Making an Impact

In the Making an Impact series, clients and services are featured to expand awareness of the wide array of help available at JFS and to ensure donors understand exactly what their dollars do: the lives they touch, and the difference they make throughout the community. Client names have been changed to protect their confidentiality.

This story comes from JFS UCare Lead Care Coordinator Angela Renneberg. Angela describes this client as her greatest challenge and her greatest achievement. This 89-year-old Russian speaking client has been with JFS for many years under UCare Case Management with a diagnosis of depression with delusions. When Angela met him for his initial annual assessment, he and his daughter spent most of the assessment yelling at each other in Russian, which Angela doesn’t speak. But she did understand that the client’s delusions centered around his perception that his daughter was always watching him and out to get him.

Angela has spent four years stabilizing this client. During that time, she has helped the client work through difficult issues including financial abuse by an outside homemaker, an adult protection case, hospitalizations for mental health, revoking his power of attorney with the help of a home care agency, forcing his daughter out of his life and then taking her back into it, moving into assisted living, and now into memory care.

Angela was able to make a significant impact in his life by creating a trusting relationship, particularly when he was turning away everyone in his life who cared. He trusted that she cared for him and would help him make decisions that were in his best interest.

“I think in everything we do in case management the relationships are the most important part of what we do,” said Angela. “We can’t take away sickness, mental health issues, or the reality that they are at the end of life, but I can be there to walk through the last years of their lives with them.”