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.

JFS Case Manager Svetlana Rabinstein immediately thought of her client Ted when she began using the DAPS (Depression Assessment Program for Seniors) tools. Ted is a low-income senior with severe chronic depression. In this case, identifying the depression was not an issue; his doctor had been treating it for a long time. But she wondered if there might be some ways to help him manage his depression, one of the aims of the DAPS program.

Svetlana had a conversation with Ted to find out what aspects of his life gave him the most satisfaction, comfort, or meaning, and how he could have more of these. It turned out that Ted very much wanted to be able to visit the cemetery where his late wife is buried, visit a friend who lives in a nursing home, and spend Sabbath afternoons with his daughter and grandchildren, who could not drive him for a Shabbat visit since they are observant Jews who do not drive on Saturdays. He also wanted to be able to attend synagogue services, especially on the High Holydays, but he could get to none of these destinations independently.

Svetlana knew that Ted’s health care plan, which he has through Medical Assistance, provides “non-medical transportation” up to two days a week to specific destinations, designated by the case manager. She arranged for him to have rides twice a week to go shopping, to the cemetery, to his friend’s nursing home, his synagogue, and of course, his daughter’s home for the Sabbath.

Ted will never be fully recovered from his depression, but he told Svetlana that he is happier than he has been in a long time, since he again has the freedom to do the things that give his life meaning.