Your generous gifts to VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice help give hope to people like Leonard, a quiet man with kind eyes and a love of bingo and music.  He was in a very low place, but he is now filled with hope thanks to you!

Leonard suddenly experienced serious health issues, causing this newly retired 70 year old to be behind in paying bills, including utilities. He became isolated and that made his health worse. He thought no one cared. He thought nothing would change, he thought his pain and fear would never go away, but thankfully, Leonard was wrong.

Your contributions to VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice give our staff the opportunity to make community connections so that we can help more people in need. In Leonard’s case, it was Suzanne Burbage from the Miller Senior Center and Hamden Elderly Services who first met him. She made arrangements for him to find suitable housing through the town and encouraged his participation at the Center to get meals, socialization and exercise. Leonard struggled with balance and had sustained broken bones from previous falls. Suzanne suggested that he attend our Sitercise exercise class to improve his strength. But she also wanted Margaret Palmieri, our Physical Therapist and class instructor, to meet him and find other ways to help.

Leonard’s life continued to change for the better. In talking with Leonard, Margaret learned of his fear of falling and the problems getting into the shower. She sprang into action calling Judy Disarno in our Transitional Care Department to see how our Occupational Therapy team could help him. They made arrangements to have
Leonard attend an adult day center instead of the senior center because his healthcare needs were more advanced and the adult day center was better equipped to help him at this fragile time.

Leonard was now eligible for home healthcare and the adult day center fulfilled his need for exercise, socialization and meals. This was a win-win for Leonard. He could now have one-on-one Occupational Therapy in his new apartment and medical services to further rebuild his strength, health and happiness.

Your support of our agency enables our staff to reach beyond the typical scope of care and seek resources to fully help people like Leonard. Our Occupational Therapist helped him set up his bathroom and got him equipment to make his showers safer. She also taught him how to get in and out of his car easily. “I can’t believe the change a few different things made in my life… you are all fantastic and I am so moved by the care and compassion that I received.”

Fast forward a few months and Leonard is back at the senior center, walking with his newly fitted cane. Leonard came back into Margaret’s Sitercise class on his 70th Birthday with a donation of $70 to our agency. According to Leonard, “I felt I needed to show my appreciation for all that was done to help me reach a milestone year and to give $1 for every year I’m alive… I hope to continue to grow stronger and add many more years and dollars to help other seniors like me!” He added, “There are so many excellent programs to help seniors through difficult times. Unfortunately, many are not aware and do not participate. But they should, and they need to check them out and enjoy being a senior!”