Lawrence and Edna – Lost the Past – Restored the Present

Lawrence and Edna McDonald have been married more than 45 years.  They met in San Diego when he was a sailor.  He served the USA for 20 years.  They are proud parents of a daughter, Myisha.

This couple had a great life together.  Lawrence was very active, and he and Edna enjoyed dancing and involving themselves in social activities.

One day Myisha saw her Dad drive by their home several times.  She went outside, waved him down and asked why he didn’t stop at their residence.  He confessed, “I couldn’t remember where I lived.”  Edna consulted a physician, and learned that Lawrence had Alzheimer’s disease.

She was devastated.  The man she loved was gone, and the person in their home couldn’t engage his wife, or daughter, like he had for many years.  Over time Lawrence concluded Edna was his co-worker, but not his wife.

Edna was determined to keep Lawrence at home, and she called many agencies seeking assistance.  Our Senior Companion Program (SCP) offered by Lutheran Social Services in San Diego was the only agency to reply.

We provide respite care: non-medical support in homes, so caregivers can take a break. At no cost to the family, a participating senior comes into the home, so the primary responsible person can relax, renew and revitalize on an emotional, physical and often spiritual level.

Geraldine McCue, the LSS companion who walked into that situation, related to Lawrence heart-to-heart.  Before she assisted LSS, she traveled to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and cared for people displaced by that natural disaster.

“Geri” shares love from her heart with those who are in greatest need,” Edna said of this special person in her family’s life. “When she came into our family, God sent me an Angel.”

Geri engages Lawrence at a level he can embrace and accept, and at the same time gives Edna a chance three times a week to have a few hours of solace.  One of those mornings she goes to dialysis, something she had not been able to do until Geri joined her family.  She was denying her own health needs because of her compassion for her husband. Alzheimer’s disease robbed Lawrence and Edna of the past they shared together.  But the LSS Senior Companion Program helped them reclaim the present in a way that offered solace and togetherness for each.

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Ambassadors are short-term volunteers who open doors for our organization in the community, introducing new people at our bi-monthly Fostering Community Care event. These are one hour awareness events only (no solicitations are made) to expose people to the great work of LSS Community Care. To become an Ambassador here are your responsibilities:
  1. 1 – Attend at least one Fostering Community Care event during the calendar year
  2. 2 – Host or invite and bring 10-15 guests to one Fostering Community Care event within 3 months of your attending one yourself.
  3. 3 – Inform your invited guests of what the Fostering Community Care meeting will be about, and let them know that they will receive a follow up call from the organization
  4. 4 – Ambassadors will complete their commitment after bringing 10-15 persons within the 3 month time period. An Ambassador has the option to complete after one term, continue for another 3 month term or move into another role on the team.
Become an Ally

Allies are community members who want to be in a supportive, intentional, befriending relationship with an individual or family working to get out of poverty.

Other ways to help the Southern California Family Support Initiative
  • Be an Ad-Hoc Ally – share your special skill or talent
  • Be a member of your local Community Leadership Team
  • Assist with weekly Child Care/Children’s Programs
  • Be a Community Spokesman – talk about the initiative and recruit others to join
  • Financially Sponsor a Family Leader
  • Facilitate/assist with Training Our Leaders and Allies
  • Behind-the-scenes work – internet research, graphic design, writing
We are actively seeking individuals and groups to be a part of our on-going mission to serve those in need. LSS administers over 50 specialized programs and services throughout the Southern California region. Contact your nearest LSS Center to hear about the local opportunities they have available.
Be a positive role model
Give back to others and help change lives
Transform communities
Spend your time doing something rewarding
Meet new people
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The life you change most – may be your own!