Roger O’Connor started coming to Harmony Adult Day Health Center in the spring of 2017. A brilliant man, Roger was a financial systems consultant during the era when computerized systems became necessary to manage large companies. In fact, Roger traveled the world for much of his career.
Roger & Sandy: Adjusting their Sails
Roger was 64 when he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, a condition which progresses faster than for those diagnosed later in life. Roger and his wife, Sandy had just returned from a trip to Italy when Sandy began noticing subtle changes in Roger. Family members also noticed changes. A trip to Roger’s physician resulted in his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, radically altering their dreams and plans for the future. With family support, they adjusted their sails and carried on.
Now 75 years old, Roger needs supervision and help with daily life. Roger’s sister-in-law, who also has dementia, had been attending Harmony Adult Day Health Center. She suggested Roger try it as a great place for socializing, and to give Sandy some respite.
When Roger first arrived, he was resistant to staying without Sandy—even following her when she tried to leave. Staff members suggested that Sandy stay and have coffee with Roger and his new friends for a while. It took focus, time and dedication to build a trusting relationship with Roger, so that he would feel safe without Sandy. Roger now happily spends three days a week at Harmony.
Sandy recently reflected, “I couldn’t do any of this without Harmony. Everyone is wonderful. I have a chance to have some time to myself and get things done, knowing that Roger is safe and cared for. He feels good about himself, because everyone there makes him feel that way.” She added, “It’s hard because although we still get together with some of our old friends, there are others that pulled away and choose not to socialize with us anymore.”
Though there are losses, Sandy feels they have gained so much from Roger’s involvement with Harmony. She especially loves the support and knowledge she receives to help her give Roger the great care he deserves.
Harmony is one of three Adult Day Health Centers affiliated with Community VNA and Health Care Options, Inc. All locations, in Taunton, Mansfield, and Norwood, MA, are medical models staffed with skilled nurses, aides, and social workers. All programs offer health care, supportive services, and enriching social activities.
Contact Harmony Adult Day Health Center