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Note: Names have been changed to ensure the privacy of the consumer.

In May, Roger was found crying on a park bench, hungry and hopeless. The 89-year-old veteran said it was the worst day of his life.

Yet in just a few weeks, Roger was back on his feet, well-fed, and getting the medical care he needed. That’s the power of WestMass ElderCare.

Here is Roger’s story:


Meet Roger

When a neighbor found Roger, he’d been going through one of the most difficult times of his life. He was out of food and unable to get to a clinic for critical blood testing for a medical condition he needs to monitor. COVID-19 was only making things worse. Travel restrictions meant he couldn’t take public transport, which meant he couldn’t go to the grocery store or the Holyoke Council on Aging for meals.

He felt he didn’t have anyone or anything to keep him going. Roger’s neighbor was his only source of support, and that day Roger said something that no one ever wants to hear: Roger wanted to die.

Reluctant but Willing to Accept Care

Ginger Cruickshank,
WestMass Care Manager

Familiar with WestMass ElderCare and the personalized services offered, the neighbor reached out for help. One of our Care Managers, Ginger, met with Roger several times to learn about him, his specific situation, and his needs. He had great difficulty hearing her, so she adapted to something more comfortable for him. She would write questions on a large pad that he could read and respond to more easily.

In addition to his challenges regarding food and medication, Ginger found out that Roger had sores on his back that needed treatment. But more importantly, she learned that he was well-spoken, educated, and had a great sense of pride that made him hesitant to accept help.

After discussing an individualized service plan, Roger realized that assistance would empower him to live the independent lifestyle he wanted and deserved. He was willing to give WestMass ElderCare a try.

Roger’s Personalized Plan

Through his primary care physician, Ginger set up Roger with a visiting nurse as well as a meal plan featuring two meals, seven days per week. Next, she tackled the challenges of transportation, testing, and hearing difficulties. Roger met with a medical professional who was able to provide the tests he needed and check his blood levels. Later, when billing complications arose, Ginger was already there and able to nip them in the bud.

Seeing how he benefited from WMEC’s services, Roger was willing to take on more care options to increase his comfort and independence. Ginger connected him with a personal care attendant to assist with bathing, food shopping, and housework. These crucial services allowed him to feel more in control of his daily living.

Ginger is still working with Roger, helping to improve his day-to-day, little by little. She’s currently collaborating with Mass Relay to get him hearing aids. She was also able to install a personal emergency response service. Additionally, because of his care needs, Roger was recommended for a special program known as Enhanced Community Options Program (ECOP) that provides an increased level of support that he needs.

Connect with WMEC

Roger is just one of the many older adults Ginger and other care managers have been fortunate enough to help with our services. Whether you or a loved one needs compassionate, personalized services to increase independence and health, we can help with:

  • Home Delivered Meals
  • Personal Emergency Response
  • Laundry
  • Personal Care
  • Homemaking
  • Transportation
  • Home Modifications
  • Bill Payer and Representative Payee
  • And so much more!

To learn more or receive a free consultation, contact WestMass ElderCare today! or 413-538-9020