At 83, Mitzi was having the time of her life. Divorced many years before, the retired stockbroker juggled a full schedule that included several theater subscriptions, weekly card games, travel, book clubs, and frequent visits with her only child, Yvette, a psychiatric social worker. But when Yvette fell ill last summer and died this past January, Mitzi’s world collapsed. “My darling daughter meant the world to me,” Mitzi said recently. “She was only 55. I have a strong network of friends, but if it weren’t for the people at Seniors At Home, I’m not sure I would be here now myself.”
Mitzi initially became acquainted with Seniors At Home when she hired the agency to provide home care and, subsequently, palliative care for Yvette, a single adult, who was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer last August. “They provided excellent care to Yvette,” said Mitzi, “but they also took care of me. Believe me—I was such a mess. I still am. The grief is overwhelming. But the nurses and care managers and everyone else at Seniors At Home made sure that I got some rest and was fed and calm. I moved into Yvette’s house at the time of her illness, so having all these caring people there really helped me. I see now that while they couldn’t save Yvette’s life—no one could—they saved mine.”
The care didn’t end when Yvette died earlier this year. A Seniors At Home care manager, along with JFCS’ Director of Spiritual Care Services, Rabbi Daniel Isaacson, were with Mitzi at Yvette’s house at the time of her death. The practical and emotional support has sustained her over these past few months. “I’m not an observant person,” said Mitzi, “but the traditions were important to Yvette and I have found comfort and healing in talking to Daniel and other professionals at Seniors At Home.
“It’s been five months since Yvette passed away,” she continued, “and I still can’t believe she’s gone. It wasn’t unexpected, but finding the strength and wherewithal to get up in the morning and carry on is still so difficult. In addition to my friends, it’s good to know that I have Seniors At Home to lean on during this tragedy.”
Seniors At Home’s spiritual care and bereavement support program welcomes individuals and families of all faith traditions. In addition to one-on-one counseling and assistance, Seniors At Home offers bereavement support groups that allow participants to share their feelings and gain comfort and insight.