Art of Aging: Home Instead Senior Care

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Two sisters had a plan in place when it was time to give their mother the care she needed.

Two sisters had a plan in place when it was time to give their mother the care she needed.

When Laurita Miller and Sandy Swiacki's mom started to fail physically, the sisters had no doubt what they would do.

"We knew very early on that she never wanted to be in a nursing home," said Sandy.

Laurita added, "Our plan was to really keep my mom at home, and to take care of her the best we could, and make her feel like she was still part of the family."

Studies show that nearly 3 quarters of caregivers try to go it alone.

"Honestly I just couldn't see myself being able to do it on my own," said Sandy.

The sisters have learned that it takes a village. They tap family members, friends and neighbors for help and they hired Home Instead, a company that offers caregivers a much-needed break.

Bill Blacker, Co-owner of Home Instead Senior Care of Bucks County said, "They're just so backlogged, they're so overwhelmed with all the things that they are doing that they will crack, said Bill."

It helps that Sandy's employer has been very understanding, and Bill says that's a growing trend as more and more workers have elder care obligations.

"They are now coming up with maybe job sharing, work at home options, things like that, which you didn't have so much in the past," he said.

Still, he says it's critical that caregivers take time to also care for themselves.

Bill adds, "They have to have somebody they can talk to. Just somebody they can unload to, and they can say look this is what I'm dealing with."

And he recommends finding a physical or creative outlet.

Sandy says, "Even if it's just a short walk around the block, it helps recharge your batteries, and helps to reaffirm what you're doing."

And the sisters agree that, despite the challenges, what they're doing is extremely rewarding.

"We are spending some really great quality time with my mother. It makes you just reevaluate what's important in your life," said Sandy.

Every county has an office of aging that can help. There are numbers posted in our Art of Aging section.
Related Topics:
healthart of agingseniorshomehealth carehealthcheck
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