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Stories

Go!Bus in motionJackie

“I don’t know what I would do without the help of Senior Neighbors and the Go!Bus tickets they send me.”

Jackie, a 75-year-old, legally-blind widow with end stage renal disease lives on a limited fixed income. She lives alone and cooks all of her own meals. Due to cancer, both of Jackie’s kidneys have been removed. To remain healthy, she must travel to life-sustaining dialysis three times a week. Her husband used to drive her to the dialysis appointments. Unfortunately, he passed away and she has no one else in her life to take her to and from dialysis appointments as well as other health-related appointments.

Fortunately, Senior Neighbors’ transportation program has been a lifeline for Jackie. As a dialysis patient, Jackie receives discounted Go!Bus tickets to take her to and from her medical appointments. Despite the challenges she faces every day, Jackie maintains a positive attitude and a sense of humor.

story-emilEmil

“I was so worried but now I’m all set! I can still come to the center even though I had to move to a new home.”

Emil has been coming to the senior center for a number of years, enjoying the pool table games, having someone cook for him, and getting his city bus tickets at a discount rate for his trips to church every Sunday. Over time his health began to deteriorate. After a stay in the hospital he moved into a community-style facility several miles from the Grand Rapids Senior Neighbors Center. He was sure his days at the center were over. He had no car and the home he now lived in did not provide transportation to the center.

Emil’s Senior Neighbors caseworker and the center coordinator got together and signed him up with RideLink, and within a few days he appeared at the center to a rousing welcome from all his friends. Emil is so much happier knowing he doesn’t have to give up this important part of his lifestyle when he had to make so many other adjustments in his home life.

story-mrs cMrs. C

“Everyone at Senior Neighbors is so nice. They never said any unkind words to me. Caitlin is enormously helpful! I was desperate and now there is hope! I can get out of this mess and get my life straightened around. I’m paying off medical bills – it’s such a big relief! If it weren’t for Caitlin I probably would have lost the house.”

Mrs. C was so frozen with stress over bills and other important documents arriving daily in her mailbox that she couldn’t deal with it anymore. Her coffee table was piled high with unopened envelopes. She didn’t know what to do. The paperwork was utterly intimidating!

Mrs. C’s neighbor mentioned that Senior Neighbors had helped with some home maintenance so Mrs. C. called Senior Neighbors and was quickly connected to Caitlin, a caseworker. Caitlin knocked at Mrs. C’s door and got to work getting to know Mrs. C., opening envelopes, organizing the mail, setting up a repayment plan and helping make Mrs. C’s life manageable.

story-daveDave

Dave lives alone and says it’s hard to cook a nutritious, balanced meal for one, so he eats lunch at the Sparta Senior Center in order to ensure one well-rounded meal each day. He also enjoys the company and the social interaction at the center. Dave values the Sparta Center so highly that he serves as the center’s representative on the Senior Neighbors Board of Directors.