For WesleyLife Personal Services client, there's no place like home

posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Carolyn and Wendy

A few years ago, Carolyn Johnson fell. She'd always had trouble with her knees, and she'd been afraid of falling because she knew if she were to become injured, her living situation might have to change.

So when she stumbled, her first thought was: "Oh, no. Now I'll have to leave my home."

Her six daughters, aware of her desire to remain in her own apartment, researched care options to help ease their mother's fears. And thanks to WesleyLife Personal Services, Carolyn is living independently -- and going strong -- at 89. Personal Services aides are with her 24/7 to keep her safe, assist her with activities of daily living, and provide her with companionship.

"I like that they don't tell me what to do; there's no 'You have to go here' or 'You have to do this,'" Carolyn said. "They make suggestions, but they're very nice. They'd do anything for me."

WesleyLife home-care aide Wendy Roberts said she considers it a privilege to spend time with Carolyn. She travels to Carolyn's Ames apartment Monday through Friday to spend eight hours a day "basically doing whatever she needs -- but we have fun, too!"

"I help her get ready in the mornings, and some days we're pretty active, going here and there," Wendy said. "I go with her to her doctors' appointments, we go shopping -- really anyplace she needs or wants to go, or feels up to. Some days we're a little quieter."

Carolyn said she enjoys her time with Wendy, no matter what they're doing. "I'll tell you one thing -- I'm getting a tummy because of all the good food she cooks for me!" she said with a laugh.

In most cases, WesleyLife Personal Services care is not covered by insurance and is paid for by the client or his or her family. Assistance ranges from cooking and light housekeeping to accompaniment to appointments, help with pet care, and "just about anything in between," Heather Frank, Director of Home Services for WesleyLife, said.

"Our goal is to help people remain independent wherever they call home, and our Personal Services care can be very helpful because the services we offer are so varied," Heather said.

"In so many cases, clients don't have family members around; even if their children are very involved, they might live far away or have work responsibilities that prevent them from helping as much as they'd like. So we're able to give the family, as well as the client, peace of mind. And with our organizational focus on health and well-being, we do all we can to enrich our clients' lives."

Carolyn said it means the world to her to be able to remain in her home.

"My things are here, and I'm comfortable here," she said. "I just need a little help. I think it should be up to a person where they choose to live."

Wendy couldn't agree more, adding she said she benefits from the arrangement as much as her client does.

"I expected to like this job, but I'm not sure I was expecting that I'd enjoy it as much as I do," she said. "We laugh and giggle and have such a good time together. If we're shopping and I run into someone I know, I always introduce her as 'my friend, Carolyn.'"

To learn more or schedule services for yourself or a loved one, call WesleyLife at (515) 978-2777.  

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