Estrella's Story: Living Strong with the help Community Supports and Resources

By Tamaris Princi

The Westchester Independent Living Center recently celebrated a Hispanic woman who turned 100 years old ! Estrella Roque is 99-year-old Cuban born women born on May 9th, 1912. She was born in Camaguey , Cuba and came to the United States about 43 years ago in 1969. She has one daughter Olga Peradoma, who is 77 years old and oversees her mother's health, care and social activities with the help of a New York State DOH waiver program. This Latino family is like most Hispanic families who demonstrate unity, support and the strength to overcome any life obstacle.

Estrella was diagnosed with Alzheimer and Dementia about 15 years ago. When Olga was told about the risks and reality of these diseases she was unsure what do. She struggled on her own to get past the stigma and let her mom enjoy her life and lives as independent as she can. Estrella has continued to live on her own and receives the appropriate care and services through the waiver program that help her stay healthy.

Olga state "Without the help of Westchester Independent Living Center , WILC I would not have been able to help my mother get though one of the hardest times. They gave me support, education, and services that could help me help my mother live a long life. My mother is example for all us Latino's that we can live a long life as long as we get the right education, resources that can help us get through the hard times and learn to help ourselves. Agencies like Westchester Independent Living Center , provides support when everyone tell you that it is impossible, this disease is not going to get better. They are right the disease did get worse for my mom but she is still with us, happy and living a healthy life. Best of all I am happy too my mom lives in her own apartment not to far from me, so I can visit her all the time, she has 24-hour home care service, all of which Westchester Independent Living Center got for me. They have made it easier for me to help my mom and I didn't have to put her in a nursing home, which I really did not want to do."

Independent Living Centers like WILC teach families, advocate for people, and help in any way possible to live with any life obstacle. Westchester Independent Living Center is resource for agencies, for families, and individuals. They educate, support and provide services but they believe in the long life span of all individuals, Hispanics, all races and cultures. Estrella is an example that as a Latino/Hispanic Race we can stay healthy, live longer, and unite together so we too can live longer and overcome the odds of any disease.

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©2012 LaFuenteNY.org
A program of the Westchester Independent Living Center, Inc.

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