This Client Suffered in Silence. Find out Why We’ll Never Forget Her.

By Valerie Bogart
A friend recently asked me about a client I’ll never forget. My answer is easy. It’s Sonya.  

Sonya, a 60-year-old woman, became widowed and faced mounting health problems due to her debilitating arthritis and pernicious heart disease. She applied for and was granted 70 hours of Managed Long-Term Care and matched with Rebecca, a compassionate aid whose daily visits allowed Sonya to remain safely at home. 

But Sonya’s home care hours were reduced. The plan stopped all weekend care despite her worsening health. When she arrived on Monday mornings, Rebecca discovered that Sonya had gone days without eating because she lacked the dexterity to prepare and eat food without her aid’s help.   

To make a terrible situation worse, her care hours were reduced yet again! Unable to safely transfer from bed to her walker alone, she spent the time in between Rebecca’s visits in bed, lying in a soaked incontinence pad as she was too embarrassed to ask her neighbor for help changing it.  

I met Sonya when she was facing yet a third reduction to only 15 hours of care a week. She was unaware that she had the right to appeal the previous care reductions. I requested a fair hearing to challenge all three reductions. It was a hard-fought battle that was highly contested at each step.

In the end, we restored Sonya’s original 70 hours of care, which allows her to live with dignity in the comfort of her home. Sonya’s case now serves as a precedent for other seniors who faced reductions in care because they were unaware of their right to appeal.

Last year, the NYLAG’s Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program helped 1,700 seniors and people with disabilities like Sonya. But there are many more people who face similar struggles. That’s why we need YOUR help.

 A gift to NYLAG ensures seniors like Sonya have access to an attorney.  

                                            Will you donate right now to help seniors age with dignity? 

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