(Names throughout this story have been changed to protect the anonymity of individuals involved).
Miss Greene is 87 years old and a faithful member of a Catholic parish in Cleveland. With the exception of a cousin in Cincinnati, she has no family in the United States. A number of parishioners who interact with Miss Greene on a regular basis expressed concern that she had been losing weight, had often times appeared confused and on more than one occasion left the stove on and meals uneaten. The Pastor of this parish, also out of concern, contacted Catholic Community Connection (CCC) seeking assistance.
The CCC service coordinator met with Miss Greene, the pastor, and concerned parishioners. Miss Greene admitted that she had not been feeling well lately, did not have a large appetite and was often too tired to cook. She also admitted that she was having a hard time maintaining her home, but loved her garden. The service coordinator observed that Miss Greene had a hard time remembering what day or month it was, what she had eaten or how she had spent her morning. She appeared to have an unsteady gait when walking with her walker and conceded that she had difficulty walking up and down the stairs to her bedroom and bathroom.
The service coordinator discussed with Miss Greene the possibility of moving into a place that would be more manageable for her, a facility where her meals were prepared and staff was available to help her with her bath and laundry. Miss Greene said she would not mind that but worried about her dog, she feared he was too old to start over with strangers or go to a shelter.
The service coordinator contacted CCC’s senior living ministries to discuss Miss Greene’s needs and desires, the organizations recommendations, room availability and next steps. After a medical assessment was completed, it was recommended that Miss Greene move to a skilled nursing facility. With Miss Greene’s permission, the coordinator contacted her cousin in Cincinnati who agreed to help her with the move and be her financial and medical power of attorney. Miss Greene and her cousin reviewed all of her options and chose to move to St. Augustine Manor. A lingering concern however, was still the care of Miss Greene’s dog. One of the parishioners, a long time neighbor and friend, agreed to take her dog in and bring him to visit at St. Augustine Manor often. Miss Greene is now happily settled in her new home at St. Augustine and has access to a wonderful garden where she frequently spends time with other residents, her neighbor and her dog.
The intention of our service coordination program is to provide personal, individualized care and follow-up to those seeking assistance, particularly with complicated cases. However, it is the cooperation and collaboration with our partner organizations that allows this to happen. Special thanks to our senior living ministries, especially St. Augustine Health Campus, for the time and attention that they offered.