To Sheri Sax, there’s something special about allowing elderly men and women the opportunity to stay in their homes.
As executive director for the Jewish Family Service Association's Care At Home program, Sax leads the team that provides in-home care to senior citizens throughout Northeast Ohio and regardless of religious affiliation.
The goal is to keep their elderly residents from having to go into nursing homes when they would prefer to live on their own, but may need a little help.
“These folks are struggling in their community and they tend to need help at different intervals, so it’s wonderful they can call us when they’re in such a vulnerable state,” she said. “Sometimes the default is to 24-hour care in a nursing facility, but sometimes that’s not where they want to be. It’s a great feeling to be able to help them stay in their homes.”
Sax said there are wonderful nursing homes in the Cleveland area, but they’re not always a good fit for some of her clients. She offered as a recent example a 96-year-old woman who went to the hospital with congestive heart failure. Her daughter came in from out of town and contacted JFSA to see if there was anything the organization could do, since her mother did not want nor need round-the-clock care at a facility.
“We can provide skilled nursing home health services, physical therapy, speech therapy,” she explained.
There’s even medication management or help with paying a client’s bills and a 24-hour hotline people can call for answers, 216-378-8660.
Sax has spent decades working with the elderly population, formerly as a licensed dietitian and registered nursing home administrator. She said the desire to work with senior citizens comes from her Jewish roots of being taught at an early age to honor her parents and respect her elders.
“I thought it would be really special if i could do something to impact a great number of people, so I started working in long-term care,” she said.