Making an Impact: Cluttered Home Threatens Client’s Independence

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. Names have been changed to protect privacy.

When “Betty” became a client through her UCare health insurance several years ago, she declined the JFS case manager’s request to conduct an initial assessment of her health and living situation. It took two years, but eventually she agreed to meet with the case manager to complete the assessment. The meeting took place in Betty’s apartment. Her living room had piles of mail and papers everywhere and her kitchen counters were stacked with a variety of items. Betty declined cleaning and organizing services. During her annual apartment inspection, many cleanliness concerns were documented. Several friends helped her clean so she could pass inspection.

During her annual assessment the following year, the case manager found Betty’s apartment in the same cluttered condition. The case manager tried again to convince Betty to let a homemaking and home management service help her. Betty agreed and has had successful inspections each year since the service began. With the help of the JFS case manager, Betty was able to understand the need for the service to maintain the level of independent living she desired.