In 1978 our activist founder started a unique home care agency in Bergen County New Jersey and in November 1984 opened her own office in Fairfield, New Jersey, where we are today. These were the seeds we planted for all the home care agencies and senior facilities that came in the future.
As the Helpmates agency grew clients, Sandra Seiden’s Dad “George” developed Parkinson’s and the need and use for home health care, came home to roost. Even though our founder had a busy household with three college age adults, pets, and husband, complete with time consuming personal activities. The focus was now on her father and grandfather of her children.
Since this working couple had neither the room nor time to care for a debilitated father, then perhaps Home Care should be the next step. First however, her dad would have to move to New Jersey from Brooklyn, NY sadly leaving home. His most precious asset; full of fond memories and about to face life in a new environment.
Furthermore the advice of his doctor George would have to spend a short stay in a nursing facility before being able to meet his homecare needs. Living in the nursing home was highly disagreeable for George, despite the staff and doctor trying to convince us otherwise. Her dad was very introverted and independent. Institutionalization did not agree with him; the bad food, the rules, the feuds with other patients and the extra wheelchair mile to the bathroom from the dining room which by the way, resulted in unnecessary accidents. Sandy felt heart-broken to see her father this way. She wanted him to be happy, not depressed. More importantly, she wanted him to live out the rest of his life with the dignity and respect that he deserved. Consequently, she promised George his very own Live-in caregiver via Helpmates, to live out his life at home. While recognized such a need she vowed to continue making Live-in homecare available to its clients.
All through nine years of care, George thrived. Through the many health trials of an 89 year old Parkinson’s patient, the falls, the anger and night sleeplessness, George was most comfortable at home. George lived in a garden apartment in Wayne, NJ, but he and his caregiver were moved to his own apartment in Morris Township, so he could be close to his daughter and family. He and his caregiver had a loving relationship; she cared for him as though he was her own father. She maintained a daily schedule, getting him bathed and dressed, preparing tasty meals, seeing to it that George had the books he loved to read, steadying him from falling, and taking him in his wheelchair outside for fresh air walks. His live-in care giver even made him sandwiches at 3 AM at night when he requested. George was happy, surrounded by loved ones, well-cared for and received socialization on his own terms all the while maintaining a good quality of life.
Long story short, George benefited greatly from the care-at-home experience, something the Helpmates founder truly believed in and made her life’s work. Helpmate’s agency has celebrated its silver anniversary. This is a credit to its reputation, representatives, and its founder. We believe that affordable home care is the best solution for any ill, disabled or elderly person who cannot function alone. REMEMBER, A LIFETIME COLLECTION OF MEMORIES AND ARTIFACTS COME ALIVE ONLY IN THAT SPECIAL ENVIRONMENT that we call home.
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