Years before she needed help with her own caregiving responsibilities, Sally worked as a caregiver advocate with Senior Services. In that role, Sally served as a support system for people taking care of their loved ones who are elderly or disabled. Not only would she help connect those caregivers with benefits and support groups, but she provided guidance and a compassionate ear.
“Often with caregivers, nobody listens to them,” Sally explains. “They were my clients. They would appreciate the time I would spend with them. The fact that I was listening was a real big gift to them.”
In 2012, Sally’s partner Patty was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Because Patty’s physical and cognitive abilities continue to decline, an in-home caregiver now visits for several hours a day to help Patty eat, bathe and get around. Having in-home care is a relief for Sally, although she recognizes not everybody can afford long-term care services.
“I can go out and go grocery shopping in between things,” she says. “I can go for walks with people. Emotionally, I do get breaks, and the caregivers support me, too, by just talking with me.”
Sally says WA Cares would have helped her take care of unexpected medical expenses, and because of her background in caregiver support services, she knows that it would be a tremendous help to other families in similar situations.
“You can prepare as much as possible, but whatever you imagine, something else will happen,” she says. “The money’s going to be there, just like health insurance. Hopefully, you don’t ever have to use it, and if you do have to use the insurance, then it’s there. And that’s great.”Back to all care stories