Mr. & Mrs. Curtis Henderson
Mr. Curtis Henderson is a 78 year old veteran of the Korean conflict. He lives in Gloucester County with this wife Lois, who is his primary caregiver . Mr. Henderson carries a 100% service connected disability and is also diagnosed with multiple chronic health problems including congestive heart failure and dementia. Mrs. Henderson is 76 and has health problems of her own, which sometimes make it difficult for her to manage and perform all of the daily care he needs to keep him safely at home. The veteran has been enrolled in Veteran’s Directed Home & Community Based Service program through Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center since 2011. Under this program his caregiver has been able to access necessary services and obtain assistance such as Adult Day Health Services, respite programs and ensure that his personal care needs are met. The program also allows Mrs. Henderson to enjoy many activities of her own away from the crush of 24/7 caregiving.
During a recent home visit by the Service Coordinator Mrs. Henderson had the following things to say about the support provided by Bay Aging and the Veteran’s Directed Home and Community Based Services program:
“Without this program and the services I am able to obtain with the funding, there is no doubt that Curtis would now be residing in a long term nursing facility.” Mrs. Henderson goes on to say, “This veterans directed program provides financial help in hiring good aides to take care of Curtis, to present me the opportunity to participate in activities outside the home that I enjoy and provides the freedom to plan for my medical care and personal business, knowing that Curtis will be taken care of with personalized attention at home from aides that he knows, trusts and accepts. “ She has two aides which alternate days and another aide who works part time as needed. The aides have been with her comfortably for several years.
Mrs. Henderson also pointed out, “The best part of the veterans program is that she can hire who she wants, pay them a living salary and have the confidence to know Curtis is getting excellent care because it is people she has picked to care for him. I can schedule the attendants at times and days that I need help – such as nights, weekends, holidays, not some predetermined schedule set by an agency. I feel confident that I can keep Curtis in our own home, with good care – he is happier, healthier and comfortable which makes me happier, healthier and comfortable.”
During our recent home visit, Mrs. Henderson was also complimentary of the support services provided by Bay Aging in both the service coordination and fiscal management areas. “I don’t have to worry about payroll, taxes or budget management. I know that without the help of the Bay Aging staff to provide the attention to detail and monitor the resources, I would not be able to manage this on my own. Now I can concentrate on care for Curtis and keeping him at home. The service coordinator responds promptly when I call for help or with questions and the finance department staff are always willing to help with keeping me within my budget. I give credit to the Bay Aging staff for the initial introduction to the program some 4 years ago and helping get Curtis enrolled.”
Overall Mrs. Henderson is extremely pleased with the help provided to her by Bay Aging and the Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services program. The financial assistance has allowed her to better plan for the long-term care needs of her husband and herself with the sole purpose of living in their own home for as long as possible.