Area services and volunteers enable senior citizens to ‘age in place’ — safely, comfortably and where they most want to be

By Lynn R. Parks | Photographs by Carolyn Watson
From the April 2019 issue

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Ellen Jinx Jenkins suffered a serious stroke in 2013. While she eventually recovered to the point that she could return to her home, she still had trouble going up and down steps. And difficulty with balance meant that she had a tendency to fall.

 

The former vocational rehabilitation counselor, who moved to the Lewes area in 2002 and who lives alone, was looking at the very real possibility that she would have to leave her townhouse for a group home or an assisted-living facility.

“I couldn’t use my shower,” she says. “It was very tiny, and I was afraid to close my eyes in there, for fear that I would fall. I have two steps at the front door, and two steps up from the garage into a hallway, and I had trouble using them. At the front door, I held onto the side of the house so I could get up the steps.”

Through her niece Katie Leister, who works for the Lewes-Rehoboth chapter of Meals On Wheels, Jenkins connected with Kathryn Cieniewicz, a physical therapist and owner of Aging in Place Specialists, located near Lewes. Cieniewicz visited Jenkins’s home and evaluated its accessibility. “She asked me where I had problems, what I was able to do and what I wanted to do,” Jenkins recalls. “Then she came back with a plan.”

 

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