Published on April 09, 2012

Leaving the nursing home for independent living

Mrs. EvansLillie Mae Evans is a perfect example of the success of the Mercy LIFE program. With the help of Mercy LIFE, Mrs. Evans was able to move out of a nursing home. She can visit a Mercy LIFE Day Center every weekday for help and friendship. She also has help at home.

Mercy LIFE is a program that allows seniors to live on their own. Keeping seniors at home is a big part of our mission.

To the Nursing Home and Back

In 2006, Mrs. Evans lived with her daughter. She joined Mercy LIFE and visited a Mercy LIFE Day Center Katrina Coleman, MSW, a social worker at Mercy LIFE.

Coleman continued to visit Mrs. Evans in the nursing home as part of the Mercy LIFE program. But Mrs. Evans decided that she didn’t want to stay. “She knew she could live on her own with a little bit of help,” Coleman says.

In March 2010, the LIFE staff found a perfect place for her to live. Next door to the Grays Ferry LIFE Day Center is a Philadelphia Housing Assistance building. A handicapped accessible apartment was available.

Community Living

The LIFE staff helped Mrs. Evans put in an application and move into the apartment. They helped her get household necessities, a hospital bed and a wheelchair.

Mrs. Evans now visits the nearby LIFE Day Center every weekday. LIFE Day Centers have day programs that provide meals and activities. The centers are also staffed with doctors, nurses and social workers. Even during periods of illness, Mrs. Evans has never felt alone.

“There is a great sense of community here,” explains Coleman. Mrs. Evans has eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She appreciates her family’s love. She is also deeply grateful for Mercy LIFE staff like Coleman. “Katrina is so sweet,” says Mrs. Evans. “She is right there when I need her. She hasn’t changed since the day I met her.”

“Mrs. Evans has lived on her own for two years now,” says Coleman. “She is one of our biggest success stories.”