Across this wonderful country, family members shoulder the burden for loved ones who need help. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, approximately 44 million Americans over the age of 18 and older provide unpaid support to older individuals and adults with disabilities. But sometimes families simply can’t cope.
Series of Unfortunate Events
Kim P., now 63, and a mother of two grown sons, was looking forward to her retirement in 2013 from her job as office manager at the Montgomery County Courthouse.
“I had lost my husband (2003), survived breast cancer and figured this was finally my time to travel, to visit my son in the Marines, and simply just to have some fun and relaxation,” recalls Kim.
That unfortunately wouldn’t be the case.
Kim’s pregnant niece, Jennifer, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As a doting aunt, Kim lovingly stepped in to assist both mother and baby, who luckily are now fine. However, another tragedy would soon befall the large family (Kim is one of seven children, all of whom live within close proximity). Kathy, Kim’s brother Rob’s wife, and a lifelong friend of Kim’s, was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, a debilitating and progressive form of dementia.
Once more Kim willingly stepped in so Rob could continue his job as part-owner of a construction company. When Kim suffered a stroke this past March, brother Rob knew he needed to seek outside help. And he knew just where to call.
Reliance Home Health Care Steps In
The family reached out to Montgomery County’s Reliance Home Health Care, Inc. and have been thrilled with the outcome.
“Harold (Hutt) sent us Blaine who comes in early in the morning to let Rob get to work without worrying about Kathy,” says Kim. “Blaine has incredible patience and is simply wonderful. She gives Kathy breakfast, helps her get dressed, oversees her care throughout the early afternoon, tidies up the house, assists with the laundry and even preps dinner for Rob so that when he gets home from work he doesn’t have to worry about dinner.”
Blaine comes into the household five days a week. As an experienced professional caregiver, she also provides Rob and family with guidance on what they can do for Kathy during the days Blaine is off.
The relief felt by Kim, Rob and other family members within this close-knit group is palpable. Kim is finally enjoying that long-overdue retirement and knows that her beloved sister-in-law, Kathy, is in good hands. Rob is able to go to work each day knowing that his wife is being helped in the comfort of their home.
“My brother actually smiles again,” says Kim. “To me, that’s worth so much.”
For more information on Reliance Home Health Care, Inc., call us at 610-896-6030. Our Blue Bell, PA based company offers Alzheimer’s and dementia care, specialized health care, companionship, meal preparation, shopping and transportation designed to relieve family stress. As the company website proclaims: “Whatever your family needs, we are here to help.”