Have your parents ever lived with you so you can help them financially or even physically? For many families, this is a solution to help care for aging parents with a low or limited income. It makes sense, but what if the unexpected happens and the parents outlive the child? That’s the scenario that played out for Samuel and Patricia, also known as Sam and “Momma,” both in their 70s. Their son passed away from a heart condition and that’s when the crisis began. Sam and Patricia couldn’t afford their rent and have poor mobility due to several health issues. Thankfully, their landlord referred the couple to The Caring Place and that’s when their journey to regain their independence began.
Even while grieving, it was critical that Sam and Patricia find a more affordable apartment. However, when you are in your 70s with a cancer and diabetes diagnosis, the idea of moving and packing up your deceased son’s belongings and your own is daunting and expensive. The Caring Place helped with rent at their new apartment so that the couple could hire movers. The Caring Place also connected Sam and Momma with a church group that packed up their home. The phrase, ‘it takes a village,’ applies here as the couple got back on their feet in a new location. “There’s no way me and Momma could lift all that stuff,” Sam shared. Sam and Patricia also received food from the Food Pantry and gas cards to help them stretch their budget as they got settled into their new place. “Me and momma don’t eat a whole lot, but it helps,” said Sam as he shared what services he and Patricia used to help them create stability again. “If anybody needs help, this is the place to come. There are very nice people here.”
Another surprise Patricia and Sam found at The Caring Place was a mobility scooter. Both have difficulty getting around, especially Patricia who has weak ankles and whose weight has dropped significantly due to cancer. The mobility scooter helps the couple do simple things like get the mail and take the trash out at their apartment complex. Next, they hope to save up to buy an attachment for their vehicle so they can take the scooter to stores or appointments.
Throughout the interview, Sam called Patricia “Momma.” At the end of the meeting, we asked Patricia what she called Sam. She smiled and teased, “A lot of trouble,” but continued, “No, he takes care of me, doesn’t let me do anything.” Sam interjected, “I gotta take care of you, Momma. It’s been a great life, and it’s going to continue. Me and my wife, we are going to stick around here.” This marriage is 54 years strong and full of hope because The Caring Place helped Sam and Patricia through a crisis. What began with a week of dating and a $2 marriage license is still going strong here in Georgetown.