Making an Impact: UCare Client Describes JFS Help as Life Saving

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.

This 65-year-old gentleman became a JFS client through his UCare health insurance. During his first in-person annual health assessment since 2020, he looked his JFS care coordinator Caroline in the eyes and with tears running down his smiling face, he told her she saved his life.

They had visited many times over the phone in the last couple years. The care coordinator learned his diabetes was dangerously out of control; his back pain was severe; and his mental health was plummeting. He was calling his family weekly to tell them he’s dying, because he sincerely felt like he was, and he was scared. He was a victim of torture in his home country and those experiences, combined with his unmanaged health concerns, threatened his very life.

With his doctor’s referral to a nutritionist, he learned how his food choices could help lower and manage his diabetes. He began seeing a mental health practitioner who specialized in helping victims of torture. He began spending more time with people from his home country who understood what he went through after the JFS care coordinator increased his adult day services to five days per week providing greater socialization, community support and exercise. The coordinator helped him talk about and understand that it is okay to ask for and accept help, and he agreed to homemaking services and a personal care attendant.

The coordinator also ordered a personal emergency response button since he lives alone and has a history of falling. She cared about him, and it showed, and he knew it was genuine.

Multiple people and resources came together to support him. The power of that combination saved his life.

“Hearing him tell me I saved his life stopped me in my tracks,” said Caroline. “It was like I woke up in that moment and became more aware of the impact we can have. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day phone calls, paperwork and endless tasks. It’s moments like this that remind me why I got into the social work field and why it’s so critical.”