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Caregiver Story Spotlight: In Sickness And In Health

Gina Flores
Caregiver Advocate | Shield HealthCare
04/19/12  3:48 PM PST

Caregiver Story Spotlight | Shield HealthCare “What Makes Caregiving Rewarding?” Contest

Besty P. shared this sweet story about caring for her husband in sickness and in health, with priceless devotion to the man she loves.

I have been a caregiver for my husband John since 1972, after he suffered his first stroke. After two more strokes and several other illnesses, including a broken hip, the Lord has continued to bless him over the years. I have found it to be an extremely rewarding experience being the caretaker for my husband. Even though others could have cared for him, I believe that my being home with him has added years to my husband’s life.

We have been married for 48 years. Most people know that a marriage grows from the love and support that is shared by two individuals committed to making it work. “In sickness and health” takes on greater meaning when you actually have to put it to the test. As his caretaker, I give him the love and support that he needs to help him make it day to day. Being a caretaker takes love, patience and understanding, but when you are married to the person being cared for, it also calls for a good sense of humor. Not only do I make sure that he is bathed and dressed nicely, gets his medicine on time, has three home cooked square meals a day and gets to his doctor appointments on time, we also go out weekly to shop, visit others and enjoy our granddaughter on outings. Even though he has to use the wheelchair and walker, he is definitely not restricted to the house. As his caretaker, I am determined to see that he enjoys life.

There are things that we can’t do because of limited income, but I have made it my priority to take care of him. I’ve learned that in life you have to decide what you can live with, and what you can do without. Deciding to make sure that my life partner has the best that I can give by providing him my love and service as his caretaker, was the best decision I have ever made. I haven’t had one minute of regret in caring for him and his needs.

A manager position in downtown Chicago: $45,000 per year.

Caregiver service from a local firm: $15,000.

Caring for my husband in his time of need: PRICELESS.

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