Agency on Aging

A Letter from a Caregiver

An excerpt of a letter written to a Respite Care Manager in February.

 I am writing to thank you for making a special visit to meet with my father in December. Your sensitivity to his resistance to accept any help and your compassion was what broke down the barriers I was facing with him.

My mother and I have been his primary caregivers and in 2013 our caregiver challenges became much more extensive after a hospital stay. Working full time and juggling their needs alone was and still is exhausting. He refused many services I brought into the home and my mother and I were running out of energy.

I don't know if it was really timing but I do believe it was your style and approach that played a huge role in his accepting the assistance. I honestly don't think he really has made a connection with the aides they have sent nor have I but we will eventually. I do know he has definitely realized he can't drive any more and during the day he always liked to go for a ride. So we call the aide his driver. It kind of made it less threatening to know he didn't need an aide but a driver to help him with his tasks like shopping or an eye appointment.

In the passed few weeks I have secretly paid the neighbor who is a home health aide to take both my parents out just to shop and socialize, which they would have never done months ago. They haven't quite caught on that I am having her watch them and help as I need her. My mother told her doctor the girl next door needs a job! She is over all the time! The doctor looked at me and laughed saying, oh I think she has a job!

I can't thank you enough for all your support in assisting my family.