Making an Impact Series

Jewish Family Service of St. Paul

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 the lives they touch and the difference they make throughout the community. Client names have been changed to protect their confidentiality.

Richard came to JFS in September when he became one of Case Manager Jaime Olsen’s Disability Services clients. He was 61 years old and living in his sister-in-law’s home. He had multiple disabilities including trouble with mobility and an unsteady gait. His medical history included a gunshot wound and low cognition which made his speech difficult to understand.

Jaime officially established his niece as Richard’s personal care assistant (PCA). The niece had been caring for him for some time, but now she would be able to be paid for that work through Ramsey County. Jaime was also able to get him a new walker and cane. His situation was stable, thanks to excellent family support.

A year later, his sister-in-law moved from her spacious house into a smaller apartment. Richard initially stayed with her in her new apartment, but his niece/PCA contacted Jaime to find an assisted living arrangement for him. Jaime gave them a list of potential assisted living facilities in St. Paul. She also requested extra Disability Services funding to cover part of his living costs. Richard chose a facility he liked, and his family helped him safely relocate.

Most of his transition to assisted living went well; however, his room did not have any furnishings. Richard did not have his own furniture, and he needed a hospital bed because of his disabilities.

The facility was able to lend him a hospital bed for temporary use while Jaime ordered a new bed through his medical insurance. After two weeks, Jaime followed up only to learn that the company she placed the order with was no longer an approved medical assistance vendor. So, Jaime started over.

Meanwhile, in a different JFS department, JFS Community Case Manager Nancy Cohen received an email from a colleague about a family that was looking for a good home for a slightly used hospital bed. The bed was free but whoever took it would have to pay for its moving cost and pick it up quickly. Nancy knew that Disability Services clients sometimes need hospital beds, so she passed this information along to the department manager who shared it with her team, including Jaime. Jamie reached out to Nancy to let her know about Richard’s need for such a bed, and they jumped into action.

Despite being given incorrect contact information, Nancy was finally able to contact the people who had the bed. With a very restricted and impending time frame, Nancy set out to find movers while Jaime worked with the assisted living facility to coordinate the arrival of the new bed. After several inquiries, Nancy was able to find a mover who was affordable and available. Despite the very tight and restricted time frame on both ends of the journey, the mover was able to pick up and deliver the bed to Richard.

The donor family thanked us for helping them fulfill their wish to find a good home for the bed, and Richard was able to get the bed his disability required.