Specialty Care Services–Real Life Profile
Mercedes Palmer started taking care of others at an early age, and was a caregiver for her own father for the last decade of his life when he came to live with her family. “My mother is an amazing woman,” said her daughter, Anne Palmer. “She has a genuine caregiver mentality.”
The oldest of four children, Mercedes began caring for the well being of her siblings and father as a result of the premature passing of her mother. At the time, Mercedes was only 21. She went on to pursue a career in early childhood education and to raise five children of her own.
Despite the demands of raising a large family, Mercedes excelled in her career. She became an integral figure in the Head Start movement in the 1960s and was one of the first Head Start teacher trainers in America. Later in her career she served as the director of several childcare centers, including one of the first corporate sponsored childcare facilities in America.
Several years ago, when her husband’s health began to fail, Mercedes naturally became a caregiver for him. However, as his condition worsened, the family realized they needed some additional support. They turned to Specialty Care Services, a licensed nursing provider offering a wide range of home care services. Since that time, the company has provided varying levels of care to meet the family’s needs, from part-time care in their home to full-time care in an assisted living facility.
“Specialty Care has been in our lives through so much,” said Anne, who explained that the family endured the tragic losses of both her oldest brother and her father within one month of each other between December of 2008 and January 2009.
Through it all, one of the constants in Mercedes’ life has been Amie Kanu, her caregiver provided by Specialty Care. “Amie is an extraordinary woman blessed with an extraordinary gift, and she gives so lovingly,” said Anne. “She is with my mother just about every waking moment, and she nurtures my mother.”
As a former vice president of an aging service network in the Hudson Valley region of New York, and having the responsibility when growing up of helping care for her grandfather that lived with them, Anne has both a professional and personal appreciation for the level of service that Specialty Care and Amie provide. “Amie is like having another sister there taking care of my mother. She is so intuitive and knows what she needs almost without asking,” said Anne.
For Anne and her siblings, it is extremely important that their mother, who has always taken care of everyone else, receive top quality care. With the help of Specialty Care and Amie, the Palmer family has been able to ensure that Mercedes – who recently celebrated her 86th birthday – continues to enjoy the best possible quality of life.