Making dreams and goals come true for seniors and people with disabilities is Enable’s business. “When seniors and people with disabilities close their eyes, they have a picture of exactly what they want their life to look like. All want to be safe, live as independently as possible, have a life filled with friends, enjoy recreational activities, and be active in the community,” said Sharon Copeland, Enable’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our goal is to make that possible.”
That sometimes takes creative solutions. When Louis’ aging parents moved to assisted living, they worried about who would care for their son, who has a developmental disability. Enable stepped in, partnering with the Eatontown Borough Council and the Affordable Housing Alliance to transform Louis’ family home into a group home. Accessibility features including a lift, ramps in front and back, and a whole house generator were added. Some of Enable’s more than 1,000 individual volunteers helped with painting bedrooms and cleaning up the yard.
When the renovation was complete, Mayor Gerald Tarantolo welcomed Louis back to his home, describing him as a “fixture” in the borough. Louis now lives there with his new family: three male roommates. Enable continues to provide 24/7 care and support.
According to AARP, nearly 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their own home as they age. Enable makes that possible by providing in-home care when someone needs help with personal care and light chores, through offering respite time for a spouse who may be the primary caregiver for a loved one, and through home modifications when grab bars or a ramp are needed.
Kate Hall, a social worker at Enable, helps seniors at four residential locations age in place. Sometimes this involves identifying a resident’s strengths in order to solve problems. Kate works closely with the Princeton Housing Authority, Princeton Senior Resource Center, and Princeton HealthCare System to address complex social and personal issues.
Alice is 85 years old, a gifted poet who does beautiful needle work. Sadly, her physical issues make it almost impossible for her to leave the house. Kate was able to relieve one of Alice’s greatest worries, helping to draft her will and advanced directives. “I admire Alice’s independence. However, isolation can be a huge issue for the elderly. I visit her regularly and provide supportive counseling,” said Kate.
While Kate’s assistance is primarily funded through a federal grant, Enable relies on donations to fund many of its initiatives. To make a year-end gift, go to Enable’s website at www.enablenj.org. To learn more about Enable’s services, call 609-987-5003 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enable, 13 Roszel Road, Suite B110, Princeton. 609-987-5003. www.enablenj.org. email@example.com.