OA Blog Banner

KYC’s Old­er Adult Ser­vices Make Big Impacts

Ken­neth Young Cen­ter’s Old­er Adult and Dis­abil­i­ty ser­vices team proud­ly con­nects over 8,800 old­er adults with the resources that keep them safer and health­i­er each year. Dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, we have seen the need for com­mu­ni­ty-based sup­ports for old­er adults grow. Our ded­i­cat­ed staff, kind vol­un­teers, and incred­i­ble sup­port­ers have come togeth­er to ensure that we’ve been able to con­tin­ue serv­ing our com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers safe­ly when they’ve need­ed it most. Here, we share just a few of the ways we’ve made an impact in the lives of old­er adults together.

Find­ing Cre­ative, Life-Sav­ing Solutions

OA Blog Images 3

Jody is 72-years-old and for the past sev­en years has lived in end-stage heart fail­ure. Her doc­tors sur­gi­cal­ly implant­ed a heart pump that cir­cu­lates her blood, but it must be recharged night­ly using her home’s elec­tric­i­ty. One night, Jody woke up to her neigh­bors pound­ing on her front door. Dur­ing the night, the elec­tric­i­ty had gone out, and know­ing about Jody’s health con­di­tion, her neigh­bors quick­ly sprang to action, sav­ing her life. Jody has only a few min­utes to plug into her back-up bat­tery at night before the heart pump will turn off. Luck­i­ly, with her neigh­bor­ly sup­port sys­tem, this pow­er out­age wasn’t fatal, but Jody start­ed to wor­ry what would hap­pen if her neigh­bors were also sleep­ing or away or for any rea­son and couldn’t help her. Would a pow­er out­age lit­er­al­ly kill her?

Jody called Ken­neth Young Cen­ter and her Care Coor­di­na­tor Jes­si­ca sprang to action. Jes­si­ca spent hours research­ing devices that would noti­fy Jody in the case of a pow­er out­age so she could take the nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions. Jes­si­ca con­tact­ed the local fire depart­ment and con­sult­ed with her team­mates, try­ing to find the right solu­tions for this unique sit­u­a­tion. A whole home gen­er­a­tor would cost thou­sands of dol­lars, as would the spe­cial bat­ter­ies Jody would need to have an addi­tion­al back-up at home. Final­ly, Jes­si­ca found a device that could detect if a spe­cif­ic out­let was run­ning low or no elec­tric­i­ty, and made the pur­chase for Jody, who isn’t a reg­u­lar online cus­tomer. Imme­di­ate­ly, Jody had the reas­sur­ance that she could remain inde­pen­dent­ly in her home, even if her pow­er was tem­porar­i­ly lost. She also knows that she has a depend­able and thought­ful sup­port sys­tem in Jes­si­ca, as her needs may change in the future.

Being a Friend: Lend­ing an Ear

OA Blog Images 1

Mon­i­ca is 80 and lives alone in the home she shared with her hus­band Bill before he passed away last year. She receives home deliv­ered meals on Mon­days, Wednes­days, and Fri­days, for which she’s espe­cial­ly grate­ful now that the pan­dem­ic makes her afraid to go to the store. Before the hol­i­days, when her reg­u­lar meal deliv­ery per­son Alli­son stopped by with her meals, Mon­i­ca couldn’t help but share how wor­ried she was that her car need­ed major repairs that she knew would be expen­sive, right before the hol­i­days. Alli­son lis­tened polite­ly, but know­ing that she had oth­er clients’ hot food in the car wait­ing, she empathized with Mon­i­ca and had to excuse her­self to fin­ish her deliv­ery route. But Alli­son couldn’t stop think­ing about Mon­i­ca sit­ting at home wor­ried and with­out a work­ing car in case of an emer­gency, so she dou­bled back to Monica’s house once her deliv­er­ies were com­plet­ed. When Mon­i­ca heard some­one at her door, she was sur­prised to see Alli­son again, and then deeply touched to know her friend had returned to fin­ish their con­ver­sa­tion, espe­cial­ly as Alli­son stood in the cold to talk through Monica’s screen door to remain social­ly dis­tant. Mon­i­ca was so touched that she called her KYC care coor­di­na­tor to share the expe­ri­ence, say­ing it was the best Christ­mas gift she received this year and was its own Christ­mas Miracle.

Stay­ing Housed, Stay­ing Safe

OA Blog Images 2

Hen­ry is 81-years-old and is an opti­mistic gen­tle­man who greets life with a smile and qui­et voice. Sad­ly, a year ago, just before the pan­dem­ic out­break, Hen­ry lost his home and found him­self lit­er­al­ly on the street with no place to turn. Dev­as­tat­ed by this loss and uncer­tain of his future, Hen­ry called his KYC care coor­di­na­tor Lin­da. From the moment she answered the phone, Lin­da could hear in Henry’s voice that some­thing was hor­ri­bly wrong and her heart ached as she heard his sto­ry. She imme­di­ate­ly found Hen­ry a place to stay for the night and got to work find­ing a longer-term solu­tion – and then COVID-19 stopped every­thing. Places were clos­ing and no one knew how to keep one anoth­er safe. Lin­da stayed in con­stant con­tact with Hen­ry, find­ing a motel where he could stay until COVID-19 passed. How long could that be? Two weeks? Maybe a month? To be safe, Lin­da pre-paid for Hen­ry to stay a month, hop­ing to help him save a lit­tle mon­ey for his next apart­ment that they could find togeth­er once it was safe. Home deliv­ered meals would be dropped off at his motel to pro­vide dai­ly nutri­tion and keep him safe­ly away from oth­er people.

As COVID-19 con­tin­ued with­out an end in sight, Hen­ry found a new rou­tine at the motel, watch­ing tele­vi­sion and learn­ing about every­thing that was hap­pen­ing. His men­tal health slow­ly returned to the pos­i­tive Hen­ry that Lin­da had known for years.

When his health start­ed to fail, Hen­ry, Lin­da, and his med­ical team coor­di­nat­ed his tran­si­tion to a short-term reha­bil­i­ta­tion facil­i­ty that could address his med­ical needs, despite lim­it­ed options with many facil­i­ties closed to new patients because of the pan­dem­ic. Once he was ready to be dis­charged, Hen­ry was once again unsure where he’d go and turned to Lin­da. Togeth­er, they dis­cussed his options and Hen­ry con­clud­ed he want­ed to move into a sup­port­ive liv­ing com­mu­ni­ty. Lin­da pre­sent­ed which ones met Henry’s cri­te­ria and coor­di­nat­ed his move to his new home. Hen­ry is now liv­ing where he is warm, safe, has reg­u­lar nutri­tious meals, and his health is being mon­i­tored. I didn’t know where to start” shared Hen­ry. I’d prob­a­bly be liv­ing in my car if it wasn’t for Lin­da and who knows what would have happened!”

Learn More About KYC’s Old­er Adult Services

Learn more about the Old­er Adult ser­vices and pro­grams that KYC has to offer here.

Cel­e­brat­ing 50 Years of Impact

KYC 50 Logos 50 GLD BRST

As part of KYC's 50th anniversary celebration, we're honored to highlight the impacts we've made in our communities together #KYC50For50.

Previous Article Next Article
You're Not Alone

of us will expe­ri­ence some form of men­tal ill­ness in our lifetime

Get Involved

How You Can Help

Keep up to date with KYC!

Get the latest Kenneth Young Center news and insights emailed to you each month. Just complete the form below to subscribe.