Dedicated to enriching the lives of aging adults, family members and caregivers
Like many nonprofits, AgeWise, started out of a need to advocate for change. On March 1, 2000, Rachel Whitney’s mom fell in her home. It wasn’t a simple fall and get up, it was a fall over the side of the second story staircase onto the stairs below.
At the time, her mom was only 49 years old living in Homer, AK. When this occurred, Rachel was 3000 miles away in Corvallis, Oregon and couldn't breakaway from her property management position. Rachel was left feeling confusing, helpless and over-ridden with guilt. She never expected her healthy and active mom to be in this crisis and it had never remotely crossed anyone's mind that she would need a POA to talk with the doctors regarding her mother's condition. It took days to learn my mom's back was broken as she was initially sent home.
Finally, she was transferred to Anchorage for the start of what would be over 20 surgeries, countless RXs, daily pain of varying levels, needless to say, her quality of life was severely impacted and forever changed because of an "avoidable" fall!
Out of Rachel’s concern for her mom and a desire to not have anyone else suffer, Rachel has set out to advocate for patient home safety and help aging adults, family members and caregivers understand the complexities of navigating the healthcare system and feeling confident in understand the options for treatment in making complex medical decisions.
With the help of her family, friends and some amazing supporters, AgeWise was established!
To learn more about Rachel
"...My mom has alzheimers and has been fighting the disease for 10 years. She was diagnosised at 65 years of age. Recently she has had a sharp decline. Words no longer understandable, over the top anxiety. She is either asleep or anxious. So very sad. I have been dealing with this for 10 years already but each time she takes a sharp decline it hits me all over again. No matter how much you think you are prepared it is very tough."
"...I have been taking care of my husband for five years due to having several strokes and believe me, it does take a toll on your mind and body after awhile. With the help of a nurse that stays with him during the day so I can work I could not have done this by myself. We have no children or family around to help even to give me a break sometime. So many has told me to put him in a nursing home but I will not do that to him until there is no other way out. I will be there until the end."
"...It started off as what my mother thought was a small infection on her inner left thigh. After a few months of trying a few things, the doctor confirmed the uterine cancer had returned. My heart sank as I hugged my mother, tears streaming down her face. I assured her that I was there for her before and I would be there now. Little did I know, this time would lead me as a caregiver to burnout. It was at this point that I knew I need to re-connect with my body and spirit."