As her husband’s health deteriorated, Helen made the decision to retire from her job as a housekeeper to stay home with him as his full-time caregiver. He passed away four years later, leaving Helen unsure of how she would survive without him.
“I didn’t know if I was going to be able to stay in my apartment.”
Even though she receives Social Security checks, the bills continue to pile up, forcing Helen to become concerned about her budget and her future. She tries to save money, but between groceries and medication, her bank account has started to dwindle.
“I do have a little money in the bank but you know, if you keep taking it out and nothing is going back in… you’re broke.”
Helen finds relief through a food assistance program designed to help seniors in need. The government-sponsored program provides 40 pounds of food each month to help supplement her diet.
“It’s good, healthy food — it’s good for you, which means a lot too.”
She was fortunate enough to have her rent lowered through a specialized program but still questions if she can afford to stay in the apartment she has grown to love over the last eight years. She enjoys chit-chatting with neighbors and has befriended other widows in the community.
“I have wonderful neighbors. We all look after each other.”
Although relatives have offered to move her into their homes, she wants to maintain her independence. So each month she budgets carefully to make sure she can stretch the assistance she’s receiving as far as possible.
“I’m very happy, very happy.”