“Older folks in our society are getting older and living longer,” Ann said, as she reflected on her own mother who has lived with her and her husband since her father’s passing in 2015. “They are still productive people, and they need to be treated that way.”
For Ann, Community Touchpoint – Community Health Network’s program focused on helping seniors access and navigate healthcare services while also providing social opportunities – offers her mother the support she needs while still preserving her dignity.
Each month, she accompanies her mother to Touchpoint events at Community Hospital South. There, they enjoy a nutritious meal with friends they have made since first attending Touchpoint events in 2015.
“We see some of the same people month after month,” she said. “You wonder about people when you don’t see them! We’ve become a close support group to each other – we really care how everyone is doing.”
As the primary caregiver for her mother who has dementia, Ann also finds the Touchpoint events highly educational. She recalls in particular one session that focused on the steps of dementia and what the individual is actually facing – a topic especially relevant to Ann and her mother.
“I learned not to be frustrated with her – it’s her dementia, and she can’t help it,” she said. “I was never trained to be a caregiver, but I need this kind of information to be the best one I can be for her.”
Ann also recognizes that Touchpoint helps seniors become comfortable walking into a hospital, which can be a scary experience for them.
Overall, Ann says if she had to use one word to describe her experience with Community Touchpoint she would say she is “grateful.”
“It’s truly a supportive environment, and it helps me as a caregiver know that I’m not alone,” she said.