It’s a question you may ask anyone in a business with lots of competition, “what makes you different?” For us, there are a handful of ways we are different. We are a family business, an all-female owned business, and the only Jewish agency in the area. The other piece of the puzzle that makes us different, is that we take our time when it comes to choosing caregivers. We try our best to identify the traits that make someone a good caregiver and finding people that genuinely care about others versus just looking for a paycheck. Before we go any further, we need to back up a little and explain why we think our differences work to our advantage.
Our culture, like many, stresses the importance of taking care of your family. Through many of our own experiences, we learned that sometimes it’s just too much to do it yourself and you should have other options. Running a home care agency, and being responsible for filling in the shoes of other people’s family members is something that comes naturally for us. We know what to look for in a caregiver because we know that if you are not taking care of your parents, spouse, or grandparents yourself, you are only going to feel relaxed if someone is treating them like family.
We are empathetic. You may think, of course you said that, but it’s true. Maybe it’s because we have a female, mothering energy or maybe it’s because of how we were raised but we genuinely feel hurt when other people are bullied, taken advantage of, and suffer. There are people in this world that prey off the sick and naïve, and there are people that try their hardest to help. They say not to get too attached to the people you care for, but we have spent many sleepless nights worrying about an elderly person that got yelled at, neglected, or taken advantage of. We’ve taken care of people ourselves and have experienced the painful look on someone’s face as you leave, because no one else will visit until you come back. We have taken care of people with dementia and watched them slowly suffer, our hearts breaking when others treat them like they aren’t a person anymore. You have to care to provide good care.
As far as being a Jewish family, the advantage may not be what you think it is. Of course, when it comes to Jewish families, we are knowledgeable in practices and customs that may play a big role in the type of care they deserve. Along with being able to give first hand advice and information to our caregivers on how to provide the best possible care. The part that isn’t so obvious, is that we don’t see being a Jewish family as an advantage solely for other Jewish families. Being minorities, Jewish female immigrants, we know how to treat other minorities. We know how it feels when people don’t respect your beliefs or mock you for having an accent. We know what it’s like to have your choice of food be called strange or for your holidays to be ignored because they are not main stream. We’ve been made fun of, looked down upon, and treated differently. The best thing you can do in these situations, is learn from them. We are accepting of people from all walks of life and refuse to allow someone to think they have to hide who they are to receive equal care.
What makes you different can be big or small, but it has to be something you can stand behind. We not only stand behind what made us who we are, we are proud of it and celebrate it.
Mark C asks: It is time for my dad to hang up the car keys for good but he insists he is fine and continues to drive. We have had the conversation about not driving several times but he just gets more and more irritated with me. If I take away his keys, he pulls out one of the many spares he has hidden. I am scared for his life and others, what else can I do?
This is a common problem, as many elderly are not ready to admit it is time to retire from driving. It is a big loss of independence and blow to their pride. Different techniques work for different people, some like to keep it in the family and bug mom or dad until they give in. Some just take the car away completely even if it means hurting their relationship. The key is to not make mom or dad feel like a child, like you are taking a toy away because they misbehaved. Sometimes it best to get help outside of the family. There are many programs across the country, some associated with the police, which are designed to handle these situations and provide proper information. Here at Lily Home Care, we are involved in such a program that will send someone to your home, evaluate your family member’s driving based on specific criteria, and decide if is safe to drive. We will take on the burden of that stressful conversation and are trained with the correct techniques to deal with the most stubborn of drivers.
*If you have a question for Lily, send us an email or join our Facebook page to send a message!
*All information is meant as advice based on personal experience and should not be referred to as medical data.