Richard's Story: A Life Saved

I'll explain how the Senior Center saved my life and continues to save the lives of others!

Do you have a parent or relative that has reached the age of sixty two? Having reached that age officially qualifies them to be called senior citizens. Neither I nor my partner, William, of 25 years gave it much thought as time marched on. Our generation was the one that refused to grow old!

It was some years ago that I watched the amazing process of a pre-fab senior center being assembled downtown. It went up almost overnight, and I became more curious about what went on inside as I walked by daily. One day I heard the unmistakable sound of billiards being played, and on another day I heard music from a player piano! I collected player pianos at the time, so it must have been kismet that drew me there! 

I finally asked a lady (who I later came to know as Gloria,) at the door about it. She explained that the center offered hot coffee and breakfast and lunch to seniors almost every day! "Old people" I thought to myself. I did have a desire for a hot cup of coffee, so I took her up on her welcome. Since then I learned more about what they do for seniors who are vulnerable, hungry, and even homeless, but on that day, I was just in time for one of many lectures that are offered about important health matters that we seniors should be aware of. 

I will admit, I found it a little boring at the time, but a nurse was describing the "Silent Killer" that kills many of us because we are not aware of the symptoms. She called it, DVT, or Deep Vein Thrombosis. I listened and learned that the problem is caused by blood clots that are usually in the leg or arm that can block blood flow and lead to painful swelling in the affected limb. If one of those clots breaks off and travels to your lung or heart it can definitely kill you! 

Serving Seniors offers so many useful resources and help to disadvantaged seniors every day that I am so grateful that I finally went inside. Nutritious meals, housing, health and social services and support to some of us who would have nothing or no one to show us care! 

In my case, Serving Seniors was a lifesaver! Only a couple of days after going in for that hot cup of coffee, I became ill. My partner William and friend Karen both help with my care but they didn't know how serious things had become. Hating hospitals as I do, I was hoping things wouldn't require going there. In spite of my being such a "know it all," it took me a day or two to put the DVT symptoms I learned about during the lecture together with the extreme pain, and swelling in my left leg. When Karen and William heard about the symptoms, they insisted that I go to Coronado Hospital where doctors used ultra-sound equipment to locate the blood-clot moving through my system, which was putting my life at risk! 

I know there are resources given and experiences had every day that go untold, but have been made possible by the existence of Serving Seniors. Food resources, health instruction, love and community and most importantly, a sense of belonging, are all given for free. 

I can honestly say my life was saved, and lives are being enriched every day, by all you do, so I wish to say THANK YOU.

-Richard Hertig, Serving Seniors Client

Our Nursing and Health & Social Services teams have worked closely together during the pandemic to diligently check in with seniors through telehealth visits, weekly phone calls and educational flyers. In the last month, our nurses were able to resume their onsite hours and in-person educational classes, focusing on COVID-19 vaccines and mental health.

We are so excited to start these classes up again, and even though the road to "normalcy" will be a long one, we are grateful to have the support from our community and partners. Thanks to your efforts and support we can provide low-income seniors access to COVID-19 vaccines, masks and lifesaving resources.