My Caregiving Journey

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Dear Editor,


I wanted to share my journey about my long-distance caregiving for my Mother, Nellie E. Fusco. In 1997, Mom had a stroke. She went into rehab, they assessed her condition and deemed it appropriate that she stay in a long-term care facility. Not my Mom. There were five of us siblings with differing opinions, but Mom ruled!

She asked us to let her show us that she could live independently, with some care at home. We wanted to honor her wishes. The most important aspect of arranging for in-home care is having an appropriate needs assessment and getting the right level of help at
the right times, both day and night.

Mom was given excellent services through NJCare (Medicaid). I also joined a Caregivers’ Support Group in Steuben County, N.Y., which helped me through these difficult times.

She was able to live on her own for a long time and ultimately made the decision when it was time for her to go into a care facility, where she resided for the last three years of her life.

She lived until 2007, with the satisfaction of living on her own terms.

Since then, I have worked with a group in Wayne, N.Y. to bring “Aging in Place” services
to that rural area.

Also, I have been able to make contact with an excellent resource here in Florida. Tidewell Hospice offers services based on clients’ needs requirements.

In summation, caregivers need to research and take advantage of all the appropriate
resources available in the community based on the individual’s emotional and physical needs.

Catherine M. Knobel
Bradenton, FL

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