Community Council Success Stories
Think your dollar doesn’t matter to the United Way?
Think again . . .
Last year thousands of dollars in funding request for critical programs had to be turned down because of a lack of donations . . . and the needs are growing.
“Sally” had lived in the same home for all of her 84 years. Now, it bore a condemned sign……condemned as unsafe and slated to be demolished.
One of our Homemakers had a client in the same neighborhood and was told of Sally’s plight. She told our Homemaker, I guess Sally will now have to live in her car, which she no longer can drive. They won’t taker heron a nursing home because she cannot pay.”
When the Homemaker reported the situation to our office, we sent our Case Manager out to assess Sally. During the months it took us to get her admitted into a nursing home, one of our Homemakers kept her home as clean and safe as possible for a condemned dwelling. She was provided Home delivered meals each day, and our Transportation driver and a volunteer escort assisted her in filling out paperwork at the Medicaid and Social Security offices in order to get her admitted into a long term facility.
This is not an isolated, random, happening. We have many, many people like Sally that the Community Council of Warren County has been able to restore to a healthy, dignified, quality of life through its life-saving programs.
827 clients were served with United Way dollars through Community Council in 2009
Home Delivered Meals
Bob, who had lost a leg in World War II, lived out Fisher Ferry Road as far as you could go without entering Claiborne County. His small travel trailer was on a slope surrounded by hollows filled with the nearest neighbor’s goats...the only living thing he every saw! He could not see a house in either direction, and no one had visited him in years, with the exception of one friend. All his other friends and family had preceded him in death. To get to the door, you had to walk up a path of weeds, and on the day our Case Manger visited, a snake slithered across the path which was incredibly frightening.
A member of a local church had been in Bob’s area, and not being able to find an address on a mail box, drove up the hill to seek directions. He was so profoundly moved with the situation, he called our office. What we found was an old, rusted travel trailer with a sheet hanging in the frame of the door to keep out insects and rain, but providing no security from any possible intruder. There was only a 2 foot square area for a person to enter the trailer and Bob’s only chair was the driver’s seat of the old travel trailer. There was no heat or cooling.
As our Case Manager sat and talked with him, taking the time to really listen, Bob’s eyes began to light up as he told of younger days and how blessed he had been. Since it was such an effort to get in and out of the trailer, garbage was piled on every conceivable spot. The only refrigerator he had was a small 3' one that came in the trailer. Therefore, there were rare times he had anything but bottled or canned drink or food....and that was brought when his friend, an old, old, former co-employee, was physically able to shop for him and the two struggled to get the food into the house. There was no bathroom facility.
Working with local and state entities, Bob was moved into decent housing. Now, the persons delivering his meals checks on him weekly and they have the wonderful experience of listening to stories of his life and lessons learned.
There are many “Bob’s” out there who need to be found and services rendered to them if we only had more employees.
Home Delivered Meals Story #2
This situation causes all of the employees of the Community Council (herein known as CCWC) to count our blessings and to be even more sympathetic to the frail elderly we serve.
In an old two story home on a one way street, Mary lived all alone. The only contact she had with the outside world on a daily basis was the CCWC employee who delivered her meal, and the CCWC Telephone Assurance volunteer who called her each day. Two days in a row the CCWC driver went to Mary’s house. She did not answer the door, and our volunteer assigned to call her each day to ascertain her well being, was not successful in reaching her by phone
Since Mary had mentioned to our employee and volunteer that her daughter may come pick her up and take her to a neighboring city where she lived for the weekend, both assumed she stayed a few more days with her daughter. Something in the back of the Meal Deliver’s mind kept telling her we need to check this out further.
Tuesday, when a call was placed to Mary’s daughter, she responded, “Oh, I did not come get mother this weekend, something came up and it was not convenient. I have not talked to her since Friday.”
At this time, the agency director called the police to break into the home and check on her. Mary was lying on theold floor furnace in a back hallway and could not get up.
She had been there since Sunday afternoon, and was badly burned. CCWC got an ambulance, took her to the hospital, and Mary’s life was saved, but the burn scarring remained until her death some years later.
157 clients were served with United Way dollars through Community Council’s Home delivered meals
program in 2009.
James is now safe and in an apartment. He is 87 years old, and because of a daughter with a drug addiction, was left entirely destitute. As a result, he lost his home and all contents and then had to move into a local motel. An anonymous person referred him to the Community Council for meals, transportation, and assistance in obtaining medical care. A local home health agency was contacted and helped move him from the motel to an apartment. We sought help from other agencies and individuals to secure him a couch and bed. The only possessions he had were a few clothes. When our Case Manager assessed “James”, she found he had suffered a stroke and was extremely confused. He was unable to cope with the necessity of obtaining the assistance he needed to exist.
This agency worked to secure “James” cooking utensils, a microwave for the frozen meals we supply, clothing, television, linens, and all the items necessary to furnish his apartment. These things we take for granted enabled him to simply live from day to day.
In canvassing areas with a high concentration of isolated and frail elderly, CCWC’s Case Manager found a 79 year old lady who was suffering from mal-nutrition and had no means of getting food except through members of her church once a month. Her home sits on a hill, surrounded by deep gullies where goats graze, and is about a mile from a neighbor. Due to age, infirmities, lack of telephone and transportation, she was totally isolated.
When conducting the paperwork required for placing a person on CCWC’s service, we found out that Phoebe was only able to secure enough food for one meal a day which she divided into three where she would have something to eat three times a day.
Through networking with other agencies, CCWC was able to secure medical attention, and through our agency, meals, transportation to receive medical and other services, as well as
a Homemaker to assist her with daily living activities.
Phoebe is now a clean, well nourished, individual with the quality of life she deserves.
219 clients were served with United Way dollars through Community Council’s Case Management Program in 2009.
A RIDERS STORY about Alfred
Alfred had no children and had out-lived his spouse and siblings. The only
way he had to seek medical attention was to ask his neighbors to take him where he needed to go.
Alfred told our Case Manager that his neighbors charged him $15.00 to $20.00 to take him to the doctor, grocery store, or secure help in any other area where he needed help.
He stated that when he called a cab to go to the hospital, the fee was a little more than what his neighbors charged because he lived in the county.
As a result of having to pay these amounts for transportation, he could not pay for the medicine he needed when the doctor gave him a prescription, nor could he buy the food he needed. Alfred found himself in the situation of either paying for transportation or buying medicine, food, paying utilities and normal living expenses.
Alfred is one of many we find with this situation. CCWC’s transportation program transports them free of charge (except for a suggested donation of $1.00 if they can afford it) to their doctor, pharmacy, grocer, pay their utility bills, etc).
Through our Transportation Service, Alfred can spend the $15/$20 per trip he was spending to purchase the medicines and food and pay his utilities.
95/124 clients were served with United Way dollars through Community Council’s Transportation Program in 2009
A RESIDENT’S STORY
Mary lived alone for almost 20 years after her husband died. She was fiercely independent and, although frail at 87, was still able to tend her garden. Her daughter began to notice that her mom was not able to remember recent events. Then her mom forgot to turn off the stove
and dinner went up in flames. Sometime later, Mary was found 5 miles from her home, lost and disoriented.
Mary went through a battery of test and was diagnosed with dementia. Her daughter, fearful for her mom, searched for the best nursing home. Within a month, Mary moved in to “Sunnyside Manor” and her daughter felt great relief because mom was safe and secure.
Unfortunately, her euphoric feeling was short-lived. One month after moving into the nursing home, the daughter was presented with a litany of things her mom was doing wrong. “She wandered into other resident’s rooms ... she became disruptive and screamed when nurse aides wanted her to go to the TV room....she tried to sneak out the back door....and on and on.”
The next time the daughter visited, Mary was tied in a chair. Staff explained to the stunned daughter that her mom was quite a problem and that today, “she hit the nurse aide.” When the daughter demanded that her mom be released from the chair, staff explained that they have a right to protect themselves from her outbursts and that the only option was to discharge her from the home.
Mary’s home had been sold, but she was moved into a local elder housing complex. With
Community Council’s meals, transportation and Homemakers, and gradual removal of over- medication situation, Mary’s bouts of dementia are less frequent and she has a better quality of life. Mary and her daughter count their blessings for services rendered through CCWC.
Sad but true story, we alleviate this situation many times over.
RESIDENT STORY --SAM
Picture yourself in a bed without the ability to use your legs to get out of the bed. The only way you can leave your bed is for nursing home staff to lift you into a wheel chair each day.
During the night you ring the bell for the nurse for assistance because you are incontinent and your bed needs changing. Instead of a compassionate helpful CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) or nurse that you would expect, you had a disgruntled employee who did not want to be disturbed from her personal telephone call and smoke breaks. This employee decides to punish you for bothering her.
This “punishment” was rendered in the form of this bed-bound individual having their meals for a day and a half placed to the far side of the room where there was no way he could reach the food to eat it. Sam was very hungry since he had been too sick to eat the breakfast that was brought to him the morning of the incident. That meant two days without food or water. He could smell the food and could not get anyone to answer his nurse call button when he rang it. The bed side table that holds the telephone and water pitcher had been pushed too far away for him to reach it. When the food service time was over, the same employee who was “punishing” him comes in and takes the tray out and tells him, “I bet the next time you wet your bed you won’t be ringing that buzzer for me when I am busy.”
By yelling for help when he saw a visitor in the hallway, Sam got someone to call our office for the Ombudsman. Our Ombudsman investigated the situation, reported it to the Attorney General’s Office, and the CNA was placed on administrative leave, and later dismissed.