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Blog: Stories and Insight

Samaritan Celebrates Elia


Elia, seated, with her daughters Rita (left) and Anna (right).

Rita Larkin’s beloved mother, Elia, had perfect lab work and vitals at 101 years young. Her family made sure she had the care and the loving company she needed every day. Then her primary care physician stopped making house calls, and Elia’s nurse practitioner noticed leg swelling. When Elia became lethargic and began coughing, her family was unable to reach her care team. 

A family friend—a nurse—recommended they call Samaritan. 

“From the first phone call to the last,” Rita says, “everyone was wonderful.” 

Rita spoke with Michelle four times the day she called—a Sunday—to determine whether her mother needed palliative or hospice care, and from the moment Desiree arrived to evaluate Elia’s needs, everything flowed smoothly. “We couldn’t have asked for better people or a better company,” Rita says. 

The Samaritan team included Courtney, who provided compassionate care and gifted Elia with a plant on her 102nd birthday; Lisa, who provided emotional support to Rita and her sister, Anna; Betty, who ensured Elia had holy water, a cross, and rosary beads she held around the clock; Atiya, who provided care each weekend; and Sara, who spent quiet, caring moments with the entire family. 

“I wish I had known about Samaritan earlier,” Rita says. “Everyone went out of their way for my mom, and for us, not because they had to, but because it was from their hearts.” 

All of us at Samaritan thank Rita and Anna for allowing us the privilege of caring for their mother, Elia.  

“Sometimes,” Rita adds, “it’s just that gentle touch that people need to feel safe.”