My mother, Grace has a pacemaker and some other health issues. I knew it was time to try to find some assistance for her daily living tasks. I had a few good friends tell me about St. John’s Community Care and recommended I talk with them to see if they might be able to help our family. I put them on my list and started searching for just the right agency. It took me nearly 2 years of prayer and research to decide on the best fit for my mother and our family.

I was the head nurse at the Belleville Convalescent Center for many years, so I have a deep understanding of what it takes to care for people who are aging. I also know that one of the biggest things in caring is the love that you can extend to the family and the client and that it takes a lot of trust for families to leave their loved one in someone else’s care. My hope in sharing this testimonial is that it will open the heart of other family members to know that “staying at home” could be a viable option for aging parents as opposed to “staying in a Nursing Home.”

When I first came to St. John’s to discuss options with Patti, the Home Services Director, I was very aware of the “caring” atmosphere. Patti was open and honest with options that were in the best interest of my mother and our family. I knew in my heart that this was the “right” agency.

We started services for 3 days a week and my mother quickly bonded with her Caregivers Sharon and Paula T. They share stories and talk about the good old days. Their compassion shines through when they care for my mother by just doing the little things like asking her opinion or permission to do something. Not only does that maintain her dignity, it really gives her a sense that she is still in control and has purpose. It’s obvious to me that each Caregiver is a Christian woman and that love shows through to my mother. They are so gentle with her, even with their words. It gives me some peace to know she is in good care, when I can’t be there. Our prayers were answered with the Caregivers from St. John’s Home Services.

I have also noticed that on the days mother has a Caregiver she seems happier and more in tune with life surroundings. I know she really enjoys it when they play a game of Scrabble or identify and watch the birds on the bird feeders outside her picture window.

They not only take care of my mother, but Patti also helps us to make sure that all the paperwork for her payment method are processed and handled. It can be confusing and time consuming. Her help really keeps things on track and in order for us.

Caring for a loved one at home involves a family commitment. Each member of our family contributes in some fashion to see that mother can live at home. My sister and brother in law have installed cameras where we have the ability to view mother. We take turns monitoring her. We have an electronic pill box that flashes an alarm of lights and sounds as her medicine is dispensed. My sister sees to it that nutritious food is purchased and menus are made for Mother’s food. I monitor the medical aspect of what Mother needs. But, it is St. John’s that gives us the flexibility to take some “time off” and feel that Mother is being cared for.

We are grateful we found St. John’s Community Care. Mother, who is now 92, let us know early on that it was her wish to remain living in her home for as long as she could. With St. John’s help we are able to make her wish come true.

Jeanine Guccione, R.N.