When you live alone, staying connected to family and friends is very important. Theda Gerard and her daughter Margie have stayed connected through the years thanks to the TAP phones DRA has helped to provide. Theda first contacted DRA for help to get a better phone in 2011. In her 80’s then, Theda was experiencing some hearing loss and needed an amplified phone. This November of 2020, Theda received her third phone since then. Now a spry 93 years young, she needed a new phone for her land line with amplified sound and big, simple buttons. She loves the feature that allows her to push one big button and her phone automatically dials Margie’s number by memory. It is good to have a phone that remembers her important phone numbers when she can’t.
DRA has also provided medical equipment that Theda has needed through the years. “When my mom had hip surgery, she needed a shower bench,” recalled Margie. “It was amazing. Not even 5 minutes after she returned home from the hospital, the DRA driver dropped off the bench she needed. It made such a difference for her!”
When Theda no longer needed the bench, she donated it back to DRA for someone else to use. DRA used the sanitizer that grant funds from Jefferson Foundation provided to sanitizes the bench so that it was clean and ready for the next person to borrow. Theda now has a weak leg, so DRA has loaned her an elevated toilet seat with handles that makes it much easier for her to toilet independently and safely. She will keep it as long as she needs it, all for free.
“DRA has been so much help,” said Margie. “They have been so good to us.”
Theda has been a cook all her life. She likes to make all kinds of pasta. “She makes a good lasagna!” brags Margie. Theda worked for Theodoro’s for many years. She retired from there, but not before introducing hominy as a side dish on their menu. She has outlived two husbands and cared for her second husband Bud until a week before he died. Now she has reached the season of her life where she depends on others to help take care of her.
Her other main source of support is her church Emmanuel Baptist Church in DeSoto, and it was Herculaneum Baptist before that. During COVID, when she cannot attend live services, it is her phone that keeps her connected to her friends from church. Most of all, it is her faith that keeps her going. In these uncertain times, she remembers one of her favorite verses, “Be still and know that I am God.”
No matter what happens, Theda knows she is in good hands. Between the support from her church, her family, and DRA, she knows she will be safe and well.