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How Your Life Could Change when You’re a Caregiver for Dad

Family Caregivers Toms River NJ: A Client’s Story of Her Struggle Before Hiring a Professional Caregiver

Family CaregiversWhen Nicole began taking care of her 82-year-old father, she did it for two basic reasons. First, she lived only 10 miles away and said she was the closest living family member to him, it seemed like her responsibility to begin with. Second, she thought it could bring them closer by spending more time together.

By the second week, Nicole noticed changes beginning to develop with her relationship with her father. She also began experiencing changes in other areas of her life. She had been married for three years, to her second husband, and her two children were grown and off to college and careers.

She didn’t have a lot of responsibility at home, so she figured with the extra time she had on hand (she was only working a part-time job at the moment), she didn’t see being a caregiver as a great burden in her life.

After those first couple of weeks, her father seemed to be more demanding of her time. She was helping him do laundry, keeping the house clean, making meals, and even driving him to the store, friend’s houses, and the occasional doctor’s appointment. Yet, it seemed the more she did, the more help he needed from her. It got to the point where he was calling her first thing in the morning telling her he wanted to go to the store as soon as they opened.

It didn’t seem to matter that she would tell him about her other work schedule. He would get upset with her and this caused tension to develop in the relationship.

She also experienced changes with her relationship with her husband. She was spending more and more time at her father’s house, having dinner with him and her husband began complaining that they weren’t spending enough time together. Nicole admonished her husband, saying this was incredibly important. “How can I turn my back on my father?” She asked her husband one evening when they were arguing about this.

At the time, she was upset about his selfishness.

As the weeks turned into months, she began to realize the impact that being a family caregiver was having on many other aspects of her life and she also understood what her husband had been concerned about. Without taking time for her own life, her own interests, and her own relationships, she was putting herself at risk, emotionally and mentally.

Her life changed more than she could have ever wanted to have a change, all because she thought she was doing the right thing for herself and her father. In hindsight, she would have encouraged him to hire a professional in-home care provider through an agency in a heartbeat.

For information about how Comfort Keepers can help your family with home care in Toms River, NJ and the surrounding communities, call (732) 557-0010. We provide quality and affordable home care services for seniors in our community.


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Stephanie Howe

Rich and Stephanie Howe are the owners of 4 Comfort Keepers franchises in central NJ and 1 in Easton, MD. They opened their first office in Hamilton, NJ in 2005 after Stephanie’s personal and professional background in nursing led her down the path of helping people stay in the comfort of their homes. Her father was afflicted with a severe form of Multiple Sclerosis and was put in a long term care facility when he was just 44 years old, after her family realized there were few options for keeping him home. When she was diagnosed herself with the disease in 1998, she knew she didn’t want her family, or anyone else to ever find themselves in a similar situation. Prior to owning Comfort Keepers, the Howe’s owned a construction business, but have found this type of work meets their need to serve others. The Howes are committed to assisting not just the elderly, but anyone needing non medical services in order to continue living safely at home. The Howes reside primarily in Robbinsville, NJ with their 6 children and 2 Golden Retrievers, Henry and Deja, but also have a residence in Easton, MD.