Joanie and Harry

Independent Living, News About CORD, Resources, Training | April 1, 2021

joanie and harry

Since the pandemic began, many places are offering online events to keep in contact with those in the community and CORD is no exception. Steve Spillane, CORD’s Options Counselor, and Jeri DiCostanzo, CORD’s Transition Counselor have been holding ZOOM meetings at several Councils on Aging (COAs) to talk about what CORD can offer and information on long-term care services that can help people move out of – or stay out of – a nursing home. It was at one of these meetings that they met Joanie and Harry.

Joanie and Harry were frequent visitors at the COA. They were struggling with the effects of Harry’s Alzheimer’s and the programs offered provided the structure and routine that both needed during this difficult time in their lives.  But when the pandemic hit and the COA closed, Joanie and Harry lost their support system.

During the ZOOM presentation, Joanie talked about Harry and what was happening. She explained they made too much money to qualify for MassHealth, but not enough money to pay for in-home supports and were trying to get by with only a few hours from Elder Services. Steve and Jeri told Joanie to look into the MassHealth programs that allow people to buy-in or have a spend-down to enroll. They also provided some basic information on assistive technology that could help with transportation so that Harry, who used a wheelchair, could visit and socialize – in a safe manner – to help keep them both from becoming completely isolated during this trying time. But perhaps the most important thing that they provided, was an understanding of Joanie and Harry’s situation. In a phone call following that meeting, Steve was able to provide Joanie with detailed information on what they discussed.

Many people who attend CORD community events get the information they need to live as independently as possible.  If you need information on remaining in or returning to your home, call CORD at 508-775-8300 or join us at one of our presentations.

* Names have been changed