Letters to Care Wisconsin
These are some unsolicited letters to Care Wisconsin staff. These letters have been reprinted here with permission, and names have been withheld to protect privacy.
Dear Meg and Natalia (Partnership staff members),
I am taking a liberty to write to you in order to thank you, Natalia, and Meg for your kind willingness to assist my mom in all arrangements connected to her health and other everyday issues. I am pleased to inform you that my mom and I are perfectly satisfied with all arrangements made so far. All of you are doing such a great job in helping older adult people, that, as my mom keeps saying to me, you are not just social workers for her, you are her friends. She can rely on you and your assistance makes her feel confident in her future. I wish to thank you again for being highly professional as the employees and warm-hearted as the human beings. I also would like to convey my sincere thanks to you for providing this type of help to those people who most need it.
The following letter was written by a participant in our Partnership Program, recognizing the help he received through Partnership's in-house Dental Clinic. Generous gifts and grants have supported purchase of equipment and other operations of the Dental Clinic. The letter was translated from the original Russian language.
I'm an old man, I'm 79 and the rest of my teeth were in a very bad shape. They needed an extensive work.
I'm very glad that Oksana Chorniy [a Partnership service coordinator] recommended me to choose Dr. Darling to take care of me. Dr. Darling is an excellent dentist and a wonderful person. He worked hard to save at least some of my teeth. As a result both partials turned out to be very comfortable and beautiful. No inconveniences, no pain. They feel like my own teeth. Now I'm able to chew food and I'm not embarrassed to smile.
I'm happy and can't thank enough Dr. Nathan Darling for his professionalism, patience and kindness in treating patients. I also want to say "Thank you" to your dental hygienist. She is Dr. Darling's good helper.
It's great that your have this Dental Clinic. Thank you for having good specialists working in it. God Bless You!
Partnership Program Participant
Dear Jeni, Linda and Sue,
My dad was a courageous, strong man and fought a tough battle for many, many years. Dad was my "champion". I know it will be a long time before I can think about him or talk about him without my eyes welling up in tears. I look forward to the day that I smile when I hear someone answer a cell phone and say, "Hi Dad!" I look forward to the day that all those happy childhood memories will make me laugh, instead of cry. I look forward to the sadness and heartache diminishing.
Dad loved life. He loved:
- the Green Bay Packers,
- the Wisconsin Badgers,
- warm apple pie and ice cream,
- a good joke,
- mom's homemade chocolate cake,
- gadgets and tools,
- camping with his family,
- steak sandwiches from The Steak Escape,
- coffee (Norwegian till the end),
- his house,
- sunshine on his face,
- shopping (for gadgets and tools, of course),
- sitting on the deck enjoying a crisp summer morning,
- playing card games and cribbage.
But most of all, Dad loved his wife, children, grandchildren and his caregivers from your organization and the UW East Dialysis unit.
I am so thankful when I look at my brothers and sisters and see a little bit of Dad in each of them. My brothers all inherited Dad's good looks and charm. My sisters inherited Dad's silliness and sense of humor.
I don't know if I can put into words how much you have meant to our family over the past four years, but I will try. Your help allowed mom the opportunity to continue work, to travel, to enjoy her grandkids, and most of all, a quality of life with Dad that may not have been there if she had to attend to his care alone.
Your help allowed me to stay working and living in central Wisconsin. Often times I thought I should move to McFarland to help care for Dad and to spend time with him. But, Dad would not have wanted me to throw my life into a frenzy for him.
Your help allowed Dad to live longer than any of us expected. Your help gave all of us peace of mind, comfort, and a chance to have Dad in our lives just a bit longer.
I have such respect for places like Elder Care of Wisconsin and the employees of Elder Care. It is because of your presence in Dad's life, and ours, that I am enclosing a donation in his memory.
Our team captain may not be here with us on earth, but he'd want me to thank all of you for all you've done for us!
Family Caregivers Tell Their Stories
Christine and her father
I have peace of mind knowing that for the three days a week my father is at the Gathering Place. There, he is eating and has some socialization. Otherwise, he doesn't even get dressed. He just sits around and looks out the window or sleeps.
My sister and I live right next door to him, and we check in on him three times a day. We want to keep him home as long as possible since my mother is already in a nursing home.
The Gathering Place frees us up, and that is such a relief. It can be stressful sometimes getting him there in the morning, but once he's there, we can tell he enjoys it. He walks around and visits with everybody. It's just so good for him to be around people.
The staff is wonderful. They are willing to work with us to make sure my father is eating. They interact with him well. Sometimes they will observe things that I don't even notice. I really appreciate that.
Teena and her mother
At first we struggled with the idea of spending the money, but we decided to send my mother to the Gathering Place one day a week because we desperately needed the respite. We soon discovered that the positive feedback she received from the staff was doing her a lot of good.
24 hours / 7 days a week of intense interaction is exhausting. It's hard to deal with my mother's intense level of anxiety. We're working hard to not change her living situation so the Gathering Place is a huge help. It's a good match for her because she's proud and doesn't want to feel as if she's being babysat. So once a week, my husband and I get to go out for lunch and relax, or I get to run errands. It's those precious few hours when she's at the Gathering Place that I know she's safe and enjoying herself.
We don't feel guilty anymore about having time off because we know it's just as positive for her as it is for us. It's a feeling of freedom that makes us better able to care for her the many, many other hours of the week. The Gathering Place is our salvation.