Wafa Zegar has been working with seniors since she began with AAFS in 2005.
says that often times she
is sitting with a client who is so upset, so hurt and afraid of what the future may bring.
"Just listening to their story and what they have endured makes me understand their anger and frustration," Zegar
"They have gone through struggles in their lives that had brought them to us," she
says that many of her
clients have told her
that they visited different organizations seeking help and were faced with caseworkers who had rushed them out, making them feel as if they were second class citizens.
"I have learned to give my clients the time to tell their story and watch that curtain of anger fall off them slowly," she
"And through their talking to me a smile will appear on their face, followed by a tear," Zegar
"And with tears in my eyes, I begin to think to myself, wow, this can happen to anyone, even me," she
, we have a strong belief to treat everyone we meet as if they are our own families.
Many of our elderly caseworkers are humbled because they often think of their own parents when they are working with clients.
"We should never judge anyone in life," said Zegar
"Just listening to our clients and understanding what happened to them makes a difference in their demeanor and self-esteem," she
says the greatest reward is when her
clients thank her
help and begin to see the benefits that they were awarded.
Whether it is CEDA assistance, heating and cooling benefits or Medicare and Medicaid assistance, AAFS helps get them what they need.
"Sometimes, we have struggles come our way and that may change the way we behave," Zegar
"I will continue to try to make a difference in someone's life and help them find themselves again, even if it is just listening and just simply being human," she
"Sometimes, all it takes is someone saying they will listen to their side of the story to make them have a glimmer of home," Zegar
"My elderly clients always leave a lasting effect on me, as well as inspire me with their stories," she
"I have come to admire them more and more and have the utmost respect for them and learned that it is through them, I can plan my future, as they always enrich me with what I can do to make my life and my family's life better," Zegar
"Do not judge anyone because you never know the inner struggles that someone faces, or has faced," she