Gualtieri is arranging for a contractor to install railings along the stairs, add new lighting, bathroom fixtures and grab bars. Several portable phones were also added as a safety measure.
“These features have helped increase Larry’s independence and ability to stay in his home for as long as possible,” Gualtieri said. “It’s rewarding to see improvements in Larry’s daily functioning, thanks to the supports Embracing Age helped to place in his home.”
Socialization is an important part of Embracing Age. Gualtieri brought Larry for a lunch visit to St. Francis’ day program for seniors. He now attends five days a week.
“It’s just me and my cat,” Larry says. “Although my cat likes me very much…I’m the man who gives her food,” he said, “I enjoy going to St. Francis. I make friends with everybody. It’s quid pro quo. You’re friendly to them and they’re friendly to you.”
In fact, as soon as Larry arrives at the center on Court Street he heads to the gentleman’s table, sits down and starts talking. “As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, he’s a world traveler and has great experiences to share. He’s a wonderful conversationalist but he is also a great listener,” said program administrator Sister Barbara Jean Donovan.
“They’re helpful and the program gives me a sense of purpose,” Larry adds.
“The social aspects of it cannot be overvalued,” Jane says. “It’s getting him up and moving out the door. It’s an internal driver and seems to lift his spirits. He hasn’t said to me – why should I get out of bed today? He used to say that in November and December,” Jane said.
Larry’s quality of life has improved. He is living at home safely and independently. That’s what Embracing Age is all about.
“The family is so grateful for finding this service. It’s irreplaceable and wonderful,” Eileen said.
For more information on Embracing Age, call toll-free 1-855-MY-HELP-2 or visit EmbracingAge.org. Set up a free Guest Day at St. Francis Social Adult Day Care by calling (315) 424-1003 or by visiting StFrancisADC.com.