She wasn’t prepared for the loneliness that she would be left with. When Hank passed away, Agatha was left with an entirely new role that she wasn’t prepared for.
Growing up, she had always been taught to do what women do. Take care of a home, cook, clean, take care of her family and husband. When Hank died it left her with an entirely new set of responsibilities to deal with, a new set of skills to learn. Of course, she was able to handle it. She was a strong woman from a good family. She carried on for years; decades even, tackling everything life threw at her. Nothing kept her down. She kept a home, she did repairs, she was the one who kept it all together. She even found time to enjoy friends and outside responsibilities; worked full-time.
At 84 however, she is realizing that she is slowing down. She blinked and suddenly, she was in an empty house. No sounds of family, no children running around. Of course, her family still visits often, and she loves them very much, but when all is said and done, she spends most of her days alone. Some days she reads, some days she tends to her gardens, but often the activities are solidary. Agatha also hurts when she does the things she once loved and she becomes tired more easily than she once did. Inside her mind she is still the young woman that she used to be, she has goals and dreams, wants, and wishes. She is finding it very hard to face the reality that her body is slowing down. It’s frustrating knowing what is happening; there is still so much to do and so much to teach. Then one day, Agatha fell.
She was going about her day as usual; she spent the morning reading in the kitchen. She had the television on in the background for noise and she pruned the dead leaves off her houseplants as she carried on her routine. A cup of tea in the late morning and then a bath before getting ready to go to her son’s home for dinner. They would be by to pick her up around 4 pm, so she wanted to be ready for the occasion with the birthday presents for her twin granddaughters ready to take with her at the front door. After filling the bathtub, she disrobed and stepped into the tub one leg at a time. Thankfully her son had installed a safety handle so that she had something sturdy to hold on to. She lowered herself down as she always did; and that’s when the handle let go. With a firm thud, she landed on the bath floor. Immediately she felt pain. Her son arrived at 4 to pick her up as he had promised. When there was no answer at the door, he used his spare key to get inside. She heard him calling and she shouted out for help. He immediately came running.
When the paramedics arrived, Agatha had been sitting in the tub for about 4 hours. Her legs had become numb, and she was shaken. It was a long journey from the bathtub to the ambulance and a very long ride to the hospital. In true fashion, she remained positive and upbeat throughout. She even made jokes with the paramedics and nurses along the way. After spending an evening in the hospital, she was discharged. Only a few bumps and bruises because of the ordeal and the low blood pressure that she was already aware of. When she arrived home, she breathed a sigh of relief. Thank goodness that was over with, but she couldn’t stop thinking about it. It could happen again but next time worse! It wasn’t so bad when she had a husband, or when her family home was full, it wasn’t even so bad when she had regular visitors. Now her son works and lives on the other side of town. Plus, he has a life and family of his own, he’s busy and she doesn’t want to be a burden. Many of her friends are in elderly communities or have passed on so she doesn’t get to see people as often as she once did.
She hates the idea of having to pack everything up and be moved into a facility. She has spent her entire life in her home. She put blood, sweat, and tears into everything she has. She wants to stay in her home to the very end. These are her wishes.
If all of that wasn’t already bad enough; the pandemic happened which made EVERYTHING worse.
After thinking about this for a long time, she came to the realization that she needed a plan. She called her son one evening and together the two of them decided that they were going to look for some help. They each called around to senior associations and non-profit organizations in the area, they were provided with the name of Helping Hands Personal Assistants. Together, they called to inquire about more information. The person on the phone was pleasant to speak with, inviting and engaging, they both felt comfortable asking questions about the services HHPA could provide and when they were ready, they booked an in-home assessment. A couple of days later, the doorbell rang. When they opened the door, they were met by the smiling face of Tracey. They all sat down in the living room and Tracey listened to what their wants and needs were. Tracey then explained the packages to choose from and the services that would allow Agatha to remain in her home for as long as possible together they created a personal care plan. Agatha and her son were very relived to know that HHPA had all the services and supports needed to feel good about remaining in the family home for as long as Agatha wanted.
She then showed Tracey around her home, they discussed how long she had lived in the area and the good times that were had as her family grew up. Agatha spoke about the projects she had wanted to complete, such as sorting and organizing her photograph collection and beginning to take some of her old clothing to a charitable donation center. She showed her some of the areas she used to be able to clean well but unfortunately now they had become slightly neglected, not dirty but they could use some dusting.
Tracey knew just the right P.A. for the job, together her and Agatha discussed what that might look like.
When her Personal Assistant arrived for her scheduled appointment a few days later, Agatha was nervous. She had been tidying up around the home all morning. When she opened the door, there stood a young man about the age of her oldest grandchild.
They spent the entire morning together, chatting about all her experiences, it was a great visit. Before she knew it, three hours had passed and all the things on her list had been accomplished.
Together, they had vacuumed the stairways, organized some photo albums, and prepared some lunches for the week. Before he left, he even shoveled the walkways around the home without even being asked. It was great to have a man around the home again and it was even better that he felt as though he really wanted to be there and enjoyed her company.
By the time the following week had arrived, Agatha had a new skip in her step. She felt more energetic and youthful, she had been looking forward to seeing her personal assistant friend all week. This time, she asked if he could do some minor repairs around the home. Together, they hung some pictures of family up in the living room that her son had printed for her. He then took out her trash and recycling, changed the kitty litter, and replaced some lightbulbs that had burned out.
This continues to this day.
Having a Personal Assistant doesn’t have to be a luxury. It is something that nearly everyone can benefit from. A good personal assistant can help make life easier in ways we never imagined. The positive impact causes a trickle-down effect into nearly every aspect of your life.
Personal Assistants are the answer to improving your quality of life and changing the way we age. Together we can get the most out of life. Let HHPA show you how to take those important first steps towards a better future.
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