For many people and their families, the prospect of growing older leads to lots of anxiety — Where will they live? What if they need assistance, but not a nursing home?
Carol Costa, administrative assistant for Johnston Housing Authority and property manager for JHA's Pell Manor on Plainfield Pike, seeks to provide answers.
"One of the big efforts we make for our elderly disabled is what we call 'live in place,'" Costa explains. "That means they get to live in a safe environment — it keeps them healthy, and it keeps down costs."
Costa also says that people with elder relatives should encourage them to apply for JHA help — "even if they don't think they'll need it" — as soon as they turn 62.
"There's a three- to six-year-waiting list, so I tell them to apply right away, just in case they do need these services down the road," Costa says.
Costa also ensures that seniors living at Pell Manor receive the help they need, by bringing nursing and other services into the facility.
And as if her plate weren't full enough already, Costa also finds time to promote things not necessarily related to senior housing. In the past few weeks, she's written and sent out press releases on the St. Mary Academy-Bay View S.M.A.R.T. team's victory in a state science competition, and the girls' commendation at the Rhode Island General Assembly, as part of her work through C2 Communications, her public relations business.
"As a former teacher in an all girls school (Bishop Keough), I am always buoyed by the achievements of all students, but I guess I remain particularity proud of the achievements of my gender," Costa states. "The imagination of the S.M.A.R.T. team, combined with the enthusiasm of the coaches and the stalwart support of the entire Bay View Academy commnuity has been truly moving."
Overall, though, Costa says her heart is in doing the work of the JHA, helping folks find affordable, safe housing.
"The bottom line is I love and respect public service, and truly believe that when it's done with passion and vision, it can make a real difference," Costa says. "Working with and for these residents is uplifting and a personal source of pride as they hold high regard in my world."
Some of the quotes used in this article were provided by Ms. Costa via e-mail.