Ima, a retired nurse from Nigeria, has moved back and forth between Nigeria and the United States quite a few times. She knows what it is like to be an experienced caregiver, having been a teacher in Nigeria and then a childcare provider here in the U.S.. After settling into her current apartment home in 2014, she says that her family and her health are now her top priorities. Ima enjoys staying involved with her church and housing communities. She makes a point to cultivate relationships with her neighbors by taking part in community activities like volunteer events, writing groups, and social hours. Ima says that her neighbors are so wonderful that they will come to check on her if they have not heard from her in a while.
Ima is 70 years old, and became a client of the WISH Program when a neighbor suggested she could benefit from WISH’s help. Since becoming a client of the program, Ima has received help from her WISH coach, Tenisha to cover medical bills and arrange for more manageable medication costs, set up medical appointments, and plan transportation to her appointments when she needed help doing so. Prior to receiving help from the WISH Program, these barriers put Ima at risk for declining health, as she had begun avoiding medical professionals out of concern for the cost of treatment and medication. In all of her hard work, Tenisha has given Ima the confidence to advocate for herself by helping her overcome obstacles and develop skills to manage her own healthcare. With this confidence, Ima is comfortable seeing the doctor as soon as she has a concern rather than waiting until a hospital visit has become necessary. Smiling, Ima says, “I have peace of mind.”
On her experience with the WISH Program, Ima says, “there are so many things they have helped me with, and I really appreciate it. [My health and happiness] have improved so much.” She shares enthusiastically that she would not hesitate to tell a friend or neighbor about the WISH Program! “I would reach out to them and tell them about the program, just like someone did for me. It’s the best program to help them with whatever they are going through. Your WISH Coach will follow-up with you and will not stop until you are in a better situation!”
The WISH Program helps seniors like Mary remain healthy and independent by providing a Health Coach who can help them develop a health plan and connect to resources in the community. WISH, a program of the Nexus Montgomery Regional Partnership, is supported and endorsed by the six Montgomery County community hospitals. If you or someone you know is over 65, has Medicare and lives in one of the independent living facilities listed here, call 301-628-3470 to make a referral to the WISH Program.