Ned, like many seniors with no immediate family, was discharged from the hospital after a brief stay with no particular care plan. He lived alone. If an emergency arose, there was no one to call.
Ned made the hospital staff aware of his situation, and a social worker called Catholic Charities’ Engel Senior Day Care Center in Cranford seeking help for the 78-year-old.
Catholic Charities is one of the recipients of donations to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund. A staff member from Catholic Charities contacted Ned and told him about the services the agency could provide.
Ned felt the need for counseling and also asked to see a priest. When Ned met with a counselor, he appeared frail and sad. He told the agency he was a victim of fraud and said he was so overwhelmed by creditors that he even attempted suicide. During a private meeting with the priest, Ned admitted his failed suicide attempt. He also made the priest aware of the spiritual void he felt in his life. By the meeting’s end, Ned said he felt less depressed.
Ned enjoyed himself so much at Engel Center that he spoke to a staff member about receiving financial aid to regularly attend sessions at the agency. Since Ned relied on Social Security as his sole income, a staff member signed him up for a county grant that would pay for his attendance and transportation.
His participation in the program would prove life-saving on multiple fronts. During an afternoon visit to a session, a staff nurse noticed Ned was non-responsive. He was quickly taken to the hospital.
The priest who had counseled Ned was by his side throughout the ordeal. He said he didn’t want Ned to wake up in the hospital alone, without a familiar face nearby.
Ned is now home and doing well. He is grateful to the agency for helping him find purpose in his life.
The staff has grown to be more than just professionals he receives aid from — Ned said he considers them family as well.
Rolando, 73, lives in Newark and has mounting medical issues. He suffers from uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, cardiac problems and dizziness. His kidneys have shut down and he undergoes dialysis three times a week. Rolando is also required to check his blood sugar and administer insulin at least three times a day. Due to his circumstances, Rolando needs a registered nurse to organize his medications.
Given the state of his health, Rolando frequents the hospital. Lately his condition has been deteriorating, making him weak and tired. Chrill Care helps Rolando move around his apartment as he was growing immobile. The agency also helps him with his personal upkeep and daily living. With outreach from Chrill Care, Rolando is able to receive desperately needed personal attention in the management of his health.
Paul and Betty, both 84, had lived in a modest apartment for the last 20 years. But a recent fire in their building took nearly all of their belongings. The loss left the couple depressed and devastated. Their only son died several years ago and they had no family to turn to.
During a stay at a local shelter, Paul and Betty learned about the Jewish Family Service of Metro West. Paul contacted the agency for help and a social worker helped them locate and move into a senior housing building. With only a meager Social Security income, the couple also received emergency financial assistance from the JFS so they could buy the bare necessities for their new apartment.
They now receive subsidized counseling at their new home and their outlook on life has improved greatly. Through the outreach of the JFS, Paul and Betty became less fearful of rebuilding their lives.
L.N. is 91 and lives in a modest apartment in Bergen County. She suffers from severe arthritis and spinal stenosis, and requires a wheelchair. Financial stresses threaten her ability to remain in her apartment. L.N. receives Railroad Retirement benefits, but they don’t cover all her expenses.
Given her financial and medical problems, L.N. was referred to Catholic Charities Care Management Program in River Edge. A care manager visited her apartment to assess her needs. The agency helped L.N. apply for food stamps, which she qualified for, and to locate a supermarket that delivers food.
L.N. is very grateful for all of the personal care she has received through the outreach of Catholic Charities.
A grandmother, who is raising her two grandchildren on her own, recently stopped by the Salvation Army to take advantage of the organization’s “Turkey and Toys” program. She got more help than she was hoping for. A caseworker told her about the Kinship program, which provides monetary assistance for blood relatives raising children, such as siblings, raising younger siblings, aunts and uncles raising children, or grandparents who are the sole caretakers of their grandchildren. The program provides $500 a year for school supplies, clothing and educational equipment. It makes life easier for the dedicated but burdened grandmother. The Greater Newark Holiday Fund supports the Salvation Army.
In the morning, Kathleen gets her husband George, who has Alzheimer’s, ready for his day at Catholic Charities’ Engel Center senior daycare program in Cranford. She drops him off, and then goes to work in Kenilworth. At the end of the day, they return to their Berkeley Heights apartment. The couple has survived George’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, his heart surgery, selling their house, temporarily moving in with a friend and caring for sick members of their extended family, all while remaining perpetually cheerful and in love. But their fragile stability threatened to come crashing down this summer, with a letter saying in two days, the state’s traumatic brain fund would no longer pay for George Neiman to attend the Engel Center. There was no way Kathleen could afford to keep George at the center five days a week. Sensing their distress, the center’s program director asked if she could help. “She said, ‘we have funding, don’t worry about it, we’ll take care of it,” said Kathleen, 60. “And she did.”
Rosie, 77, has a large family, but only one niece lives in this country. She’s the one who is dealing with Rosie’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease. She fields Rosie’s constant calls, and frequently visits Rosie to make sure her aunt is not forgetting to bathe, eat or take medications. But Rosie’s niece has young children of her own, and she is finding it harder and harder to handle her aunt’s multiplying needs. A certified home health aide from Chrill Care now visits Rosie for a few hours each day. But Rosie needs more support, and her family can’t afford it. Contributions from the Greater Newark Holiday Fund may let Chrill Care give Rosie the extra hours of care.