’s needed. And I’ll give you updates as often as you like. I’ll be your eyes and ears and feet on the ground here in California,” Stephne told her.
Success: Safe, Secure and Healthy Through Geriatric Care Management
That was 18 months ago and Bud is still going strong. He putters in his garden, goes to church, and plays chess with friends at the senior center. He says, “My life is good.”
Jane and Stephne talk at least once a month and Jane knows that Stephne will connect Bud with services such as Meals on Wheels, a handyman, or home health if and when he needs it. Jane says geriatric care management brought her peace of mind. “I sleep better now that Stephne is on the job!”