In February, otherwise dull and blank walls at the JF&CS Headquarters in Waltham were brought to life when Waltham painter/printmakerSuzanne Hodes graciously donated three of her own colorful paintings to the agency, Joe and Minnie, Jerusalem Landscape, and River Reeds with Sand and Glue.
Hodes’s husband Henry Linschitz had been a JF&CS client before he passed away in November 2014 at the age of 95. They had been married for more than 50 years. When Henry started to suffer from memory loss in his nineties, Suzanne did not know where to turn. “It’s not easy to ask for help when it’s a situation with a loved one and you don’t know what help you might need or what to ask for – it’s a grey, foggy area,” explains Suzanne.
A friend mentioned to Suzanne that she knew someone who might be able to help her navigate the unchartered territory she faced. That friend connected her with Ruth Natanson, a geriatric care manager at JF&CS. “Ruth was very sympathetic and understanding. She gave me and my son more suggestions than we were able to use,” says Suzanne. Soon a social worker was making regular visits to the house, and they were visited by a registered nurse. They brought Suzanne and Henry to visit an assisted living/nursing facility in Waltham and suggested other similar facilities. But Suzanne felt that something was not right. Henry had been a well-respected professor of chemistry at Brandeis University – a “brilliant man,” as Suzanne describes.