I had never heard of home care until I started working with Barbra London and the folks at Freedom Home Healthcare in Hackensack, NJ. While my job at Freedom had nothing to do with providing care, finding care givers or identifying the needs of older adults, it didn’t take long for me to fully realize what home care was all about.
My 83-year-old mother lives in a single-family dwelling in a very small town in Southern Illinois. Thankfully – at least for my brother and me – my sister lives just 12 miles away from my mom.
Although my sister loves our mother dearly and has never complained about the responsibility of supporting her, my brother and I realized that my sister was the one bearing most of the caregiving responsibilities.
Based on my new-found knowledge about home care companies, we hired an agency that found an aide who comes to my mother’s house three times a week – or as often as my mother will tolerate it. As a result, my sister has a more robust support system in her efforts to help my mother, and my brother and I are more actively involved in my mother’s care.
So what’s the bottom line? Well, over 60 million Americans provide some form of caregiving support to their older relatives every year. Unlike in the past – when large families were able to provide this support – modern families have fewer members to help with the care. And those members are often working outside the home.
Using a professional caregiving agency has made a tremendous difference in my mother’s life as well as the lives of my sister and my brother. Plus, I can’t tell you what a difference it has made in my life.
PS – By the way, Skype is just great! Talking with my mother while I can see her is massively more satisfying than just talking on the phone.
– Nick Kirby