Betty’s story: Now it’s my turn
When you work hard your whole life and look forward to a playful retirement with your husband, where the road to travel and adventure is infinite, tragedy is the last thing on your mind.
Betty Leach is an amazing client of ours and has a heart wrenching story that is all too familiar for many of our clients. Betty and her husband, Bob, lived a good life and were very successful. Unfortunately, Betty’s husband experienced a life altering stroke which left him paralyzed and incapable of moving, speaking or caring for himself.
Betty had to change her way of life and begin caring for her husband. Bob was in the hospital for an extended period of time and his doctors felt that it would be best for him to be admitted into a nursing home. Betty refused the doctors’ recommendations and insisted that Bob was to go home with her. It took Betty some time to learn how to provide the care that Bob needed, but once she did, he was released to go back home with her. When they first got home, their private insurance helped provide 24/7 care for Bob’s needs. Eventually the coverage was reduced down to only providing two hours of care per day. Betty then found herself having to provide almost all of Bob’s care on her own.
Betty was caring for her husband to a great extent, including changing and cleaning his tracheostomy tube, bathing him, moving him and giving him his medications.
Betty reached out to the State of Ohio, hoping that Medicaid/Medicare could be of some assistance to them. The State advised her that they were denied assistance because their personal belongings were worth more than the eligibility requirements. Although these were things that she and her husband worked very hard for, their belongings were now preventing her from receiving the help that she needed to take proper care of Bob. Betty was forced to sell their vehicles and other items, as well as use their life savings to pay for private care. When all they had left was their home and $500, she went back to the State for another assessment. Again, she was told that they still had too much money and that $100 was all that she could have. As disheartening as it was, Betty spent the last of their savings on more care for Bob and they were left with nothing but their home.
Betty contacted her congressman to seek guidance. He came to their home and spent 12 hours documenting everything that she did to care for Bob. He realized how great the need was for her to receive help. He, along with Bob’s doctor, accompanied Betty to court to help her plead their case. Bob was finally awarded assistance for 12 hours a day, with the stipulation that when they decided to sell their home, they would give the State half of the proceeds from the sale. Betty accepted the State’s conditions and chose to have the help come in overnight, from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM. She continued to provide Bob the care that he needed for the remainder of the day without hesitation.
For ten years, Betty provided loving care for Bob in their home until he passed away. She then found herself alone without the extra help to take care of the large home they once shared. After a short time of asking her children for help, she realized that she needed to downsize. Betty decided to sell the home and move into a facility with independent living. Although the accommodations were very small compared to what she was used to, she knew it was all that she needed. Betty lived in her apartment for several years before deciding to seek some help for herself, as her back had grown tired from caring for Bob for so many years. She contacted our SYNERGY HomeCare office to come in and provide our services for her.
We help her with keeping her apartment tidy, doing her laundry and running her weekly errands. Betty is proud that she can still get around and do some things for herself, but she is grateful for the help that she receives from our caregivers. We have been providing services to her since 2013 and she is still just as pleased with us as she was in the beginning. A good part of Betty’s life was spent caring for others. It’s an honor for us to be able to provide some care and relief to her, as she has definitely earned it.