I'm the social worker at PrimeLife Enrichment (PLE), and it's my privilege to work with seniors as they navigate through any number of major life changes. Often, their stories involve dealing with the loss of a loved one as they make their grief journey.
With thousands of people now considering a contribution to United Way, I wanted to share a story from one of the more than 100 agencies that your gift supports about a real person whose life is made better, because we all give. "Edward*" is that someone.
Early this spring, 86-year-old Edward began attending bereavement support group meetings at PrimeLife, a United Way agency in Carmel. He sought comfort after losing his wife on Valentine’s Day. Edward still can’t talk of her without crying.
Edward never misses a support group meeting, and he also meets with me for individual counseling. He uses PrimeLife's Senior Activity Center several times a week. Edward loves the computer classes and computer club and uses the walking track and exercise equipment in the fitness center.
He still drives himself to the Center, but staff keep a close watch on him as he could be exhibiting early signs of dementia. It may just be temporary confusion resulting from grief, but we are prepared to provide transportation if and when it is needed.
A recent bereavement exercise, Things to Do When I’m Feeling Blue, provided evidence of the Center’s importance in Edward’s life. We asked each participant to name their three favorite persons to talk with; their favorite place to go; physical activities they enjoy, etc. – all intended to help them think of ways to help cope with grief.
Edward said his three favorite people were all Anita Scott – me! And his favorite place to go is PrimeLife.
Edward's only family live out of state, so he is without much support from them. Happily, he is finding the support he needs at his new “home away from home.” Thanks in part to your support of United Way, Edward now has a “village” watching over him. Thank you!
-- Anita Scott, Social Worker, PrimeLife Enrichment
*This story is true, but Edward's name is changed to protect his privacy.
Since 1981, UWCI has invested more than $4.5 million helping PrimeLife Enrichment, Inc. provide programs and services that promote independence, optimal wellness and socialization for Hamilton County residents aged 50 and beyond. United Way’s funding includes over $1.8 million for capital, facilities, technology and other targeted purposes. (These monies are contributed specifically for such needs and do not come from the annual campaign.) For the current funding year, the agency’s community allocation is $140,489.