Home Care for DC Low Income Seniors
“When you’re older, it takes a village.”
That statement, made by the daughter of a gentleman benefiting from in-home care provided at no cost through a grant from the Family & Nursing Care Foundation, exemplifies the reason the Foundation exists. It does take a village—and a large one—because there are so many vulnerable older adults in Maryland and Washington, DC, who cannot afford the care they need to age in their homes, on their terms.
Meet Individuals that Benefited from The Family & Nursing Care Foundation
The following highlight just a few of those individuals who benefit from the Family & Nursing Care Foundation, which operates as a fund of the Community Foundation of Montgomery County and supports three local nonprofit organizations: Home Care Partners, Elderly Ministries Program of the Community Ministries of Rockville, and The Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA). The Family & Nursing Care Foundation gives grants to these organizations, which provide home care at no or low cost to low-income seniors.
Meet Mr. Engel
The Foundation recently awarded its second annual donation in the amount of $10,000 to The Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), which will make 460 hours of home care available for at-risk, aging Holocaust survivors. Survivors like Josef Engel, 92 years “young,” who traveled to the U.S. with his brother to find opportunity 35 years ago. A career opera singer in Germany, Mr. Engel still has an amazing voice…one that he can exercise more frequently now that he is able to receive a few hours of caregiving services each day.
Mr. Engel lives alone and as a social person, this can be challenging. His daughter shared that she was happy that the grant will provide her father with companionship and help with the activities of daily living throughout the week.
Josephine remembers with awe the Spring day in 1945 when Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away, seeing people lined up at pay phones down the block and around the corner, all across New York, waiting to communicate the news to their friends and family. Of course, those were the days before cell phones, before every house had a television, and when Josephine, in her early twenties, took the train from the Bronx to Brooklyn College to earn her social work degree.
Fast forward seventy-two years to Josephine today, 93 years “young,” talkative, proud, and with a lifetime of experience. Josephine’s mind is as sharp as they come—she is witty, laughs heartily, and stays socially connected with friends and family. A client of the Elderly Ministries Program of the Community Ministries of Rockville, one of the grantee organizations supported by the Family & Nursing Care Foundation, Josephine receives home care support from her Caregiver, Baraka.
In addition to light housekeeping, laundry, and companionship, Baraka also assists Josephine with bathing and personal care. It is incredible to think that, were it not for Baraka spending just 2 hours a week with Josephine, she would likely be in a nursing home.
Meet Mr. Ricketts
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Mr. Ricketts spent his adolescence on a farm establishing the kind of work ethic you don’t see much anymore, waking up each day at 2 a.m. to milk the cows. He went on to join the military and raise six children.
Now 83 years old, Mr. Ricketts is a stroke survivor and suffers from ongoing back problems and Type 2 diabetes, but is determined to stay busy and work as hard as ever in his apartment. His various hobbies include harvesting Christmas cacti; making safety pin Christmas tree lamps; canning all sorts of food; painting; doing puzzles; and most impressively, latch hooking. His daughter taught him to latch hook and sells his creations at her shop in North Carolina. When she and the grandkids come to visit, they all have sleepovers in Mr. Ricketts’ one bedroom apartment.
Mr. Ricketts’ Caregiver comes to his apartment once a week for personal care, and he feels greatly indebted to her for keeping him company and keeping him clean.
Stories like these—of older adults who deserve to continue living their lives to the fullest, but can’t afford the help required to do so—are not unique.
Home care assistance costs an average of $24 an hour in the Washington, DC region. Plus, as the population of older adults increases, the number of individuals being educated to care for these older adults is decreasing.
That’s why the Family & Nursing Care Foundation annually gifts over $50,000 to support older adults in two ways:
- Giving grants to help lower-income older adults gain access to the care they need to remain in their homes.
- Providing scholarships for students to earn a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate in order to care for the aging population.
To date, over 400 seniors have been assisted through our work, representing almost 35,000 hours of home care services and $300,000 in grants to support these in-home services.
Each donation is matched, dollar-for-dollar, by founder Sandy Kursban, so the impact is doubled. If you’d like to contribute to the impact that in-home care services can have, you can donate online at www.familynursingcare.com/foundation/donate, or make your check payable to:
Family & Nursing Care Foundation
962 Wayne Avenue, Suite 500
Silver Spring, MD 20910