Mary Pentitio: Enjoying Life as a Caregiver

  1. When did you start with Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care, and why?

I retired in the fall of 2016 after working for 40 years in Long Term Care. In the spring of 2017, I began looking for something to help keep me active. I responded to an ad in the paper and Janet hired me in May.

  1. What activities do you help seniors with?

Bathing is the main concern for families, and I help with that, plus exercise and helping with pets. I also fix meals, do light housekeeping, and help with day to day activities.

  1. What is a typical visit like?

Every person has different needs. I usually begin each visit by asking what they need help with or what they would like me to do. One woman enjoyed just having company a few hours a week. She said it was better than watching TV. Most of my visits last 3 hours and are 3 days a week.

  1. Tell us about a special senior you have worked with.

Each person is special. I enjoy them all and I like hearing their stories. I have learned so much from listening to them. One client I took grocery shopping would tell me things about the area and the community that I did not know.  I enjoyed that very much.

  1. What have you learned working with seniors?

It is important to help seniors stay in their own homes.  I worked in long term care for 40 years and would setup home care, but I did not understand how important it was.  There is a huge need for home care. So many patients prefer to recover and be treated in their own homes.

  1. What are some of your fondest memories of caregiving?

I had an elderly woman that needed help walking her dog, Charlie.  Every time I would come over, he could jump on me and my client would say “Charlie needs to go outside.” So, I would help her with her walker, and together we would walk Charlie down the street and back. He was such a cute dog and we both enjoyed the walks.

  1. How do you care for someone with memory problems?

Stay calm. Sometimes things can get anxious and you need to be the person that stays calm to help the situation.

  1. What would you like to share with other caregivers and potential clients?

Caregivers need to be consistent. Your senior client is depending on you and they look forward to having you visit. Keeping a regular routine is extremely helpful for them.