Where do you turn when your aging parents need assistance that you are unable to provide? That’s the dilemma with which Midlothian resident Emerson Freeman was faced.
His 89-year-old mother, Emma, had been hospitalized last September. Upon her release, she needed a level of care that her 84-year-old husband was physically unable to provide. Emma’s husband asked their son to make a decision that many are forced to make…ensuring appropriate care for one’s aging parent(s).
“For my mother,” Freeman recalled, “it was either go to a nursing home or come to live with us. We had to explore our options.” A nursing home was not acceptable; “We wanted my mother in our home.”
Both Freeman and his wife work full-time and his mother needed 24-hour-a-day care. “My wife did the research and discovered Visiting Angels,” Freeman said. Visiting Angels is an in-home elder care provider with locations across the nation, but locally owned.
Freeman admitted that he had some initial concerns. “I was worried about having a stranger in our house,” he said. “How would she treat my mother?”
The Freemans contacted the local Visiting Angels, (804-423-6500; 2405 Dovercourt Dr., Midlothian) “They sent a staff Registered Nurse,” Freeman continued. “She gave us an overall understanding of their services, their mission and their goals. She interviewed my mother and made an assessment of her needs.” In addition to physical limitations, his mother was beginning to experience some dementia.
Freeman is especially appreciative of Visiting Angels determination to ensure that the family, especially his mother, were comfortable with the caregiver. “They (Visiting Angels) told me that if my mother was not comfortable I should not hesitate to let them know,” he explained. “Their honesty and understanding that not everyone jives meant a lot to me. They didn’t try to force a square peg into a round hole.”
The first couple of caregivers were not an ideal match. “But there was no discouragement or frustration,” he said. “They told me, ‘We understand that you want the best for your mother. We want that too.’”
Then, towards the end of September, Visiting Angels sent Lynnae. “Everything is going great,” Freeman said, praising the dedication and professionalism of his mother’s “Visiting Angel.”
He said that there are certain things his mother still enjoys doing such as helping to fold the laundry and water the plants. Lynnae helps his mother to do such things. She also prepares meals for his mother “She’s become more than a friend to my mother. She’s part of the family.”
Freeman had special commendation for Jamie and Tricia, who work in the office, and whom he praised for their expertise and compassion in ensuring his family’s needs were met. “I have no hesitation in recommending Visiting Angels to anyone faced with similar circumstances. When I was a child, my mother gave me the best care. That’s what I want for her. Visiting Angels has been a Godsend.”
Visiting Angels is owned and operated by Midlothian resident, Tammy Atkinson. She has dedicated her life to enhancing the lives of seniors by providing the highest quality care for her clients. Atkinson’s most recent endeavor is dayBREAKS Adult Day Center, which shares the same building as Visiting Angels in the neighborhood of Salisbury. dayBREAKS offers day time care and activities to seniors.