For the past 9 months, our lives have been turned upside down. We’ve had to balance working from home and homeschooling, change our holiday plans, and wear a mask. For low-income children, youth, adults, families, seniors, and people living with disabilities, the effects of the pandemic are even greater. Lack of financial resources, lack of language or digital access, and declining health can be devastating.
Neighborhood House continues to be a buffer against these challenging times. We recently received a letter from a grateful family caring for their elderly father who was suffering from Alzheimer’s.
“My father was receiving SSI and Apple Health through the state of Washington. As he got older, performing certain tasks became harder for him. He needed some help with cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, picking up medications.
Neighborhood House was a great place to get some help for him. Rimi was the manager and explained the process very well. By having the state provide him with some helper hours my father would be able to live in his own home, in familiar surroundings, while the total cost of care would be much lower than the amount the state would be paying a nursing home to provide the same level of care. The case worker assigned to my father was Reza. I cannot praise him enough! He is detail oriented, responsive, and a truly kind human being.
As my father got older and his physical and mental capacity diminished and his care needs expanded, Reza was able to re-evaluate him and based on results my father was allocated additional care hours. He needed someone to sort his medication and make sure he ate two meals a day and took the medications with those meals as he had lost the concept of time. We were able to manage the other meal and meds ourselves. He needed help bathing and dressing, and going to doctor appointments. Without the caregiver that came every weekday for a few hours this would not have been possible.
By having Neighborhood House provide the care and supervision for daily caregivers that came to his house, the state of Washington allowed my father to live in his own home for as long as possible, and minimize the cost to the state compared to the high cost of nursing home, which saved tax payers a lot too. A win-win program. This program is God sent and I cannot praise the program enough, or the well-qualified and caring service that Rimi and Reza provided. My family will forever be thankful to them for providing my father not only services but dignity for as long as possible.”
Reza and Rimi are part of a skillful, resourceful, and culturally responsive team of advocates, case managers, teachers, and home visitors who continue to connect over 16,000 community members with essential supports they need to gain stability, live healthy lives, and reach their full potential.
We’re all doing our part to weather this storm, social distancing, getting take-out from our favorite restaurants, wearing a mask, and supporting causes we believe in. Please consider giving this year to Neighborhood House so we can continue to support the health and well-being of our neighbors throughout King County.
Janice Deguchi (she/her/hers)