Letting a Caregiver Reinvigorate Your Life

One elderly man’s wife died and he eventually didn’t want to live anymore. A women was losing touch with reality, but she could still share her love of history and geography. Two men had served in the same squadron during World War II, but didn’t know each other.

In every case, an elderly person’s life was changed for the better because of a caregiver from Comfort Keepers, 4855 E. State St.

“The key to a good match is shared interests and putting in the effort to make a relationship good and lasting,” says Lucretia Ristin, co-owner with Mark Podemski. In the case of the elderly man, he resisted having a caregiver, but then realized the benefits.

“He came alive again because a caregiver showed him life was worth living,” Ristin says.

The woman had the same caregiver every day for seven years. They became armchair travelers and learned about different cultures and countries by going to ethnic restaurants together. The two U.S. Air Force veterans had the same pictures, told the same stories, and had the same caregiver. She arranged for the men to meet and they became friends.

Comfort Keepers’ caregivers assist with all non-medical needs, such as light housekeeping, preparing meals, companionship, bathing, grooming, mobility assistance, bathroom needs, laundry, transportation to appointments, shopping, events and more.

Although most people serviced by Comfort Keepers have at least one medical condition, others seek out help just because they are tired and can’t handle the workload any longer, or because they are lonely, which can lead to depression and a lack of interest in self-care, Ristin says.

Comfort Keepers employs about 50 caregivers and is always looking to hire more. Caregivers have to pass an extensive background check, drug test, and show they are caring and empathetic individuals, Ristin adds.

Caregivers can work part time or full time. Future plans include opening an office in Janesville. The company also has a Freeport office. All locations service northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

For more information, go to comfortkeepers.com or call 815-229-9100. ❚