MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (CT STYLE) — Since it was founded in 2009, Change Inc. has been providing home care services to people across the state, and for people like Ellen DeLuca, they have made a lasting impact.
“At my heaviest weight, I was 650 pounds,” recalled DeLuca.
Her weight has been a lifelong struggle.
“I’ve tried many diets, would lose a few pounds, would gain it back and then some,” DeLuca explained.
She was also suffering from panic attacks. Not able to live on her own, she moved into a nursing home and stayed there for 11 years … Until she decided it was time to make a change.
“Since I’ve had gastric bypass surgery, I’ve lost a total of over 400 pounds,” DeLuca said.
As a result, she was able to move into her own apartment, and with the help of Change Inc., is living a more independent life.
“From a human services element, who doesn’t want to live within their own home, their own setting, their own routines and lifestyle, so our goal is to help them maintain that,” said Change Inc.’s COO Jonathan Hunt.
“When a caregiver goes in to service an individual in their home, there’s a plan there with goals and objectives that the individuals have created themselves,” explained Beth Dance, Change Inc.’s director of marketing.
DeLuca’s “recovery assistant” Yanick visits her several times a week to help her with things like cooking, cleaning and other important tasks.
“He helps me tremendously with my shopping, a lot of things that I can’t do because I can’t stand on my feet for a very long time,” DeLuca explained. “I just feel he’s a great support to me.”
Through Change Inc., DeLuca also has an assigned “community support professional (CSP)” who accompanies her on appointments and checks in with her regularly.
“So I provide support to Ellen by collaborating with all her therapists, primary care doctors, counselors, just to make sure that everybody’s on the same page and are working on the same recovery plan for her,” explained Erika Santos, DeLuca’s community support professional.
“She’s just like an all-around support person that if I have something going on in my life, I can sit down and discuss it with her,” DeLuca said of Santos.
Change Inc. has not only helped transform DeLuca’s life, but also her outlook.
“She’s more happy,” Santos said. “She’s more upbeat. She goes out more in the community and I feel that is the most important thing with the recovery plan is seeing that growth.”
“It just shows the tremendous care and the wellbeing that they have for you and it kind of just makes you feel special,” DeLuca said.
To learn more, visit ChangeIncOnline.org.