Where Do I Turn For Help?


 I didn’t know there was such a person, such a place, or such a thing. But there she was—a person who listened and who understood, really understood, and who  helped me to find the place—a  place that gave me freedom, offered security and oh so much more.   And here’s the amazing thing—I didn’t even know she was there—right there in my own  community.  Grown son kissing his elderly mom on the forehead


One day,  I picked up the phone, dialed the number and when the voice on the other end asked,  “Can I help you?”  I just began to cry.  In between times to breathe,  I poured out my heart and she listened and listened. The next thing I knew she was inviting me for coffee and more listening.  I told her that I didn’t know where to turn. I loved my mother. I wanted to continue caring for her, but I needed to work.  I was stressed, feeling guilty and didn’t know what  to do.   That’s when she, the Senior Resource Counselor, reached into her 25 years of experience and began offering places for me to turn. 


She asked, “Have you ever considered Community-Based Services?”  I didn’t know what she was talking about—Community-Based Services!  That’s when I began to listen, and listening wasn’t easy because I felt such guilt. I kept telling myself I should be able to take care of my own mother without help.  But the fact is, I couldn’t and slowly I began to realize that right here in our community, there was an answer not only to mom’s needs,  but also my own.  There was a Club for senior adults (licensed as an Adult Day Health Program) that would take good care of mom during the day while I was free to go to work and care for my personal needs.  Security, socialization, nutrition, a nurse on staff, opportunities to visit the beauty shop, therapy department,  podiatrist, chapel,  and be with people her own age—all for mom.   For me: peace of mind, freedom, independence, time for myself and support from persons dedicated to mom’s well-being, and mine as well. 


This wasn’t all, there was also a second service that would come to our home, cook, shop, and do light housework on days when mom couldn’t come to the “Club.”  This At Home Service would even pick mom up in the morning and bring her to the “Club” if I couldn’t. It seemed too good to be true.


I had one more hurdle: how to talk to mom about these services?   Turns out, the Senior Resource Counselor also had a listening ear for mom and asked her to “just give it a try.”  Mom gave the Club a try and she’s so glad she did.  So am I.  If you need someone to listen, you may want to pick up the phone, dial the number, and when the voice on the other end asks, “Can I help you?”  Know that it will.


Senior Resource Counselor

Margie Volpenhein, LSW

St. Charles Community