Caring for elders can overwhelm us

Caring for elders can overwhelm us

Nicole Johnson, a memory therapy coach, works with a patient at Amy’s Helping Hands


For caregivers, worrying about an aging relative is stressful enough. Taking care of two loved ones kicks up that stress level rise significantly.

This is the daily reality for Denise and her sister who are responsible for the care of two aging relatives. For them, caregiving took a difficult turn when both relatives needed additional help over a few days. With one having hip surgery and the other being transferred to a new care facility, the situation quickly became overwhelming.

“We went into crisis mode,” says Denise. “We didn’t have a clue how we were going to manage to make sure each of our relatives received the attention and care they required during this time.

A staff member at the long-term care facility suggested the sisters call Amy’s Helping Hands. Denise spoke with someone from Amy’s that evening and was in their office the next morning signing paperwork and discussing care plans for both relatives. Care services began later that day.

“We were really in a bind. On top of it all, our relative recovering from hip surgery needed someone to be in her room overnight in case she had to get up,” she says. “An Amy’s caregiver was able to stay with her. What a relief to us.”

Denise was impressed and thankful that Amy’s took charge of the care situation.

“We were pretty frazzled at the time. Amy’s helped us so much with making sure the caregiving schedule ran smoothly so we could focus on our family. They took care of everything.”

When the crisis was over, Denise and her family continued to use Amy’s Helping Hands for companion care services.

“If a question arises, Amy’s addresses it immediately,” Denise adds. “We once had a question about the care plan. I happened to be at the residence visiting and the care manager from Amy’s showed up. She didn’t know I was going to be there. She was simply there to find the answer to our question. Amy’s team is always so responsive. They take the time to make sure the care we want for our relative is the care they are receiving.”

Amy’s Helping Hand’s owner Amy Szewczuk explains her team’s care managers are registered nursing staff and licensed social workers. “They are there from the very beginning to meet with clients and families and handle case management to ensure delivery of the client care plan,” she says.

But what continues to stand out most for Denise and her family is the compassion shown to her family members by Amy’s caregivers. She says the bond they built with her relatives is one based on kindness and compassion.

“We want each client’s experience with Amy’s Helping Hands to be a personable one,” says Szewczuk. “We want to create a strong connection from the start. We also do our best to be as consistent as possible in keeping the same caregivers assigned to the client allowing for a higher comfort level.”

For seniors living on their own or those concerned about an elderly relative, Amy’s provides in-home companion care, homemaker and personal care services. The initial consultation includes a home inspection, along with suggestions and tips to ensure a safe environment. A care plan is then developed with the client.

“Our client is always the boss,” adds Szewczuk. “We take our lead from what they want and how they want it done.”

Clients, family members and staff also all benefit from education and ongoing support — both important values of Amy’s Helping Hands. Free support groups are offered to the client’s primary family caregiver and staff caregivers offering them coping mechanisms, resources and a network of support. Training for family member caregivers includes 49 courses available online covering topics such as understanding the aging process and handling caregiver stress.

There is also access to a supportive community online on the company’s website. It’s open to anyone and features a large list of resources with topics ranging from helping seniors cope with anxiety to strategies in fall prevention.

All of Amy’s Helping Hands services are available in clients’ homes, hospitals, nursing and retirement homes. Amy’s also provides an Adult Day Program, nursing and emergency care, Amy’s Memory Therapy, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care, medical alarms and foot care.

To learn more about Amy’s Helping Hands’ services or to set up a consultation, call 519-915-4370 or visit the website