When I was a teenager, my grandfather passed away from congestive heart failure (CHF) and diabetes. I remember watching him give himself shots in his thighs and couldn’t imagine how someone could do that to themselves. I didn’t stop to think that he was saving his own life. After his death, my grandmother was diagnosed with “hardening of the arteries” now referred to as Alzheimer’s. I watched my mother care for her mother during very difficult and trying times. I saw first-hand the pressure my mother endured every day trying to take care of her mom and raise her own children with no available help at the time. As a young man, you don’t stop and think how “life’s moments” may affect you later in life and how it might mold you as an adult.
Fast forward years later. My brothers and I are living in different cities and I’m busy raising my own family. My father has passed away at the age of 67 after his 2nd open-heart surgery. I remember visiting my mom shortly after my dad passed away and was telling her about my work, feeling sorry for myself, when she made a casual comment that will stick with me the rest of my life. She said she couldn’t even open a jar of mayonnaise to make a sandwich. Talk about another of “life’s moments”. The comment stopped me in my tracks and made me realize what’s really important in life.
As my mom started to digress, my sister Linda was the only sibling living near her. She was also raising two children, working and trying to help my mom. When you’re out of town you don’t realize the care that is needed and the pressure that is put on a family member who lives in the area of a loved one needing some extra attention and care.
I got into the home care industry because I felt I could help families care for a loved one needing a little extra help to stay in their own home. I see every day the pressure this type of care puts on a family member. I think of my own situation and my lack of knowledge of what my sister went through with my mom. In fact, I hug her every time I get to see her. It’s my way of saying thank you for taking care of our mother. In helping other families care for their loved ones, it’s my way of helping other siblings that I was not able to do for my own sister and to show the gratitude they deserve.
I see some family members feel guilt for not being able to be more involved with the care needed to keep someone in their own home. Right at Home or similar companies were not available to our family back when we needed it. But now, we can help in many aspects of care. We design a care plan for every potential client we meet with. We listen to what the families have to say and address all the concerns to ensure their loved ones can stay in their own home in West Pittsburgh with a little help from us.
What drives and motivates me? Knowing that your mom or dad will be safe and secure in their own home. And, if they want mayonnaise on their sandwich, they can still get it.
With warm regards,