Elders Living at Home Program
Our Stories — Supporter
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Lois McMahon, Sister of ELAHP Client
“They give people a sense of importance, respect and independence.”
Lois first became familiar with ELAHP in 2005. Her brother Peter was living in a homeless shelter in Boston, struggling with limitations caused by a head injury years earlier. Lois, who didn’t live nearby and was dealing with a medical emergency in her own home, did as much as she could to make sure her brother was safe, but he was getting lost in the system and had little prospects of getting out. Lois was at a loss as to how to turn his life around.
At that time, ELAHP was still running their emergency shelter program. They took Peter out of the main population of the shelter and gave him the individual attention he needed to overcome the many obstacles he faced. “I know personally,” Lois says, “that if ELAHP had not found my brother, he would not be where he is today, in an independent living situation.” ELAHP found Peter an apartment then took him accompanied him through all the necessary stops it took to move in, get established and live independently. Four years later, ELAHP continues to work with him, and with Lois. “I have met so many wonderful, caring people,” Lois says of ELAHP’s case managers. “It moves my heart and gives me hope that so many people care about others and their quality of life. We have been through a lot together.”
Recently, her brother fell ill and was not expected to survive. “With the visits from ELAHP,” Lois says, “taking care of Peter’s cat, cleaning his apartment, the cards and notes as well as numerous phone calls and the good cries we shared, I have come to know them on a more personal level. You could not find a more sensitive group of people anywhere.” Peter defied the odds and returned home. With ongoing challenges to her brother’s housing stability due to his health, Lois counts on the assistance of ELAHP to insure that Peter has the best quality of life possible.
“Whenever I hear about funding cuts to ELAHP,” Lois says, “I cannot imagine what they are thinking. In my opinion ELAHP is one of the best places that money can be spent. They give people a sense of importance, respect and independence. Just spend a day with any one of them and you will see what I mean.”