The Story of EMMA - Senior Safe House

I had a right to be who I was as an older person.

Emma, an 82-year old retired school teacher who found refuge at the Sacramento Senior Safe House when she needed it most. At age 82, Emma had learned from a young age to put others first. She grew up and became a school teacher, caring for her students. She saw America change, go through wars and evolve all while living in a community she loved raising her children and making sure her husband had everything he needed. It was a life she calls a “blessing,” but often wonders aloud if her support of an alcoholic husband with post-traumatic stress disorder came at too high a price – for herself and her children.

Life became increasingly difficult not only because of retirement but also due to her husbands’ violent night terrors, drinking and abusive behavior. With few funds to sustain them beyond Social Security, a call from a daughter in financial need added further pressure. When her daughter eventually came to live with them, Emma found herself treated as the child, with threats of conservatorship frequently voiced. “It was easier to go with the flow and not voice my opinions,” Emma said. “Aging is a hard thing to accept – for both seniors and their children. But I had a right to be who I was as an older person.”

Our Senior Safe House allowed Emma to heal and there her voice was heard.

**To protect the privacy of the people we serve, some photos used in our stories are representative, rather than actual depictions, of the individual(s) described.

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