I hadn’t considered home care as a career move—or, frankly, thought about it much even after my mother’s diagnosis. Now I realize how essential quality home care is to most families with aging parents.
by Kathryn Parsons | Contributor
So many people have a misconception about home care—that it means losing your independence. I used to be one of those people. But now I know the opposite is true. Setting up the right level of care actually helps to maintain quality of life and the independence you have living at home.
I learned this the way most of us learn difficult lessons.
My mother Jane was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015. It was a shock, but at least we had some answers. My mom has an amazing attitude. She has been an inspiration to the community. She says she is living her life, not her diagnosis. (A motto she has adopted from a book of the same name.)
Fortunately, we’re all committed to being there for Mom. But being a caregiver, especially for a loved one facing Alzheimer’s or dementia, is a huge challenge. I knew I would eventually need to rely on others for support as my mother’s Alzheimer’s progressed. I’m a working, single mom with two teenage girls—and a realist. But I never expected my family and my work to be integrated quite like this.
When I discovered that Honor, a San Francisco–based home care company, was expanding into the Dallas area, I jumped at the opportunity to join their team. Honor’s mission—to help our aging parents continue to live at home for as long as they want—is so important to so many people. Honor is improving the lives of professional caregivers, and in turn, changing the way care is delivered. The visionary approach and technology is exciting to me professionally, but the stories I have heard about how many lives we touch on a daily basis is what inspires me the most.
In Texas, we have a strong commitment to family, so many are like my family working together to help out. But, the fact remains, all too many caregivers are reluctant to ask for help. In fact, it is the caregiver who is often the last to realize they have pushed themselves too far at the risk of their own health and wellbeing. We mistakenly think we’re failing if we need a break.
My stepfather, Jerry, is no different. He is strong and determined. He said, “Kathryn, I was raised by my grandparents, and they taught me that you stick together through the hard times. This is just hard times.”
“Of course,” I said. “But Jerry, even when you’ve been together for 39 years and you are responsible for ensuring mom is well cared for, that doesn’t mean you have to do all the care yourself.”
I will never forget the story of one of our clients that I heard my first week at Honor. She said, “I thought that I was letting down my husband by hiring a CarePro from Honor. But, what I realized in only a few weeks is that, in fact, having professional care for my husband better serves him and me both. I won’t have him with me for much longer but for the time I have, I get to be his wife again.”
To learn more about the Honor difference and how home care can help your family, visit joinhonor.com or give us a call at (877) 777-5116.