A Lesson in What Can Be

When Mary Greenfield passed away in January 2011 at the age of 89, it was fitting that her obituary made mention of four workers from the Moore Options for Seniors program.

The four workers were not only friends to the woman who in her younger days was a “board girl” who climbed up on the table to write the stock prices on the stock exchange board, they were also the people who allowed her to maintain some measure of self-sufficiency and remain in her home.

They helped her get up in the morning, made her breakfast, got her dressed and ensured that she took her medicine. Perhaps even more importantly, they talked and laughed with her, sharing their lives with her while developing the type of relationships that endure forever.

“It saved us so much frustration and stress,” said Mary’s daughter Sue Woods, who struggled to care for her mom who suffered from Alzheimer’s. “It just helped us out so much and my Mom really loved them.  They were so good to her.  Elizabeth read the paper to her and Denise ate breakfast with her so that she didn’t have to eat alone,” said Woods.  “It was just so wonderful to have the support I needed.”

In addition to being the primary caregiver for her mom, Sue was also faced with helping her husband who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and her son, who is autistic.  “I don’t know what I would have done without the caregivers for my Mom,” she said. “It would have been overwhelming. She certainly couldn’t have stayed home all day alone.”

Moore Options for Seniors, The Moore Center’s senior care program, helps create a safe and secure environment for seniors and provides the care and support that enables them to continue functioning as productive members of their communities.  There is a complex continuum of senior care available, from help with simple household chores to comprehensive adult day care.

The program exists not only to provide essential services that allow seniors to maintain their independence, but to forge long lasting relationships between caregiver and client, the type of relationship that allowed Mary to maintain her sense of self. Mary was not defined by her illness, but by who she was as a person – a caring mother, loving wife, doting grandmother and a traveler who had a keen sense of adventure. Mary’s caregivers were introduced to all of these sides of this magnificent woman.

“Mom’s friends from The Moore Center knew her inside and out,” Sue said. “They knew that she just wasn’t the person who they cared for and assisted every morning – she was a person with a rich life history and a ton of great stories to tell. By being there at a time when she really needed them, they made her life so much happier and more fulfilling. Isn’t that what we all want at that age?”