Testimonials from Caring Homes for Seniors Families

Mary F. Riordan

We found Caring Homes for Seniors after my 87-year-old father suffered a stroke in January 1996, and had spent several months in a rehab hospital and then a nursing home. The stroke left him paralyzed and in a wheelchair; in addition, there was significant mental impairment, and we were told that a nursing home was our only option. Dad thought that the nursing home stay would be temporary. When he began to realize that he would not be leaving soon, he became severely depressed and even talked of suicide. This led to a lonely, frustrating search for an alternative to nursing home care, which we were finding impersonal, inattentive, and extremely costly. After several conferences with the social service personnel at the nursing home, we were finally given some information about Caring Homes for Seniors.

After my first call to Caring Homes for Seniors, Sandy was convinced that Dad could be cared for in one of her homes. Sandy was at the nursing home the next day, having spent two hours reviewing Dad's records so she would be familiar with his medical history and understand his requirements. Sandy called the next day with the names of three caregivers whose homes we could visit. All of the homes were acceptable to us, but we chose the one that was closest so that we could visit Dad as often as possible. The chosen caregiver visited Dad in the nursing home and we and Sandy had a family meeting with all the staff involved in Dad's care, from nurses and therapists to food service personnel.

The transition from nursing home to home care was smoothly accomplished in a matter of days. With a thorough knowledge of Dad's needs, all of the necessary medical equipment was in place when Dad arrived at Ramona Doherty's home. Home health aides and therapists were ready to come in on a daily basis and a physician's assistant visits him at home.

Ramona's home is happy and lively, with dogs in residence and children and grandchildren visiting. Dad is outdoors every day in good weather. When he must be inside, Ramona plays book tapes to keep him entertained. I have never visited to find Dad in bed at an inappropriate hour or sitting alone in his room. Ramona prepares nutritious meals for Dad and is solicitous about his favorites, including desserts. Perhaps her greatest act of generosity is her willingness to allow Dad his cigar after meals, especially because he can make it last for an hour and he needs to be supervised for the duration!

Ramona's family visits, Dad is included, and when Ramona knows that our children will be visiting, Dad is dressed as they remember him, in jacket, tie, and shirt. Ramona has arranged for a lay minister to visit Dad once a week, to his great joy. Most importantly, Ramona's care has restored dignity to Dad's life and he is living in a home where he is lovingly cared for and where he is part of a family.

For our family, Caring Homes for Seniors has been a better option than nursing home. When Sandy agreed to find a home for Dad, she promised that it would be his last home; as he continues to fail he is cared for with devotion and concern. We will always be greatful to Caring Homes for Seniors for finding people to open their homes and hearts to care for others.

Sincerely,

Mary F. Riordan
307 Ocean View Ave.
Cotuit, MA 02635