Celebrating 60 Years of Service

“Be a Lifeline to Seniors in Need”

When one has been married to the same person for 44 years, familiarity with one’s spouse is inevitable. So when Mercedes started noticing uncharacteristic behaviors in her husband Yusuf, she tried pretending he was the same Yusuf. However, the continuing changes in his behavior prompted her to take him to the doctor. Yusuf was diagnosed with dementia, and Mercedes knew at that very moment she would have to learn as much as she could about dementia in order to take care of Yusuf. But who would be their lifeline? Who would help them with this new journey? 

Their doctor referred them to North Shore Senior Center, which has been Mercedes and Yusuf’s lifeline for the past ten years. From the very beginning, North Shore Senior Center staff members were able to arrange in-home care for Yusuf through the Community Care Program.

As people age, their needs increase, and in early 2015, both Yusuf and Mercedes were starting to need more help with tasks they could easily due before. Their lifeline to more services was Ana, their North Shore Senior Center case manager. She completed a 21-page comprehensive needs assessment. As a result, their in-home  care was increased to 30 hours per week to help with cooking, cleaning, laundry, groceries, transportation and respite for Mercedes.

This past fall, Mercedes fell and broke her ankle, causing her to be hospitalized. Yusuf went to stay with their youngest son. Having dementia, Yusuf didn’t understand why he couldn’t be with his wife. He kept asking, “Where’s my wife?” He also refused to eat, take his medication or shower. Feeling helpless that he couldn’t take care of his father, the son brought Yusuf to the hospital to be with his wife. Mercedes was Yusuf’s lifeline.

Yusuf’s disposition improved immediately after being with Mercedes. She knew instantly that he would need to stay with her even when she went to rehab. What she didn’t know was how to make that happen. Once again, North Shore Senior Center stepped in to help. The social worker at the hospital who was helping her make arrangements for rehab was also an employee of North Shore Senior Center’s Choices for Care program. She and Ana worked together to ensure that Yusuf was able to stay with Mercedes at rehab.

Upon discharge from rehab, Ana used Between the Cracks Funds from North Shore Senior Center to provide home-delivered meals for the couple’s first week home. Mercedes calls Ana “my best lady” and knows she can always count on her and North Shore Senior Center to be her lifeline whenever she needs help.

North Shore Senior Center would not have been able to help Mercedes and Yusuf without the financial support of our community. With your generous contributions, we have been able to provide a lifeline to seniors in need. Your gift today will extend that lifeline to even more struggling seniors who reach out to North Shore Senior Center for guidance and help. To make a donation, please visit https://goo.gl/0pOC5c.

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