AGE of Central Texas helps older adults and their caregivers thrive as they navigate the realities and opportunities of aging and caregiving.
AGE received a call from the niece of a 72 year old woman, Maria, who had been struggling with arthritis in her knees. Maria struggled with such pain as she walked that she had left her home less and less and had become more isolated. Maria needed a smaller-sized wheelchair to help her be able to get around in and out of her home. But she was on a fixed income that left her with just enough to pay her bills and food each month, but little more.
Through our Health Equipment Lending Program, we were able to make the delivery of a smaller-sized wheelchair to Maria’s home in East Austin. When we arrived, we were greeted at the door by Maria’s niece, who led us in, and there we found Maria sitting at the kitchen table counting out change from a small pile of coins and dollar bills in front of her. She looked to us and asked how much this would cost, but we shared with her that this service was free to those who needed it. Maria was relieved, and joy grew as she was fitted and shown how to manage her new equipment.
Meet Ann, Mother of Two Hundred and Twenty Seven
Ann White spent her entire life taking care of others. Ann and her late husband, Levi, were foster parents to 220 children, in addition to having seven of their own. Ann, known to her children and to the community as “Momma White,” was been a generous caretaker and woman of service for an untold number of people in her lifetime.
At 83, Ann had Alzheimer’s Disease, so she let others help take care of her. She lived in her home with the help of family and other caregivers until her passing. Ann attended AGE’s Thrive Social & Wellness Center every day during the week. She was monitored daily by the nurse to keep an eye on her health, she was in a safe environment with fun activities, and most of all she spent her days surrounded by other people.
Ann’s memory loss did not affect her giving and joyful spirit. Our staff still describes Ann as an “instigator of love.” She was the first to stand and applaud after a musical performance in the center. On the group’s daily walks, she greeted everyone she encountered with a high five. And at the Center, she always helped and watched out for others–gently helping someone eat their lunch if they’ve begun to struggle feeding themselves, or welcoming the quiet newcomer.
Yes, Ann spent her entire life taking care of others. We are grateful that she and her family allowed AGE of Central Texas help take care of her.
“We all need assistance; we all need a helping hand. No person’s an island.” – Wilbur
Good Afternoon, my name is Wilbur. I am a client at AGE’s Thrive Social & Wellness Center. I am 87 years old and a World War II Army Combat Veteran. I served in combat with the infantry in the European Theatre and in the Army of Occupation in Japan. After my military service I was employed in the United States Postal Service from April 1946 until my retirement in January 1985.
When my wife of 56+ years of marriage passed away in November 2003, I, like so many elderly people, had a decision to make. To my good fortune, my son and daughter-in-law gave me the opportunity to make my home with them in Austin. Both my son and daughter-in-law were still in the workforce. Early in January of 2004, my son and I visited AGE’s Thrive Social & Wellness Center. My first reaction was like most people- would I like it? And, most of all, would staff and clients accept me? Not only was I accepted, but the client voted me February King and my friend Queen. I had not danced in years, so after we were crowned we danced like royalty.
At AGE’s Thrive Social & Wellness Center, we do activities, and at the start of each month every client receives a calendar of daily activities for the month. Every day we walk and we do exercise. Some of our activities are arts and crafts, music, entertainment, games, trivia, sing-a-longs, dances, and a lot more. All activities help the body, mind, and soul.
We pray, laugh, and sometimes shed a tear. I consider my fellow clients my second family.