Nursing at Home: A Caregiver Making a Difference
In the summer of 2005, Mark, a Right at Home caregiver, was matched up with client Bill, an assisted living resident, who was facing mobility issues after a stroke. Although Bill’s wife, Scotty, tried to care for him, she did not have the strength to assist with many of the daily tasks he required. Mark stepped right in and took the reigns, taking the burden of care off of Scotty. Mark believed that he “put a little more love back into their relationship.”
The stroke had caused Bill to be mostly bed-ridden and when he was mobile, his arm was tied down to his wheelchair. Mark started physical exercises with him right away. With determination and care, Mark helped Bill walk in only two weeks and he was able to surprise his family when he walked into their reunion, unassisted.
These experiences gave Mark the tools to push his client even farther and give him the best life possible. With his supervisors, Mark was able to find more programs that would help return some of Bill’s mobility such as water therapy classes and walking hallways. This led to hours of conversations where Mark learned about Bill’s life, his accomplishments and his love for life.
Aside from mobility therapy, Mark assisted Bill with bathing, shaving, and helping him out of bed. Mark has always believed that when you look good, you feel good. It was important to him that Bill and his other clients looked their best. He chose the outfits and made sure they were always clean and pressed.
They enjoyed their time together so much that it was not uncommon for Mark to join Bill for dinner. Mark and the Right at Home staff would regularly give reports to the family on Bill’s progress and care. Through these reports, Mark got to know Bill’s children and loved that he felt like a member of the family.
Then Bill had a second stroke resulting in a move into a nursing home. Mark was heartbroken after Bill had made so much progress. Although his official role as caregiver ended, the bond between Mark and the family was so strong that he continued to visit in his free time. With his former client still showing signs of recognition, Mark, with his genuine care for Bill, helped bathe and shave him.
The bonds caregivers provide do more than just treat physical symptoms; they provide emotional rewards that sometimes nobody expects. Mark said, “These people mean as much to me as I do to them. I am a better person for knowing all of these people.”