John Allen, a Veteran and Upper Valley resident since the early 90s, was one inspection away from being removed from his apartment due to his hoarding-like tendencies. Help at Home, a service of Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire (VNH) that offers affordable private-duty personal care services, was there to lend a helping hand. Gloria, the Personal Care Specialist assigned to John, though overwhelmed and hesitant she would be successful after seeing the condition of his apartment, was ready to accept the challenge.
“When I first arrived, there was only a small pathway to walk through the apartment,” said Gloria. Due to the boxes, belongings, and trash piled up everywhere, John slept in a recliner and didn’t have the space to have a bed. Diagnosed with a heart condition and arthritis in his knees and spine, he lacked the energy to continue getting rid of the extra belongings in his apartment and getting it clean enough to pass inspection. From a fire safety and health standpoint, John’s living conditions were not acceptable.
Dedicated and driven to keep John in his apartment, Gloria worked on one room at a time, making real progress along the way. “The look on the inspector’s face when she walked in and saw how much of an improvement John and I had made on the apartment made my entire month!” said Gloria.
After six Help at Home visits from Gloria, John passed inspection and is able to remain in his home. With the clutter removed, there was space for a bed to be setup for him to sleep in. “The day I found out that John passed inspection and wasn’t going to be evicted, I was excited and left in tears,” said Gloria.
“Help at Home has been invaluable,” said John. “I was under great pressure trying to get it done alone.” He went on to explain how he and Gloria found it immediately easy to talk to one another about what she was going to do and what he needed done. “She’s quick, very thorough, and enjoyable to talk to,” he said. “I look forward to Wednesdays when she comes.”
Being able to assist a Veteran and fellow community member in need was a humbling experience and a true honor for Gloria. “John has so many stories and is a sharp, intelligent man,” she said. “I learn so much from him during our time together each week.”