Old Colony Elder Services Emergency Funds: People you Can Count on in Times of Need

Real people. Real needs.

EdwardIt was a clear revelation of his reality.

The pieces in his mind fit snugly together: an unexpected hospital stay, a disruptive rise in rent, a crippling increase in out-of-pocket prescription costs, a devastating shut-off notice from the electric company. Edward faced reality and acknowledged that living on a fixed income was about to become complicated.

With the astronomical electric bill putting a dent in his monthly bills, Edward was faced with the reality that this month he couldn’t make ends meet, a dire situation many older adults and people with disabilities face on a daily basis. Noting a big piece of the puzzle was missing, Edward knew he had to do something; but what?

Edward, a 68 year-old man, has accomplished many things on his own: he raised two sons, he has lived independently in his home for over 30 years and has maintained a lifestyle that keeps him healthy and able to drive.

Edward is a man who takes care of things on his own… usually.

He nodded to the truth that this month it was difficult to make ends meet. He squared his shoulders, faced reality, and did what he had to do…

…He asked for help.

Edward turned to Old Colony Elder Services (OCES) for assistance. He spoke to a Care Manager who explained how the Emergency Funds program helps meet the needs of at-risk low-income older adults and people with disabilities who are in a crisis or emergency circumstance that threaten either their health and/or living situation.

Edward shared his concerns about caring for his son who frequently spends time at his home. “I was worried about my autistic son. He takes a lot of medication and has to be constantly cared for and supervised so that he doesn’t get into a situation where he could hurt himself.” At OCES we determined Edward was eligible to receive assistance. The money is used on a case-to-case basis. We evaluate the situation to determine if there is truly a need. Then we evaluate why the need isn’t being met and what we can do help.

Thanks to the assistance of OCES, Edward has been able to move forward and keep up with the bill. “I appreciate what they did. That took some stress off, knowing I can start fresh without a high bill,” Edward comments.

Looking back, Edward hopes his pragmatic outlook on life will encourage others in need. “Set your pride aside and go do what you have to do, that’s the way I look at it.”

Edward’s story demonstrates the daily challenges of living on a fixed income which older adults and people with disabilities face on a daily basis. Yet there is help–somewhere to turn–an organization dedicated to promoting quality of life for these individuals.

OCES encourages individuals. “Please don’t hesitate to call if you are in need. The Emergency Funds program can assist qualified individuals in numerous ways, such as home heating fuel, food, utilities, life-sustaining medications, rent, electricity, grab bars, shower chairs, lift chairs and in some cases moving expenses.”

Return to Spring 2016 Newsletter