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Providing a Quality of Life and Much More

With Charlie’s discharge from Rehab imminent and with a pressing need to change his living situation, the 85 year-old bachelor, sought the services of an Aging Life Care Manager upon the recommendation of the rehab social worker. Thus began my special relationship with Charlie, one that had a tremendous impact on Charlie’s quality of life in his last years.

Together, Charlie and I visited a variety of assisted living facilities and ultimately decided on a place which turned out to be a perfect choice. I selected and ordered the furniture for his new home after sorting and disposing of Charlie’s belongings from his former apartment. I also arranged for home care services which eased his adjustment to his new surroundings. Charlie enjoyed his newly found wonderful life.

Charlie, cognitively intact, was warm, friendly and sociable. A retired teacher, Charlie shared stories about his life, his travels and his escapades as a single guy with the ladies. He clearly loved people. His charm was contagious.

Our bond grew with each home visit as we worked together to resolve each budding senior issue. When Charlie’s medical status declined, I was with him for every doctor and emergency room visit. I understood exactly what Charlie’s wishes were regarding advance directives and when it was appropriate, I arranged for a palliative care team. I held his hand when he decided to be taken off the respirator.

Charlie wished to have a proper Jewish burial. I made arrangements for his funeral and had prayers said for a year in accordance with Jewish law.

Charlie will always have a special place in my heart. I know that Charlie benefited from my professional contributions, serving as a resource and as a major source of support–all factors contributing to Charlie enjoying a great quality of life and a death with dignity.

Ilene Himber, LMSW, CMC, is an Aging Life Care Manager, with a care management practice in the New York metropolitan area.

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