04 Nov DEMENTIA-FRIENDLY LEADERS Making a Difference: Senior Helpers
We are an “in the meantime” organization. We help people discover that “in the meantime,” until cures for the various causes of dementia are found, we can make life changing differences NOW for people striving to live well with dementia.” Our purpose is to leverage all the great work being done in Northern Colorado and provide life enrichment opportunities and education where gaps previously existed. Today, this blog and the next few are about leveraging some of that great work done by organizations so committed to extensive staff education and dementia care excellence that they each have achieved annual designation as a Dementia-Friendly Leader®. The Dementia-Friendly Leader® home care agencies are working to impact lives of their clients and families and demonstrate that people living with dementia CAN live well at home with the right resources in place. We want to share a story with you from Senior Helpers, a non medical home health care agency, which recently received a letter from a daughter of one of their clients.
Senior Helpers turned into the gift that keeps on giving for me.
My husband and I decided to take on full time caregiving for his mother who was showing early signs of dementia in late 2015. Her condition is a fast progressing type and we really weren’t prepared for the road ahead. In 2018 my husband took a job that moved us from Texas to Colorado. At the time we had a 7 year old, 4 year old, and 1 year old. Mom’s condition continued to decline rapidly.
We found ourselves in a new town wanting to explore all the outdoor activities Colorado has to offer and accept social invitations to try and create new friendships and connections for our family. The problem was that Mom’s mental and emotional condition prevented her from leaving the house for extended periods of time and her physical condition was very compromised. For a long time my husband and I just switched off and missed out. Someone had to stay home with Mom at all times. That’s when we decided to find a service to help us.
Senior helpers was a light for our family in what seemed like a dark time. I spoke with Gil Atanasoff on the phone and he was so kind and reassuring. I knew right off the bat that we were in good hands and already felt hopeful just from our phone conversations. Chris Schneider came to our home to meet us and see how Senior Helpers could best serve our family. She comforted me as I cried about my situation and struggled with the guilt I felt for not being able to manage all the caregiving responsibilities myself.
Senior Helpers restored a sense of balance, freedom, and joy to our family. We were able to go out and enjoy long hikes on the weekends, make social visits with friends outside of our home, and attend late evening holiday parties.
Mom always felt safe and well cared for. She enjoyed getting to know new people and retelling stories from her past.
Mom’s condition is now at the point where she needs round the clock medical care. I miss my time with her and learned so much in the 3 years I took care of her. I reached out to Gil and Chris to see how I could serve others in the role as caregiver and I now work part time for Senior Helpers. I have to say it is the most gratifying and rewarding work I have done in 25 years! I love the relationships and deep, close, personal, connections I am making with the people we serve. I love to see how our services help our clients to stay home as long as possible and I know the relief that our clients loved one’s are experiencing first hand. My passion for the senior caregiving industry grows daily as I see the positive impact we are making for individuals and families. I am blessed in so many ways to have been aligned with Senior helpers and I look forward to sharing this gift with many others”.
Enough said. Thank you, Senior Helpers.