My First Home Caregiving Client

Mr. William and Mrs. Betty were my first home care clients

Mr. William was a retired veteran. Mrs. Betty was a housewife that raised four kids, that were grown and all living out of state.   Secondly, she did much volunteering for the community.

Mr. William came home from a round of golf to find his wife unconscious on the kitchen floor.  Without delay, he hurried and called 911.  All of a sudden, they rushed her to the hospital and quickly, had to perform brain surgery for an aneurysm.  Unfortunately, the aneurysm popped all of a sudden, and she stopped breathing on the table.   Under those circumstances, she survived and went into a coma for several weeks.

Adjusting When Tragedy Strikes

With this in mind, she needed 24-hour care around the clock.   In view of all that has happened Mr. William had been devastated and did not know what to do.  For this reason, he called me and asked me to come to the hospital to help him sort threw the madness.  In spite of everything that she had been through, she awoke with little brain function.   And without delay, released from the hospital to the local rehab facility.  In the final analysis, after 2 months in Rehabilitation, the social workers wanted her to go into a facility.   As a result, Mr. William insisted she come home.

On the positive side, I hired home health for Nurses, OT, PT.  Secondly, I provided round the clock CNA’s.  As a result, for the next year, we cared for Mrs. Betty with her Aneurysm.  I had six CNA’s go in and assist with all aspects of daily living in three shifts.   While rotating on the weekends with tender loving care.  It was difficult for Mr. William to get used to the new normal. His beautiful wife of 43 years was unable to talk or get out of bed.

Making Caregiving Part of Daily Life

We became his new family and we cared for him and his home in the same way as Mrs. Betty did before her illness. He explained how she baked cookies for the neighborhood children and the local church. So we did the same, he taught me how to make cookies from a cake mix that were so heavenly and came in a multitude of flavors. He explained how she did everything in their lives and we tried our best to accommodate his wants and wishes.

I would come by every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to assist everyone.   I would help Mr. William with bookkeeping and other miscellaneous duties to keep his own sanity in tact. I would also cook his favorite meals for the weekends. I would do this so my girls could concentrate on giving Mrs. Betty tender loving care.

On Monday morning I came by to find Mr. William in his office, in good spirits and was happy to see me. He hugged me and sat me down and thanked me for such a wonderful job my caregivers and I were doing caring for him and his wife. He asked me to stay and have breakfast with him. We ate eggs benedict that I had prepared for everyone in the house. After breakfast, I was off to see my other clients and gave him a big hug.

When the Time Comes

Tuesday at 3:45 am I received a frantic phone call from my employee Marie.  She had heard a loud noise from Mr. William’s room. When she went to check on him, she found him on the floor.  She hurried and called 911. But unfortunately, he’d already passed away.   He had passed from a massive heart attack before the paramedics could arrive.

Mrs. Betty did not even know or could realize that he’d passed away. Her daughter came to get her and they moved her to their home. On August 8, 2003, she had passed away.  They will always be in my heart for teaching me such valuable lessons.

Tena L. Scallan|My first home caregiving client