Sometimes the best way to describe the physical and mental health benefits of home care is with a story. The story below is true, only the names of our clients have been changed. It was written by this month’s guest blogger, Sarah Low, our Boise Regional Manager.
Our long-time client, Maddy, has dementia. Maddy and her husband Bill have had the most amazing love story. Bill was head over heels in love with Maddy and even after decades of marriage they still acted like newlyweds. Their son first contacted us five years ago and Megan, our Boise Relationship Manager, went out to meet with Bill and Maddy. Bill told us flat out that he didn’t want our help and we better hope we send the perfect person to care for his wife because if not, he was happy to fire us. Challenge accepted, we sent them Linda Bolen, who continued to care for them exclusively for the next five years.
Linda started by sitting with Maddy three times a week while her husband was out. At the time Maddy was quite frail and unable to accompany Bill on his excursions. But under Linda’s care, Maddy started to gain weight. Her health improved, and both Maddy and Bill thrived. Anytime I spoke to Bill he would tell me how much he appreciated Family Resource and the care Linda provided. Over the years I met with Bill and his family several times and helped Bill argue with them about why his wife should remain home with him rather than move to a memory care facility.
They were the “youngest” elderly clients I have ever met. Well into their 80’s they took annual trips to the Sun Valley Film Festival and loved going to California and to the casinos in Reno to play jackpot. They truly lived life to the fullest.
Two weeks ago we received a call that Bill had fallen and could we send someone over to sit with Maddy so he could be checked out. We went immediately to their home and after assessing the situation, scheduled caregivers to provide 24-hour care for Maddy. The doctors discovered that Bill had suffered a major stroke and within a few days it was clear that he was not doing well. Every day our caregivers took Maddy to see Bill and they would visit until he grew tired. On Saturday night Linda was caring for Maddy and I went over to make sure they had everything they needed. While I was there the phone rang. It was the hospital nurse helping Bill place a phone call to Maddy. Bill told his wife how much he adored and loved her. He then asked to speak to Linda.
“Well Linda,” said Bill, “I always prayed Maddy would go first because I wanted to be the one to care for her, but it turns out it’s going to be me who goes first. I remember just after you started I was holding Maddy in my arms and thinking I was going to lose her,” Bill continued. “But with your care, she slowly started to get better and hold her weight and really start to live again. I want to say thank you. The word ‘family’ in your company’s name really fits. You gave us a golden ticket. Because of you, I had another five years with my wife and they were our best years.”
At 8:00 the next morning we received a call that Bill went into cardiac arrest and had passed away. As difficult as that news was to hear, Linda, Megan and I take peace in knowing that the care we provided helped give Bill and Maddy five more years together and truly enriched their lives.