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2500 Horseshoe Drive
Highland, MI 48359
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Monday - Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(248) 889-3559

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Helping the Elderly With No Family Support

Problem:

Ms. B., 97, and her sister, Mrs. S., 102, were living separately in 2 bedroom apartments in the same community about two doors away from each other. Neither sister had ever had children. Ms. B. had given up driving about two years previously, so they had to depend on a few remaining relatives and old friends whenever they wanted to get out of the house, grocery shop, visit a doctor, or visit with others.

Ms. B. had difficulty hearing, and had a difficult time walking, bending, and lifting. Since recovering from a back injury, she had been using a walker and a cane but had recovered to the point where she now used someone's arm to steady herself for long distances or steps. She was also using a raised toilet seat and shower chair as assistive devices. She had lost her hearing aides. She regularly hired help for housecleaning. She did the necessary research to find a senior independent community for herself and her sister so that they could have transportation, easy access to medical care, a safe place in which to move about, organized activities, and a community of new friends. She also knew that she would need assistance packing, unpacking, and moving, and was interested in using Moving Forward services to help in this area.

Mrs. S. was still able to move, bend, and walk normally and continued to care for all her personal needs independently. She was, however, forgetful and often confused and unable to accept, understand, or acknowledge any need for assistance. She did not feel that her relationship with her sister was a close one, but in reality, relied on her sister for many things. She wanted to pack and unpack herself, and wanted to make her own decisions about where and when to move. She refused Moving Forward's offer to complete a floor plan or call in a company to purchase unneeded items, and she had had some bad experiences with moving companies in the past. Mrs. S. was basically mistrustful of others and also lived on a limited budget.

Solution:

Moving Forward spoke with and visited both sisters to determine their needs and offer appropriate services. Because Mrs. S. was sure that she could make all her own arrangements and pack herself, we proceeded to take care of Ms. B.'s move first. We brought in a moving company that we trusted and who we knew would work well with our client and coordinate with us. Two Moving Forward employees were able to pack for Ms. B. the day before her move. The day of the actual move, Moving Forward set up all her furniture, unpacked everything except pictures, and set up items in her new apartment the way she wanted them. She was able to eat her noon meal at the new community along with her move coordinator for companionship, made some new acquaintances right away, and was able to rest and supervise the unpacking that afternoon.

Because Mrs. S. found herself unable to do the things she had hoped, she relented and allowed Moving Forward to complete the packing that she had not been able to do on her own. Moving Forward left information with both sisters and the community about additional services that could be used if Mrs. S. needed more assistance. We were pleased to have made this very positive move possible for these women, and to have enabled both of them to maintain their independence and self-esteem in spite of their very advanced age.

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