Below are the full stories of the clients and families featured in the Warren County Elderly Services Program (ESP) 2019 Annual Report. These stories illustrate the impact ESP has on older adults in Warren County. But it’s not only older adults who benefit from this program. It helps family caregivers who may be struggling to juggle other responsibilities with their caregiving duties. With peace of mind that their loved-one is receiving the care and support they need, ESP provides family caregivers with space to focus on other aspects of their lives while also carrying out their loved-one’s wishes.
Bill and Rosa
Bill and Rosa have been married 18 years and they still feel like newlyweds. The Warren County Elderly Services Program (ESP) has been part of their lives for the past five years.
Bill and Rosa lived in a home with an acre of ground in Maineville. Over time, health issues began to impact their ability manage household responsibilities. Bill wasn’t bothered by the 100 feet he went to take the garbage out; it was the 100 feet back to the house that was hard!
When Bill developed heart disease and Rosa began having memory issues, they decided a change was in order. In December 2016, they moved to Union Village Retirement Community and began receiving in-home help from ESP.
Their care manager, Maggie, coordinates the care Bill and Rosa receive through ESP, including electronic monitoring systems (lifelines) and an aide, Lisa, to help with groceries and house cleaning each week.
Bill and Rosa have Maggie’s number on speed dial. “ESP gives us a sense of security,” Rosa said. “There is always someone to call if we get into trouble. Getting old can be isolating, ESP helps.”
Rosa called to get home-delivered meals when she developed vascular disease so Bill could eat if she couldn’t cook. “He’s diabetic, so he has to eat regularly,” Rosa said. “We don’t eat together – Bill eats in the lunchroom, and I eat in the apartment. The meals aren’t on my diet. I’m on the Paleo diet which helps my body feel much better.”
Bill, a Navy veteran, is especially appreciative for the lifeline buttons they receive through ESP. “I have had problems falling. My feet seem to go faster than the rest of my body. The button saved me once from spending the night on the floor.”
One of Bill’s sons calls every week and also takes him out the third Saturday of every month – that is a great help to Rosa who cares for Bill full-time. Rosa appreciates the down time.
According to Rosa, “It’s like they say…’Getting old is not for the weak.’ Without Warren County ESP, we would be in serious trouble.”
Gary and his wife were very involved with Gary’s mother’s care – right up until her passing earlier this year. But Gary couldn’t do everything – he lived in California, and his mother, Joan, 87, lived in Cincinnati.
Enter – Warren County’s Elderly Services Program.
With Gary’s heavy involvement with his mother’s care, it would have been easier for him to move Joan to California to be near him. But Joan was a very independent woman, living alone in the home where she had resided for more than 50 years. It was very important to her to remain at home, and through Warren County ESP, she was able to do that.
So, Gary and his wife effectively relocated to Cincinnati to be with Joan during her last months, working closely with ESP to give Joan the care and support she needed to stay in her home.
ESP provided Joan with an electronic monitoring system, meals and a weekly aide to help with housework. Gary remembers, “The services we received were a great help to me and my wife as caregivers. Because she received [home-delivered] meals, she was able to have a hot, nutritious meal each day, so we, as caregivers, did not have to prepare three meals a day. It was helpful to know that we didn’t have to do everything.”
Gary is very thankful for his mother’s ESP Care Manager, Carla. “Kudos to Carla – she did an excellent job and provided advice, guidance and support during a very difficult time.” Knowing his mother had Carla to provide help was a great comfort and gave Gary confidence that his mom was well taken care of.
Bravery and independence – Lois exudes both.
Lois, 70, loves to do things on her own. She loves to be in her house of 34 years. She loves the outdoors, walking in parks and lounging on her patio. She loves the company of her two dogs, Missy and Millie. And she is a very independent person.
But after her husband of 24 years, Don, passed away in 2011, Lois knew she needed extra help and she turned to Warren County’s Elderly Services Program (ESP). Through ESP, she receives home-delivered meals, medical transportation and has a home health aide to help with housework and errands. She also has an electronic monitoring system that gives her peace of mind as she moves throughout the house.
A degenerative hip condition was making it extremely painful for Lois to move around the house, so ESP installed grab bars and a raised toilet seat in the bathroom to help.
After she went through two – count them, two – hip replacements in 2019, Lois relied even more on the services from ESP. She couldn’t cook as much as she wanted to, so the home-delivered meals were essential for her.
Lois is very appreciative for all ESP does for her, and she said, “Every day I am so thankful for the Elderly Services Program. You guys have been absolutely wonderful to me and have helped me tremendously. Words cannot describe my appreciation.”