Eighty-seven-year-old Eileen Daniels lives by herself in New York City. She prepares her own meals and pays strict attention to even the smallest aches and pains, scheduling doctor visits when necessary. Daniels is remarkably healthy and motivated to stay that way.
“She’s in great shape. She takes responsibility for her medication, for her care,” says Michele Walcott, who has coordinated Daniels’ care for four years, helping her manage her hypertension and sporadic mobility issues. People with more serious chronic conditions have significantly more complex daily routines and a much greater need for outside help. For a comparatively healthy patient like Daniels, that means helping to organize (and reminding her to take) prescriptions, setting up a regular home health care aid and referring specialists according to need.
As she ages and the severity and number of health issues increases, Daniels will likely depend more on Walcott to keep her healthy at home.