A Visit with Mary

Before we even knock, Mary opens the door wide and greets us with an even wider smile. She is steady on her feet as she pulls out chairs and offers us coffee.  We are here for a yearly assessment of the LRCS HomeAssist program to make sure Mary’s services are still working well for her.  One of the best features of HomeAssist is that the client makes decisions on the services they want to help them live independently.

The LRCS HomeAssist program helps older adults and others with chronic illnesses to stay in their homes and remain independent as long as they can.  Many clients live out their lives in their own homes with homemaker companions, like Tina, who visit regularly to help with chores like laundry, mail, taking out the trash, meal planning and preparation, and occasional trips out to run errands.

As a non-medical model program, a HomeAssist companion is almost like having a friend or a family member over to help with everyday tasks. This program is just right for someone like Mary, who with a little help remains as independent as she can be.  “I still have a license, but I outlived my car.  If my car was still alive, I would drive wherever I needed to go,” she told us while sitting at her kitchen table.  Every day, Mary gets up ready for the day, and goes about her daily business.  Her house is spotless, and while Tina helps with some tasks, Mary still cleans her own house.

HomeAssist currently serves 185 clients – 10 alone live in the housing complex that Mary resides in.  The program has 42 staff members who travel to many often rural areas in Belknap, Grafton and parts of Sullivan Counties stretching to the Vermont border and anywhere they are needed in between.

At Hillside Apartments, maintenance handles the snow removal, but Mary likes to make sure it’s done right.  “A smile will get you anyplace,” she says with a grin when we asked if she ever comments on the plowing and shoveling.  Mary bring out a smile on everyone’s face. Meeting a 99 year old who is happy at home is exactly why HomeAssist exists.

If you or someone you know has an aging family member who would like some assistance with their daily home duties, please contact Darlene or Mary at the LRCS HomeAssist Program at 603-524-8811.

Kate Fife who recently joined the LRCS staff as the Development and Communications Coordinator, had the privilege of meeting Mary Keyser as part of her orientation to LRCS programs and services.

Comments, questions, and ideas for future blog posts can be sent to:
Joanne Piper Lang, LRCS VP Development joanne.lang@lrcs.org