Helping a 70-year-old Widower Remain Active in the Community

Charles, a 70-year old widower, resides in a rented apartment in the Port Richmond section of Staten Island. He enjoyed cooking in his younger years and is a retired baker. His strengths lie in his motivation to remain active in the community and to stay as independent as possible. Charles also shows strength in his ability to manage his own personal business and medication management. He prides himself on maintaining a great relationship with his daughter, who is his main informal support. 

Charles was referred to VOA-GNY by his daughter for the purpose of assessing him for home delivered meals and case management services. A case manager visited Charles and performed an in-home assessment. Upon conducting the home visit, the case manager learned that Charles suffers from significant visual impairment, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, and additional medical complications. She also observed that Charles was unable to shop, to stand for long periods of time, or to cook for himself adequately. 

Due to Charles’s past history of being a baker, it was initially difficult for him to admit his need for assistance with meal preparation and cooking. However, with the continual support and care of his case manager, he agreed to accept assistance with the recommended home delivered meal service. This service has been essential in ensuring he has the proper nutrition he requires to maintain his health.

Charles’ case manager regularly worked with him to identify his unique needs and to link him to appropriate services for assistance. His case manager was vital in ensuring that he is able to age comfortably in the community while preventing the need for institutionalization.

Charles was under financial strain because of his limited income, a common concern for older adults. His case manager took steps to ensure Charles was accessing all of the benefits for which he was eligible. She applied for food stamps for him so he could purchase and supplement any food items not already provided by the home delivered meal program. She also applied for Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) to help Charles reduce the cost of his prescription medications.  Additionally, due to his impaired vision, Charles had difficulty maintaining his apartment and performing housework. His case manager immediately approved him for free weekly housekeeping services.  He was relieved to have assistance with daily tasks that have become increasingly difficult for him.

This year, during the Christmas Holiday, his case manager made a surprise visit to bring him gifts and lift up his spirits. The gifts included a food voucher, provided by Volunteers of America, which could be used in a local supermarket so Charles could choose a holiday meal that was special to him.

The services provided to Charles by CMOA have secured for him the resources and assistance he needs to successfully remain independent in the community.


*Client’s name was changed