Finding the Perfect Match in a Caregiver

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Allowing time for yourself while ensuring your loved ones receive the best care is a significant challenge family caregivers face.

And Rhoda Wagman is no exception. As her husband’s caregiver, she would find that managing her time was often difficult.

Always the active individual, Rhoda was a former speech pathologist who had a private practice in accent reduction and also supervised the speech clinic at Kane University and Rutgers University. Her husband was just as ambitious as a distinguished research scientist with Schering-Plough for 35 years who had helped join three libraries into the large facility at Kenilworth.

In their post-retirement years, Rhoda’s husband was an active ham radio operator as she showed her creative talents designing one-of-a-kind necklaces for 17 years. She sold her work to craft galleries, ladies boutiques and museum shops.

When he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Rhoda devoted much of her time to caring for him. Needing a few hours of the day to herself, she enrolled him in a day program where he could have social interaction, but Rhoda soon learned he was unhappy.

Home health care seemed to be the best option. “I was looking for an aide who could help take care of his bathing,” said Rhoda. “But primarily I wanted someone who would stimulate his speech, language and cognitive abilities with materials I would provide.”

It was then that she noticed an ad for Senior Helpers and contacted Marc Levine. “He came out to my house and we talked at length about my husband’s needs,” she said.

Taking this information into consideration, Marc had within a week matched Rhoda’s husband with a caregiver whom she found to be a very suitable match.

“People had told me you could have three aides before you find the right one,” she said. “In this case, they matched the caregiver perfectly; it was very personal and I appreciated that.”

Two days a week, the caregiver, Ann, arrived at their home promptly with a smile on her face and prepared meals for Rhoda’s husband.

“She was always happy and just related beautifully to my husband despite his reluctance to adjust to someone in the house working with him,” said Rhoda.

For the four months she had Ann’s assistance, Rhoda could easily balance her time as her husband was well taken care of. And based on her experience, it is certainly a service she would recommend to anyone to this day.

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