Every Day Hero Dedicated to Serving Seniors
March 20, 2018, by Amber R. Tynan, Executive Director, United Partners for Human Services
For Ed Gines, Senior Solutions Specialist at Elder Care Services, no two days look alike. And after meeting our soon to be client, Mr. Rollins, this couldn’t have rung more true. Their meeting set off a several-month-long journey that included the efforts of the entire community.
Late last September, Mr. Rollins was living out of his van in an area state park with his best canine friend Daisy. He was in need of hospitalization and surgery that required a lengthy stay in a rehabilitation facility, but he wouldn’t enter the facility without assurances from Ed that Daisy would be well cared for.
As one of the area’s most compassionate advocates for seniors in need, Ed didn’t hesitate to offer to care for Daisy at his own home while Mr. Rollins convalesced. Unfortunately, Daisy didn’t socialize well with Ed’s other four-legged residents. A number of frantic hand-offs among other Elder Care Case Managers ensued. None were successful. With no other options, Ed sent an SOS to the Leon County Humane Society. The staff graciously offered to help by providing care during the week and arranging for Wagland Kennel owners Jeff and Patty Wagner to provide free boarding and care on the weekends. They even convinced Melissa Peterson to donate several private behavioral training sessions to help Daisy with her socialization.
As December arrived, the weather began turning colder and Mr. Rollins was able to get around again. Daily visits to the Humane Society became his number one priority. Daisy would immediately begin barking with excitement as she heard his van pull up to the building which would soon be closed for the fast approaching holidays. Wagland Kennel was also booked solid, creating another problem for Ed to solve. With help from Elder Care’s United Way grant, a case of Mom’s meals and dog food was purchased and extended stay housing was arranged so Daisy and Mr. Rollins could be housed and fed through the end of the year. These accommodations were necessary because soon both of them would both be moving into their permanent spot – the Dwellings complex on Highway 20 and Capital Circle NW. Builders were putting the finishing touches on Mr. Rollins very own tiny house, which was completed by the first of the year.
Stories like Mr. Rollins’ play out every day in our office. At the heart of our mission is a desire to care for seniors in a way that honors their dignity and improves their quality of life. This can only be accomplished by spending time with them and learning what makes them happy and what they cherish most. From those personal conversations, we create individualized care plans that support their needs and bring them joy. This is what compassionate, community-based care looks like in action.
Elder Care Services, Inc. is a private non-profit corporation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for seniors in Leon and the surrounding counties, allowing them to remain at home with dignity. For more information, visit them at www.eldercarebigbend.org and follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/eldercaretally to learn more their services.
Originally posted to the Tallahassee.com Community Blogs