Caring for Friends™ client Ann Connors is a feisty retired nurse in her early 60s originally from the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia. Her aunt, Doris Connors, was a very important volunteer and friend of Caring for Friends founder Rita Ungaro-Schiavone. Ann worked at various nursing positions for 25 years in hospitals, nursing homes, and mental health facilities. She is a Holy Family University Nursing School graduate and earned a social work degree from Temple University.
“You see lots of action in hospitals”, she said. “Nurses are bad patients,” she joked. “They don’t like doctors and they see all that is wrong.”
Ann is happy to have the pleasant and caring volunteers Carl and Kelly Stacey as her visitors. Carl has rearranged the furniture in her living room a couple of times, so he is on Ann’s A-list.
Ann’s mother is nearly 90 years old and still calls often to remind Ann to take her medicine. Though Ann insists that she did take her cataract medicine.
Carl chimed in, “I never had a cataract. I only have a Toyota.”
Carl is known for providing comic relief.
“Don’t laugh, you’ll only encourage him,” Kelly said in response to his cataract joke.
Kelly expressed her concern about Ann’s asthma.
“Last time we were here, we could hear her wheezing from the hallway,” Kelly said. They said they check in on Ann by phone from time to time, especially during the hot weather.
Ann wears a winged key around her neck for extra leverage. Cerebral palsy has weakened her hands to the point where she cannot turn keys in locks or open jars and bottles. Carl and Kelly, make a point of opening jars, bottles and cartons for her when they visit. They also brought her a fan from Caring for Friends.
Ann wasn’t just a nurse when she was younger. While Carl is the joker now, Ann was serious about clowning around when she was healthier. She went to clown college and paid for her professional clown license every 2 years. She worked parties for both children and adults.
Ann has said how much she loves the Caring for Friends meals, especially the French toast and pancake meals. She is grateful to have Carl and Kelly as her visitors and prays every night for all of the Caring for Friends cooks and visitors.
Caring for Friends, formerly Aid for Friends, is a Philadelphia-area nonprofit with a network of volunteers who deliver meals and offer friendship to seniors and other isolated individuals across the greater Philadelphia region.