For 48 years, the Rosas have done everything together including joining CEI
Carlos and Esther Rosas have been married for 48 years, they have four grown children (two girls, two boys) and five grandchildren. They say their relationship is their biggest accomplishment and that they have done everything together. Joining CEI was no different.
Long Distance brought the couple closer
The Rosas originally lived 474 miles apart but met by chance at a party when they were in their youth. Then, when he moved to the U.S. to find more substantial work in agriculture, their friendship developed into a long distance relationship.
Learning to keep loving through the hard times
Over time Mr. Rosas body began to break down and he needed more help to stay mobile. Mrs. Rosas became cognitively impaired and began deferring to her husband to recall most details. He says it’s hard sometimes but he is happy to keep the memories alive about their love and courtship.
Children needed help
Doris Chavez, the assistant social worker at Berkeley PACE Center, says that, “It was hard for the Rosas’ children to see the decline of their parents’ health so they sought programs that would help. Oscar, one of their sons, was their fulltime IHSS worker.” As a fulltime caregiver, Oscar couldn’t complete his medical assistant program because much of his time was spent caring for his parents. In need of help, the family researched resources and decided CEI was the best fit. Once CEI stepped in, Oscar was able to go back to school to complete his education.
Taking change step by step
Mrs. Rosas was enrolled for six months before her husband qualified for CEI’s services. In the beginning, she barely smiled and would ask to go home as soon as she arrived at the center. Since Mrs. Rosas has cognitive impairment, feeling safe and comfortable at the Day Center was important to her mental stability. Keeping this in mind, the staff arranged for her husband to visit a few times, hoping to ease Mrs. Rosas into the idea of being in the program. CEI staff members noticed that while her husband was with her, Mrs. Rosas was much more at ease. “Mr. Rosas was eager to come to the program but Mrs. Rosas wasn’t. She was suspicious, anxious and withdrawn without him,” center director Emily Hoshida reports.
Working tirelessly to keep couple together
Keeping the couple together and getting them both enrolled became the ultimate goal. Because of the tireless efforts of the interdisciplinary team at CEI, Mr. Rosas was enrolled six months after his wife. They both say they love the program and are grateful because it not only reacquainted them with others their age, but it also gave them more that they could share in life.
Together, making new friends
The Rosas find that having staff and participants who speak their native language helpful because they can communicate effectively about their care. Mrs. Rosas said, “We have met some people here and I recognize faces,” which is a big deal since she deals with memory loss. Mr. Rosas said he feels much better regarding his and his wife’s health. They enjoy being out of the house and around other seniors. And they both look forward to sharing the rest of their lives together.