On December 25, 1914, in San Francisco, Helen came into the world. Almost 104 years later, those who know and care for her still talk about her sharp wit, her strong will, and her love of playing games. She recalls specific memories of road trips she and her husband took bi-annually after his military experiences during World War II. She talks about the weekly Mahjong dates she kept for years with her girlfriends. She acknowledges that patience has never been easy for her, but says she enjoys the time she spends reading books. Helen shares her opinion that today’s world is better for “conveniences” but worse for “crime.”
At 103 years old, most of Helen’s remaining family lives outside of California, and being confined to a wheelchair makes it very difficult for her to leave the board and care home where she lives in Concord. Helen’s son, Larry, in an effort to keep her active and engaged when he was unable to be with her, started looking into companionship programs.
Enter Sterling. Earlier this year, Sterling reached out to MOWDR about volunteering. When he heard about the Friendly Visitors Program, he remembers thinking, “Sign me up!” He further recalls, “I had a list of six people, and I could choose who I wanted to visit. Helen was on the list and it was magic. I didn’t know anything about her or anybody on the list, I just thought someone who is 103 has got to be pretty special. This lady has a brilliant wit!”
Helen’s son, Larry, is grateful to both Sterling and MOWDR’s Friendly Visitors Program. “It’s fantastic because it’s been pretty much only me visiting. Having Sterling come has been great! I know Meals on Wheels, and I thought that’s all you did. This is a fantastic program.”
When asked what she thinks about Sterling and their visits, Helen gets right to the point with the wisdom that comes with 103 years. “They bring back memories and it’s nice having someone to talk to.”