At ICS, we help keep our members thriving – even at 103! Jane Packes, a member at ICS for six years, recently celebrated another spin around the sun. We spoke with her daughter Louise Napolitano to hear about the many milestones Jane has seen in her life and how ICS helps her keep a good quality of life.
Jane was born in 1915 during World War I. Her parents were Italian immigrants. At the time, her family had an icebox instead of a refrigerator–and a phone in the kitchen that was made of wood!
At a time when female owned businesses were rare, Jane and her sister Mary became beauticians and opened their own beauty salon called “Mary Jane’s.” She worked hard, got married, and had three children. She was married for over 50 years to her beloved husband until he passed away.
“My mother was legally blind by the time she was 90 – and yet she refused to get help for her husband,” her daughter Louise says. “She took care of him until the very end. She was the wind beneath his wings. Her goal was always to hold us all together. She’s the heart of our family.”
When Jane developed macular degeneration (age-related vision loss), she needed help with basic tasks during the day. That’s when her family turned to ICS.
“My mom was always in charge, extremely independent, but she accepted that she needed help,” Louise says. “We’re so grateful that she doesn’t have to be in a nursing home. She doesn’t feel dependent.”
Receiving home care services helps Jane continue to do the things she loves – especially cooking. She receives assistance from her aide with food shopping and meal preparation, along with the laundry.
“Having home care makes my mom feel needed. The conversations keeps her mind moving. She wants to keep challenging herself. Experenza, Vecenta, and Lily help with her medications, fixing her hair, dressing, going to doctor – she feels safe while they’re there. She doesn’t feel her age – if it wasn’t for her body, her mind is young – it’s giving her the will to live.”
Jane has seen decades’ worth of dramatic changes over the years –including the first man on the moon, the first television, and the internet, which she marvels at. She keeps up to date on politics, enjoys her four grandchildren, and Skypes with her family.
“I told her you are still touching lives, you still have work to do – there’s a reason she’s still here at 103! She’s had health issues but always fought hard, never complained. She always strived to help everybody else –a very giving person. She’s quiet and shy but the strength is there. She says ‘I’m a fighter.’”
Jane’s family is very grateful for ICS.
“The services ICS provides are a blessing. My mom can have a good quality of life, be somewhat independent, and be at home where she’s comfortable. To trust someone with my mother – my most precious possession –and know they’ll be there for her is greatest comfort. We know she’s in good hands –we can’t ask for more than that.”