“Fran Morgante moves her mom, Vilma Morgante, 100, to spend some time in the front room, Thursday, June 20, 2019, at the family’s Lower Burrell home. Fran Morgante, a professional musician lives in New York State and has moved back home to care for her mother.” – SOURCE: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
by Deb Erdley
“Fran Morgante brushed back her mother’s hair tenderly as she offered the tiny elderly woman a drink of water on a hot June day.
“Vilma Morgante, who celebrated her 100th birthday June 21 in her Lower Burrell home, never asked much of the world.
“Her one desire: to die in the neat brick bungalow she and her late husband, Steve, scrimped and saved for and then built from the ground up seven decades ago.
“Frail, suffering from moderate dementia for the previous year and a half and forced to use a wheelchair, she relied on her daughter — a professional violinist with the Buffalo Philharmonic — to steer her through the complex web of rules and regulations that govern the safety net designed to protect the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
“‘Years ago, I tried to talk her into coming to live with me, and she said, “Chica, I want to die at home,” Fran Morgante recalled.
“On July 4, Vilma died at home, one year and two days after qualifying for 24-hour home care — care that never arrived.”
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