Judy and Milton Crabb
“They were so valuable to us, they will receive a gift when I die.”– Judy Crabb
Collabria Care’s impact is often best understood through the stories of those who utilize our services—community members like Judy Crabb.
Judy, retired Director of Spiritual Care at Adventist Health St. Helena, found herself in need of help when her husband Milton—the love of her life—was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. “You get the news, and it’s devastating,” says Judy.
Having been professionally involved with Collabria Care since the 80s, Judy turned to the Collabria Day Program and joined a support group specifically for caregivers of partners with early-stage Alzheimer’s. As Milton’s disease advanced, Judy joined another support group for caregivers of partners with more advanced Alzheimer’s and Milton started attending the Day Program on a regular basis.
“It was phenomenal,” Judy says. “They ask all kinds of interview questions about your person—what they like and don’t like, their food preferences, what activities they most enjoy. They provide transportation. There is a cost, but there are also scholarships. Milton absolutely loved it.”
When Milton’s health rapidly declined, he transitioned to Collabria Hospice and was assigned a care team which Judy found invaluable. “You have access to them twenty-four seven,” Judy explains. “They will always get someone for you. A caregiver, a nurse, someone on your hospice team, it doesn’t matter. They will come.”
After Milton’s passing, Judy attended Collabria’s grief support groups. As hospital chaplain, Judy is well-versed in the importance of grief counseling and says the intimately small grief support groups were integral to her healing.
But, the most touching moment for Judy occurred the afternoon she dropped in at Collabria Day Program unannounced. Two employees who had known Milton well, Jill and Karen, dropped everything to sit with Judy and listen. Here Judy’s voice trembles. “Collabria care is personal. They love every patient they have and every caregiver they have.”
As a result of her experience with Collabria, Judy has made changes to her estate plan and named Collabria Care as one the beneficiaries of her IRA. This special gift, made in memory of Milton, is designated for Day Program scholarships so that others have access to the phenomenal and personalized care that Milton received.