Taking In a Roommate Late in Life can Ease Burdens

Story by Emily Liedel, video produced by Tamir Elterman, Farhod Family and Emily Liedel

In late spring, 81-year-old Anna Novak got up to use the bathroom in the early hours when her feet stopped cooperating with the rest of her body. She fell, hitting her head and left arm against the bathtub. “Antimina!” she yelled.

Antimina Garmley, the 65-year-old retired nurse who has lived with Anna Novak since July 2010, was sleeping in the next room. She jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom. Kevin Novak, about to get ready for work, heard his mother scream, and hurried across the hall.

Anna Novak had broken a finger, dislocated her wrist and gashed her left eyebrow. Her son picked her up off the floor and Garmley bandaged her head before driving her to the hospital. Kevin Novak, a sewage treatment technician, went to work as scheduled. …continued…