Eish Molonzo Grim's Story
Project Independence will provide minor home repairs to up to 90 seniors this year. These home repairs cost less than $1,000 per senior and make a tremendous impact on their daily life.
Eish Molonzo Grim has lived in his home for nearly 50 years. He and his wife purchased the duplex in 1970 with his brother and sister-in-law. They had 6 children and his brother had 7. “No landlord was willing to rent to a family with so many kids, so we had to buy”, Eish recalls. Together, Eish and his wife raised their children and made many lovely memories in his home.
Today, Eish is 76, he lost his wife nearly 26 years ago and his children have all moved out. His sister-in-law still lives upstairs and his children come and check on him every day. In addition to having diabetes and high blood pressure, Eish suffers from glaucoma and his vision is greatly impaired. He uses a cane or a walker. Thanks to his children, he has a lot of help in maintaining his independence in his home but there were several safety risks that he found troublesome. He had no railings on his front porch steps, his back porch railing was not safe, his storm door was broken, and the original lock on his front door was very difficult to turn. These issues would be a safety risk for any senior but with Eish’s near blindness, they were extremely hazardous.
Eish overjoyed when he learned that Senior Solutions could help him through Project Independence which provides minor home repairs at no cost to low-income St. Louis Seniors. The goal of the program is to help seniors, just like Eish, who want to remain living safely and independently in their own homes but do not have the additional income to pay for minor home repairs. For a total cost of less than $1,000, Senior Solution’s handyman, John, replaced Eish’s storm door, installed railings on his front and back porch steps, and installed a new lock on his front door. “It just feels good to have something to hold on to,” Eish explains regarding the new railings that allow him to safely enter and leave his home. Thanks to the generous support of friends who contribute to Project Independence, Eish received the home repairs he needed to continue to live safely in the home that he loves.
Senior Solutions Steps Up to Help Reduce Hospital Re-admissions
"When Mr. Mack, an 86-year-old retired truck driver, was released from the hospital earlier this year after a bout with congestive heart failure, there was a one in four chance he might end up back in the hospital within 30 days."
Instead, thanks to a grant from SSM and a partnership between St. Louis Area Agency on Aging (SLAAA) and St. Andrew’s Senior Solutions, Mr. Mack is back home and doing fine."
“Hospital readmissions often occur because there may be poor communication at discharge about what medications to take or what to do or not do during recuperation,” explained Aimee Watson, a St. Andrew’s Senior Solutions’ Geriatric Care Manager. “It’s also possible that, once back home, the patient could have a reoccurrence of the conditions that led to his hospitalization in the first place unless they are closely monitored.”
Under this pilot program, SLAAA contracts with Senior Solutions to provide case management to discharged low-income patients referred by SSM. “We assess their needs, which may include Medicare benefits, utility assistance, food stamps or other resources,” said Watson. For Mr. Mack, Aimee negotiated several senior discounts and tax credits, found him a walker, and arranged for Meals on Wheels to bring him nutritious food each week. Some much-needed minor home repairs through Senior Solutions are also in the works to ensure his safety.
“Aimee has been such a help,” said Mr. Mack’s daughter, Tina, who cares for her father in addition to working full-time. “It’s a relief knowing that we have someone who knows the ropes and can help us get the equipment and support Dad needs.”
The eHome Project also provides sophisticated telehealth monitoring equipment that Tina uses to check her father’s blood pressure, weight, heart rate and other vitals each morning. The data is automatically transmitted to SSM, where health professionals can watch for changes and head off issues before they require readmission.
“This is an exciting project that can make a dramatic difference in patient’s lives,” said Watson. “Similar efforts around the country have reduced readmission by up to 44 percent. Our care management services help ensure that patients transition back home without problems, and that they are able to remain in their homes for as long as possible.”