Seventy six year old Vada and her husband, Ray, live outside of Wellsville in the family homestead where she was raised as a child. Their children and grandchildren also have fond memories of life "on the hill".
Now, they struggle to maintain themselves in their home. Vada's health has been on a downward spiral for years and Ray has been her caregiver. He is now on oxygen and finds it impossible to keep up the yard, snow removal, housekeeping, cooking and caring for his wife. When the subject of moving to assisted living or senior housing was broached, Ray commented that their pets are like their children. He cannot imagine life without them.
With support of community agencies, they have been able to continue to stay at home. They have utilized supportive services through the Office for the Aging and now hire private help so that Vada can stay at home. She no longer can be left alone and Ray still needs to go out for groceries and to medical appointments.
Lifeline has been a source of comfort and peace of mind for them both. They have used it more than once when Vada was in crisis. In January of this year, Ray called for help when Vada was unresponsive and her blood pressure has dropped drastically. She was hospitalized and went on to rehab in a local nursing home with the hope of returning home.
With the rising cost of health care and cuts in local services and programs, Vada and Ray have to pay for home care. They cannot afford the $31 a month to pay for their Lifeline. Thanks to United Way, they have a link to the outside world when they need help.