Family Caregiver Week: Honoring Caregivers at Home

As a team of caregivers, we know caring for an aging family member can be difficult and stressful. On this special Family Caregiver Week, we want to take time to celebrate these individuals and share their stories. This year, we asked a few of our residents’ loved ones, and previous caregivers, what it means to them to be able to care for a loved one and how Commonwealth has helped their family focus less on clinical support and more on spending quality time with each other. Here’s what they had to say:

“Caring for my dad means a lot to me and our family. He’s important to us and our intentions are to make sure he has the best care because he always made sure we were taken care of.

Commonwealth has helped us with all of my father’s care needs, and the communication has been great as things change with those needs. I grew accustomed to being with my dad daily during the week at his previous senior living community, but Commonwealth has given me the added peace of mind.”

“Mom has been living at Commonwealth Senior Living for a little over two years. My parents’ doctor recommended this particular community because of his respect for the head nurse, Jody. Of course, it was hard to move Mom out of her home, but we all knew it was the best as her memory was getting worse, and she found everyday chores like cooking and cleaning up impossibly challenging.

Mom has always been social, so we knew having access to activities and other folks would be great for her. At first, she was confused as to why she had moved there and wasn’t that interested in making new friends. This is where the amazing team at Commonwealth comes in. They became not only Mom’s caregivers, but her friends. They encouraged her, comforted her, and looked out for her. That helped alleviate my sadness at not having Mom living ‘alone.’ Mom has a comfortable room with lots of family pictures, three healthy meals, and access to lots of different activities. She’s encouraged to participate, but never forced if she’d rather just stay in her room and watch TV, read, or look at photo albums. Anytime something in her room needs to be fixed, it’s handled quickly and the room is always neat and tidy.

We’re a very close family, but I’m the only one that lives near Mom, so I visit the most – usually five days a week. Over these last couple of years, I’ve gotten to know some of the staff and other residents pretty well, and love to know Mom is surrounded by such friendly and caring people. Because of the staff’s caregiving on Mom’s behalf, I’m able to spend my visits laughing, reminiscing, hugging, and just plain relaxing with the best Mom ever! I can add that during the pandemic, we have felt very comfortable that Mom was safe. It was so wonderful that the staff made window visits with a cell phone possible and filled in with lots of hugs that we couldn’t give.”

“In September of 2021, my mother, Terry, became part of the CSL Charlottesville family. I was thoroughly impressed with the care and professionalism of the entire staff there. My father, 90 years old, tried his best to care for Mom during her first two years of progressive dementia. My wife and I have been Registered Nurses for 30 years and we toured the community with attentive eyes. It was impressive. For days after Mom’s move, she was perky, rested, clean, and happy, even in her confused state. Dad was surprised and relieved. He visited her frequently and was amazed by the Memory Care team!

A few weeks later, COVID-19 did what it does. My wife and I worked in the ICU during the first chaotic wave for nine months, so we understand firsthand what it does to staff. The team at CSL Charlottesville were rockstars. We prayed for Mom and the staff daily. We received photos, updates, and calls almost daily from Nathan, Ashley, Rachel, and Aly. My wife and I were with Mom for her last three hours, and my entire family is grateful for the care and compassion she and we received.”

Thank you to each caregiver out there for everything you are doing.

If you’re a kind-hearted individual that wants to bring joy to and improve the lives of seniors in our communities through caregiving, click here to explore current career opportunities at Commonwealth Senior Living.