Meet Elaine, who joined our Individualized In-Home Supports program back in December 2017. Since being part of case management supports at The Arc of Opportunity, Elaine has enjoyed going out to lunch with her new case manager, meeting other clients within the department, getting her nails done and receiving some assistance with food shopping, maintaining her apartment, and assistance with budgeting. With all this support, Elaine is able to maintain her independence living on her own in Leominster with her cat, Clementine. She also enjoys seeing the Gardner Visiting Nursing Associates in Fitchburg twice weekly and is a member of Horizons Church in Fitchburg.
Only in the past year has Elaine lived on her own. Elaine lost her husband to lung cancer back in November 2016. Elaine previously spent most of her days caring for her sick husband. Elaine often brings him up and tells her case manager stories about their married life together. Her husband was into playing the guitar and listening to records prior to becoming ill. Elaine still has his collection of records and guitar in her apartment.
Elaine is on a waiting list to move to an apartment in Lunenburg where there is an elevator and it will make things easier for her to come and go as she is currently on the third floor with no elevator. When the time comes to move, what will be difficult for Elaine is to go through her husband’s belongings as she won’t be able to take everything with her. She will hold on to what is sentimental to her, and with the assistance of her case manager, Elaine will begin the process of deciding what she will keep, donate, or throw out. At this time, Elaine is working with her case manager twice a week for a total of five hours and has expressed how happy she is with the support she is receiving and she understands how it helps with maintaining her independence in her home.