On any given day, Katie Norris (known as Reverend Katie online) has any number of responsibilities and loved ones vying for her attention. At 32, Reverend Katie is a wife, mother, Executive Director of the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation for Brain Health, Unitarian Universalist minister, blogger, and caregiver to her mother who suffers from dementia with Parkinsons-like symptoms.
Providing care for her father, however, is one task Reverend Katie doesnt need to worry about. That's because her father, Charlie, is a Kendal at Home member.
My dad joined Kendal at Home five or six years ago, Reverend Katie says. My family and I lived in Chicago at the time, and he was having some health issues. I was glad that he would have someone who would take care of him. It was a sense of security for all of us in the family.
Reverend Katie says her father, a retired surgeon, decided to join Kendal at Home because he believes older adults who make the assumption they will never get sick as the grow older can be irresponsible.
I think he was really thinking that if he needed help, and mom was already sick, what would happen? she says.
In August 2009, Reverend Katie, her husband, and her son moved into her childhood home with her father and mother. Now back in Ohio, Reverend Katie says she was able to really get to know and appreciate the people at Kendal at Home, from the caregivers and staff to the Board of Directors, of which she is now a member.
Almost exactly three years after her move, Reverend Katies mother's condition took a turn for the worse.
All of a sudden, mom was bed-bound, couldn't walk anymore and couldn't feed herself, Reverend Katie says. Kendal is doing all of her care coordination now. I think it's better to have somebody outside the family doing all the care coordination, so the family can actually spend time with you and make the hard decisions they need to.
Reverend Katie says she's so satisfied with the service her family receives from Kendal, she's recommended Kendal at Home to several friends with loved ones who need home care.
It's really difficult to even get good healthcare givers, Reverend Katie says. There are a lot of organizations that provide [caregivers], but they're not trained or they're not overseen well. Kendal does a good job of doing all of that for you.
She adds, Kendal really has the best interest of each person in mind. When you need care, they are always working to provide you the best that they can. They get to know as many people in the family as possible. You even know who is going to answer the phone when you call.
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Photo Credit: Katie Norris