A Welcome Visitor...Private Care Aide Makes a Difference
“Jo is an extraordinary person. We look forward to her visits and she’s like family to us.”
That’s how Chris Puri of Florham Park described her relationship with certified home health aide Yoania “Jo” Alvarez — and she was eager to share her positive experience with VNA Private Care Services in the hope it will benefit other caregivers who’ve been reluctant to seek assistance.
Like many who are caring for their elderly parents, Chris and her husband made significant lifestyle changes that some may even call sacrifices. In fact, when Chris initially assumed the role of caregiver, she shuttled between her husband’s overseas job in Singapore and her parents’ home in Illinois – an 18 hour plane trip each way.
Following her father’s death, it became apparent that a transfer back to the U.S. was needed to more effectively care for her mother, Rosalee Brune, and the family settled into a Morris County home. Chris, a working pharmacist at the time, sought home care agency recommendations from friends and neighbors. After speaking with several organizations, she chose VNA and the family’s bond with private care aide Jo Alvarez was quickly established.
Jo visited two hours a day, seven days a week – even when her elderly client was laid up in the hospital and a rehab center. In fact, during those episodes, Chris believes the consistency of Jo’s visits and her encouragement prevented Rosalee from becoming disoriented and expedited her recovery.
“My mother had a bad year in 2013 and Jo was certainly instrumental in getting her through more than one stay in rehab,” she said. “Jo has a wonderful personality and worked well with Mom. She has a good-natured way of getting necessary things done when others, including me, cannot!”
Each day, Jo helped Rosalee with her bathing and grooming routine and made sure she took a short walk. “My mother was reluctant to exercise with me, but somehow Jo puts a different spin on things and got Mom on her feet,” observed Chris. “Mom looked forward to Jo’s visits and the time they spent together was the bright spot in her day. In fact, we all looked forward to seeing Jo — even our family dog, Blitzen.”
One of Many Uplifting Stories
According to a VNA Manager, who oversees all of VNA’s private pay services, “Private care assistance just a few hours per week makes a big difference for primary caregivers,” she said. “With our help, they’re finding the peace-of-mind needed to focus on their own needs and other essential responsibilities. The break we provide prevents frustration and burn out.”