The story of Ethel started as a tenancy issue but it soon became obvious that there were other issues that needed to be dealt with. Ethel is in her late 80’s and was living alone, she was originally brought to us by one of her neighbours as it appeared she suffered from memory problems. We started to deal with the eviction notice she had received, Ethel didn’t remember much of what led up to the eviction, we had to rely a lot on what the neighbour could tell us. It became obvious with this first visit that there were many things that needed to be dealt with to fully assist Ethel.
Ethel said she thought she had something wrong with her health but she had not seen her Doctor for over a year. We needed to remedy this but on her own she couldn’t be relied on to carry through and an evaluation by her Doctor was important for the Eviction negotiations. Her Advocate called the Doctor’s office and they agreed to call and arrange an appointment for Ethel to see the Doctor. We were speaking with the housing management to try and negotiate some terms in regards to the Eviction Notice. Through this process and talking with other friends and neighbours of Ethel’s we got a clearer picture of what was going on.
Her Advocate decided it was necessary to have further evaluation down. For this we needed to call on Three Bridges Home Evaluation Team to meet with Ethel in her home and do a complete evaluation on her ability to continue living alone or needing some help.
The final result of the eviction notice following negotiations and a Tenancy hearing was she had to move but we arranged for 6 months, later as the 6 months grew closed and nothing yet had been found we were able to get 2 additional months. Her Advocate was working hard every step of the process.
During the 6 month period we worked hard to find an appropriate place for Ethel. We contacted her son & daughter-in-law which she basically never spoke to but agreed to in this case. They were willing to help and find a place for her close to them so they could look after her, but in the end she refused and stop talking to them again. Very, very frustrating situation as the original home evaluation didn’t go very well. Her advocate kept on top of things, continuing to follow-up with Three Bridges and the Social Worker pushing for more to get done for this woman. Finally another evaluation was arranged in her home (her advocate attended both home evaluations) this one went much better and we also convinced them to talk to her Doctor which we also found out hadn’t ever happened. Finally a report came down that showed she needed assistance and should not be living alone any longer. This had been what we had felt was a strong possibility from the beginning.
We can report that Ethel moves into her new assisted living place June 1st. This took pretty much the full 8 months we had, but a lot of time was spent in getting the proper evaluation. Her Advocate went above and beyond with time and effort to see this one through but that is the dedication of The Advocacy Volunteers.
As narrated by Ellen Silvergieter, Director of the Advocacy Office at St. Paul's