Imagine living independently at 106 years old with some assistance, after moving out of a nursing home! That is exactly what Fannie Mae Ausby has done the past eight years at Living Independently For Elders (LIFE)
in West Philadelphia.
Ms. Ausby was born on May 9th, 1907 and spent most of her life on a small farm in Hampton County, New Jersey, raising chickens and pigs and working in her garden. After moving to Philadelphia in her 90’s, Ms. Ausby was reluctant to attend LIFE at first because she did not identify with being “old.” She was frequently found at the front desk helping the receptionist greet members and guest as they arrived. After a couple of years living with family she was admitted to a nursing home and after a few months it was recommended for her to take part in the Supported Apartment Living arrangements that the LIFE/Penn program has with Kearsely Apartments. In this living situation Ms. Ausby comes to the center 5 days a week and while at her apartment she is supervised by a shared aide that is on site 24 hours a day 7 days a week. With this close supervision she is able to continue living in the community instead of being institutionalized. Her family is a constant support and Ms. Ausby states her family is her life blood!
When asked what she believes her strengths are, she said,” I treat people good and I am kind.” When asked what is her favorite time of day she smiles says, “morning, afternoon and evening, I love it all as long as I can go outside.” Ms. Ausby said she has stayed healthy all these years because she doesn’t believe in medicines and laughingly said “I used to smoke cigarettes every day, now I don’t.” Through the medical interventions and education from the LIFE/Penn program Ms. Ausby has quit smoking. She is grateful to live to see another year!
LIFE, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, aims to foster independence and health, preserve dignity, and maintain frail elders in the community as long as possible. LIFE offers “one-stop shopping” for total healthcare needs, using a team approach to provide services that are:
LIFE is a service of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing. Members get the world-class quality of the University of Pennsylvania in the sensitive, caring manner for which Penn Nursing is known!