Smiles 4 Seniors

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How your donation dollars are helping the lives of seniors everyday

Thank You!

Recently we received a phone call late in the afternoon from a gentleman whom we’ll call Sam. He was calling to see if Smiles for Seniors would be able to help him pay for his diabetes medication. He had gone without it for a few weeks because he could not afford to pay to get it out from the pharmacy. He was feeling very sick the day he called, he needed his medication immediately or he was going to die.

 

Because he was so ill an ambulance was called and he was taken to the emergency room for treatment and observation overnight. He was given the medication he needed while in the hospital but after his release he was still in need of his insulin. We were able to meet him at his pharmacy to pay for the life saving medication he could not afford.

We were shocked at the price of his prescriptions. 

 

It was $3.22 

THREE DOLLARS AND TWENTY TWO CENTS JUST SAVED A MANS LIFE;

YET THREE DOLLARS AND TWENTY TWO CENTS ALSO ALMOST KILLED HIM.

 

What a shame it is that this man could have lost his life over what would amount to pocket change for most of us. The pharmacist informed us that we were only legally able to get him a 3 month supply. We also gave him a few gift cards to the grocery store so that he could get the healthy food that he needs. This is happening all over America.

Many seniors find it difficult to afford their medications and towards the end of the month they often run out or skip doses all together.

 Let our friend Sam be a warning to all of us. Please keep a close eye on your friends and loved ones with this disease, make sure that they are taking their medications as needed, eating the proper foods and following doctor’s orders. Sam was so very grateful to us for helping him. We let him know that we are only able to help him thanks to the local business in the community. He asked if we would thank the community for helping him.  (Of Course we will Sam) on behalf of our new friend Sam; We thank all of you for your support and tax deductable donations to Smiles for seniors, with your support we will be able to continue to help low income seniors like Sam with life saving medications at their time of need. Thank you.

We met an 82 year old lady who was in need of a utility payment of $296.00. Her water had been shut off for 13 weeks before she was finally referred to Smiles for Seniors and has not been able to pay her bill for close to 3 months. She stated that the bill was higher than usual because there was a leak in a pipe on her property. She was able to get her neighbor who is a plumber to help fix the leak for free but there was still the issue of the bill.

 

Because her water had been shut off she could not bathe, drink, cook, or use the restroom. She did not drive so she would walk a ½ mile every day to the water machine at the local grocery store and fill up two large gallon bottles of water which she would have to carry all the way  home. She had to do this ritual everyday in order to use the restroom. She poured the jug of water into the back of her toilet so that she would be able to flush.

Can you imagine not being able to flush your toilet and having to walk a mile each day to get water? Because of your generous donations Smiles for Seniors was able to pay her water bill and get her service turned back on. I am happy to report that she is now caught up thanks to your donations and the kindness of her neighbors.

     

A woman called our hotline for her 86 year old grandfather who had been in the hospital after taking a bad fall in his home. The reason he fell was because his electricity had been cut off for nonpayment and he couldn’t see where he was going. Apparently he had been without electricity for quite a while and one night he got up to use the rest room in the pitch dark; cracked his head open on a table and laid there for 2 days before his granddaughter found him.

He was rushed to the emergency room where he was treated for his head wound, given I.V. fluids and held overnight for observation. While in the hospital the social worker gave him a list of safety net organizations that can help with his utility payments. Smiles for Seniors was on that list.

Thankfully he was released in good health. His granddaughter stated that he had just lost his wife 6 months earlier and that he was struggling with depression. He had let his home and finances spin out of control and hadn’t paid any recent bills. She said “He is a tough old guy, a veteran of the Korean War and he felt that he could get through anything,” so when they shut off his electricity he would use flashlights to see, read books instead of watch T.V. and to keep busy he would play solitaire by candle light. Because of friends like you in the community Smiles for Seniors was able to pay his electric bill and also give him and his granddaughter referrals to agencies that could assist him with his depression.

She called to let us know that he is doing much better and has recently enrolled in bereavement classes where he is learning to cope with his loss. Thanks to our senior sponsors this gentleman was able to get the help he so desperately needed.Thank You.

A very sweet lady in her late 80s called our office just before the New Year. She was beginning to tell me what kind of assistance she needed when she broke down in to tears. She stated that she had never had to ask anyone for help in the past and was feeling ashamed and embarrassed and was very distraught.  We comforted her by letting her know that we care for her and are here for her and quietly listened as she spoke in a timid, frightened and almost defeated voice.  
You see her husband had just passed away after being ill and hospitalized for several months. She explained; he would come home for a couple days only to return to the emergency room within a few days. He was not getting any better in fact he was getting worse. From the hospital he went to a board and care from there he went to a nursing home and from there he entered hospice and sadly he passed away after 8 months of being hospitalized.  She was in dire need of assistance after her late husband’s medical bills exhausted both of their income and savings and she was now close to losing her home and was behind on many utilities, some were just days away from being shut off.  We were able to give her the assistance she needed for the  utility bills and referred her to various agencies that can assist her with her home and also referred her to a support group that help her through her loss.  It is a shame when the seniors that built this great country have to lose everything they have worked so hard for just to afford healthcare.  
Whether you argue for or against HEALTH CARE FOR ALL one thing is certain….SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE…QUICK  before one more person…senior or not looses their savings ,nest egg, and their right to the American Dream.

We met a lady who was helping a recent fire victim. This lady whom we will call Angel was assisting the fire victim who we‘ll call Peggy. Angel became aware of Peggy an elderly woman in her late 80s who was displaced from her home after the Pioneer fire. She had lost everything she owned; her home, all of her belongings, clothes and sad to say even her pets. She was living in an old broken down trailer that she parked at the Wal mart parking lot. She would use the bathroom in Wal Mart to wash up and eat when she could.

Angel befriended her and gave her food and found her a place to live (Rent Free) helped her get the appropriate documents that she had lost in the fire, ID cards and Social Security card so that she would be able to benefit from  some of the senior  programs offered. She really did all she could to help the woman. The woman was kind of a mountain woman (Angel’s Words) with modest means and was use to living with very little.

Her pride and joy was her old banjo that she lost in the fire she loved to play and she was very good at it too. So Angel Called Smiles for Seniors to see if we could get one for her. We did. We got a brand new beauty on eBay for $100.00 with strings, picks, case and all. She was thrilled. This banjo was more than just a possession to her. It was in a sense her therapy. After having gone through so much hardship and suffering the loss of her home and her pets, the banjo played a role in her healing. Music is a language we can all understand. By giving her a new banjo it was like giving her hope that better days are ahead.

A gentleman called our office looking for a help to purchase a blood pressure monitor as requested by his doctor, but he could not afford it and Medi-Cal would not pay for it. He called a local agency for help and was referred directly to Smiles for Seniors Foundation. There are not many agencies that can do what we do for seniors. We were able to give him a gift card to his local pharmacy so he could get the medical equipment he needed.  
The same goes for the lady who called our office, she just had a botched bladder surgery and needed incontinence products which were not covered by her insurance and no funds are available from other agencies for personal care products, again Smiles for Seniors was able to provide her with a gift card for the personal products she needed.  
We are proud of the fact that we are able to assist seniors in their time of need and we will do whatever it takes to help make our low income seniors lives better.
We appreciate our friends and partnerships within the community, we know that the only reason we are able to do what we do for seniors is because of your generosity. We can’t do it without you and we can’t thank you enough. You are so important to us and to the seniors that our programs serves. THANK YOU for helping the lives of seniors everyday.