A Caregiver’s Point
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 8:00am
A Caregiver’s Point of View…
Mr. and Mrs. O
As an office worker at Private Home Care, Inc., I don’t come into direct contact with our clients very often. However, I do speak with them on the phone and witness our coordinators’ and caregivers’ reactions to each situation. For me, one of the most memorable cases we’ve had was a seasonal client, a husband caring for his wife who has dementia, only here during summer and fall. I’ll call them Mr. and Mrs. O., two people who had been coming to Maine for years. Speaking with the husband on the phone was always a pleasure. His sense of humor had me chuckling throughout the day after his calls. His resilience amazed me, considering what he dealt with on a daily basis. You could easily tell that he truly loves his wife and would do anything for her. I often wonder what it must feel like to have a person you’ve been so attached to for years; gradually forget you and the lifetime you’ve spent together. It’s heartbreaking to think about. For several years they’ve come and gone, making close connections with our staff who worked directly with them. Each year as Mrs. O’s disease progressed, I witnessed the effect it had on them all. Each year they would say, “I don’t know if the O.’s will be back again next year, she’s not doing well.” But they continued to return, requiring a little more care each year, that is until this year.
I spoke with Mr. O. on the phone recently. He seemed his old self. The staff tells me that his wife is still here but is unable to travel, so they’ll be staying closer to family now. Although Mr. O has been diagnosed with cancer, he still cares for his wife at home, and he’s still smiling. You don’t meet people like that very often, and even though I didn’t really know him personally, the effect he had on the people around him inspired me just the same. My wish for each of you is to have a Mr. O. in your life. Someone who cares for others more than him/herself.
Written by Sue Smith, Chief Administrative Officer at Private Home Care, Inc.