Senior program works for father and daughter.
Meet the Scrafano Family
Forks Township, Pa.
Donna Scrafano has worked in the human services field for her entire career, even serving as the administrative head of agencies, but, she says, “nothing compares to caring for your parents.”
After the deaths of her mother and brother in 2013, Donna knew her father, Edward, wanted to continue living in his own home in Forks Township, but he needed daily assistance. So Donna sold her house and moved in to provide that care.
“It certainly wasn’t my plan,” she says, but it turned out to be the right decision. Her father became ill just four months later, recuperated, then fell and broke his neck. After caring for Edward full time for a few months, Donna returned to work. She remembered that her uncle had attended the Sharing the Caring Adult Day Service, and considered it for her dad. It turned out to be a viable alternative to skilled nursing and got him out of the house, she says. “Now it is my main support.”
The Caregiver Support Program through Northampton County defrays the cost to the family, and the County’s respite services give her a much-needed break from caregiving.
At Sharing the Caring, Edward is stimulated through working on math problems, socializing, exercising and playing checkers as he did when he was a child. He looks forward to meeting friends there. “It gives him excitement and something to talk about,” Donna says. Edward was raised in downtown Easton where the program is located and reminisces about his time operating a family deli there. The seniors go for walks around Centre Square when the weather is good. Though his short-term memory often fails, Edward enjoys seeing the buildings and landmarks he remembers from his youth.
“He would have wasted away in skilled nursing,” Donna says. “He couldn’t stay in his house alone and I couldn’t take care of him myself. He wouldn’t be alive today without the program.”