I am writing a note to express my dearest thanks to Family Friends. As an explanation, I was my 94 year old mother's care taker for 17 weeks. . I gained much skill and knowledge in being able to care for the elderly during that time. My mother had lived on the East coast of Florida and had a national company caring for her for several years. Since I did not live close to her, it was difficult to know exactly the type of actual care she was being given. I would announce each time I would be making a visit and things always seemed okay. My mother had the beginnings of dementia and so her memory was not as sharp as it had been in previous visits and so she had no complaints.
In January of 2012 I made an unannounced visit and was shocked and saddened with the sight of my mother. I made this visit because each time I called the caretaker said my mother was sleeping; no matter what time I made the call, she was "always taking a nap". The caregivers had apparently chosen to let my mother sleep for endless hours each day, not take her outside and the few medications she was to take were in a bottle unopened. She was in a wheelchair and not walking on her own and was not socializing with neighbors any longer I found out. This was completely unacceptable.
I decided to bring my mother to live with me and see if I could bring her back to some form of normalcy. I took FMLA and have never regretted my decision. My mother became once again happy to be alive, she decided she wanted to live on her own. Although I was convinced I would never be able to find and even more, trust another caretaker, I started my search for an apartment and an agency. Once I spoke with several representatives of national caretaker agencies, I made a decision I would prefer a local agency. I found an amazing over 55 apartment in Spring Hill and then I found 2 agencies that were in the area.
I was immediately taken with Family Friends because Kim and Rhoda were themselves previous caretakers. They gave my mother great respect while interviewing her and spoke to her directly. My mother, as many elderly people are, likes to take control of conversations. She immediately informed Kim and Rhoda several points about her "difficult" personality and expected to have people do "whatever" she wanted them to do! I needed to explain what type of caretakers we were interested in. The ladies were gracious enough to offer more than 15 interviews for us. Since September, when we agreed to have Family Friends as our caretakers, we have never been anything but overjoyed with the ladies we hired. Kim and Rhoda gave us excellent ideas regarding how many people we would need to do the 24 hours required. We have had the same people taking care of my mother and they are "family to us". Each has taken their positions to heart and my mother feels, in her words, "blessed to have them in her home". From making meals, straightening her apartment, doing laundry, taking her to the swimming pool and occasional shopping, they have been amazing caregivers. It never appears they are doing a job; in fact the front desk receptionist at mom's apartment thought one of the caregivers was her granddaughter! What does that tell you about the care these wonderful people are giving to clients?
I also want to say that to Kim herself. She told me that if ever there was an issue that a caretaker could not be there, she would go to my mother's apartment. As things happen, this did occur and she, as promised was my mom's caretaker until a suitable replacement was able to arrive. Where would a national agency company ever provide this type of service to a client? I have slept soundly since September and continue to sing their praises to everyone I talk to. May we be blessed with their caring ways for as long as my mother is able to be with us.
I will never be able to appropriately thank Family Friends for everything they do for my mother and my family. We truly rest easy knowing they are giving my mother the ultimate in care.