Partners at Home
Updated: Dec 29, 2022
Highland Park has been Vivian’s home since she was 11 years old. Through partnership with Family Lifeline, she has been able to remain living in the place she feels most safe, connected, healthy, and engaged.
Vivian was connected with Family Lifeline three years ago after she began to lose her vision. She has been partnering with Personal Care Aide Mollie for just over one year. Mollie assists Vivian, who is now legally blind, with basic activities of daily living, maximizing Vivian’s choice, safety, and connection.
Mollie supports Vivian around the house, accompanies her on outings, and helps with whatever needs to be done. The two women enjoy going out to eat together and taking walks around the neighborhood. Vivian says, “She cleans up, she makes sure my clothes are laid out. She tells me, ‘You’ve got the wrong shirt!’ She helps organize my bills if my son doesn’t come in time. She takes me out to eat breakfast or lunch.” Most of the time, the two spend the day watching TV, talking, and joking around.
Vivian’s family tries to visit as much as possible, but they worry about her being alone. “They don’t want me by myself right now, because my other eye, it’s ready to go,” Vivian explains. It brings everyone comfort to know that Mollie is there, every day, in the home to support Vivian through this life-changing transition. “I do whatever I can for her,” Mollie says. “After I leave her, I call to check on her to make sure she’s okay. She needs anything? I’m on the way. She needs to go to the grocery store? I’m here.”
Vivian and Mollie are more than just client and provider, they are companions and partners in care. “She gets on my nerves!” Vivian says, laughing. There is a warmth to their banter, a clear sense of trust and comfort. “She acts like she don’t want to feed me sometimes, but that’s just the way we joke.” Vivian says. She recounts how Mollie always comes by to drop off a plate of food if she doesn’t know what to eat for dinner. “I tell Mollie, ‘You just want to come and bother me!’”
When asked to describe her partnership with Vivian, Mollie sighs and says, “Wonderful.” Caregiving is more than helping with chores or monitoring physical health. To be a caregiver is to care for the whole person with empathy and authenticity. As Vivian adapts to this new phase in her life, Mollie will be there by her side, ready with a smile, an ear to listen, and a helping hand to guide her.
Story from Family Lifeline's 2022 Impact Report