The second oldest of four children, Fernando was no stranger to hard work and to working hard.
As he grew up, he labored in factories making jeans, bags and more. He eventually moved on to manage four apartments then found work as a construction worker. He ultimately retired in 2014, unaware of the dark days ahead that would consume him.
Fernando fell into depression wanting nothing to do with anyone. He became somewhat of a recluse keeping to himself in his apartment and rarely leaving; not even to see his children nor his four grandchildren. His children were unsure of what to do to help their father recuperate. This life of hopelessness continued for three more years for Fernando.
While on a walk in January 2017, Fernando found SBSS. Cautiously curious, he started slow seeing which activities and programs caught his interest. He also discovered that the agency provided direct services for seniors and older adults. He benefited from the support of his social worker, Miguel, who helped Fernando set up his health insurance and Social Security Income benefits. Miguel also connected Fernando with different activities at SBSS’ senior centers.
“I have a lot of appreciation for SBSS. And the day that I leave, I’ll never forget what has been done for me,” said Fernando.
Fernando is in a much better place now as he has embraced a positive lifestyle committed to a fit mind and body. Mornings begin with a 6 a.m. daily run. He regularly attends computer classes and participates in karaoke and playing billiards.
“I lost the battle not the war.” Fernando is grateful to SBSS for helping him recuperate from depression.
Fernando’s new goal is to live in the present, preferring to be happy and not dwell on the past.
“For me, what happened yesterday doesn’t interest me. A lot of the time, we live in the past. We think about what happened yesterday, the week prior. It doesn’t do me any good because it already happened. Good or bad, it already happened.”
Help us build our team of senior care case managers to provide older adult counseling, maintain reassurance calls, and increase social services to prevent older adults from the grips of depression and hopelessness. Please donate and give hope today.