An Ohio assisted living facility was willing to toss out an 108-year-old woman who ran out of her retirement funds, but a large group of strangers banded together to make sure the grandmother of four and great grandmother of six could remain in her chosen home.
Carrie Lou Rausch, 108, moved into the home, Sunrise on the Scioto three years ago at age 105 after living on her own since her husband’s death — but multiple falls meant that she needed round-the-clock care. As her recent January birthday approached, her daughter, Susan Hatfield, realized that her savings were perilously close to drying up, and the home does not accept Medicaid.
“To put it delicately, I didn’t know she would live to be 108, and towards the end of last year, I knew she was getting low on funds,” Hatfield told ABC News. “I was looking into Medicaid-funded facilities that she could move to, but most of what’s out there were not really what she is used to now,” she said. “I visited a couple of nursing homes, and the rooms […] felt a lot more like a hospital than a home. It was a lot more impersonal than the setting she had right now.”
— USA News (@1USNews) January 18, 2017
As a last-ditch effort, Hatfield created a GoFundMe page this fall to crowdsource her mother’s living expenses, and has been overwhelmed by the response. After a local news station featured Rausch in a story about her 108th birthday, the donations started rolling in from hundreds of strangers. As of this week the campaign has raised over $56,000 — enough to keep Rausch secure in her chosen home for two more years.
Rausch thanked her supporters in a video posted to Facebook. “It makes me feel wonderful that I have a lot of people who care,” she said. “I want to say, ‘Bless you, all, and I appreciate it and I really, really thank you!”
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