Caring for a seriously ill loved one can be fulfilling. The role of a family caregiver can also be stressful and draining. Nathan Baca with WJLA 7 on Your Side talks with a Capital Caring patient and family caregiver about support available to family members who are caring for their loved ones. Take a look at this video featuring a local family caregiver who shares how Capital Caring is providing care to her mother as well as support to her entire family. Watch video.
by Katie Tran-Lam
For Gary Stock, a chance encounter with a Capital Caring staff member created a whole new avenue to provide care for his wife, Linda, and improve both of their quality of life.
Linda and Gary met in college and after raising their daughters, were looking forward to spending their retirement enjoying the things that they loved – especially the beach. Their plans changed dramatically when Linda was diagnosed with Multiple Systems Atrophy, known as a Parkinsonism, in 2009. The disease began creating significant challenges for the Stocks as Linda’s mobility declined and led Gary to seek out information that could aid in her care.
Gary attended a lecture that Cathleen Kilmartin, one of Capital Caring’s Nurse Practitioners, gave at Insight Memory Center over a year ago titled, “Hospice and palliative care…when is it time?” Cathleen shared that Gary was incredibly engaged and was a tremendous advocate for his wife.
“I had heard other hospice providers speak in the past, but Cathleen seemed to connect with me,” said Gary. “I was pretty sure when I heard Cathleen that a time would come that I would need to tap into what Capital Caring had to offer.”
Following the lecture Cathleen and Gary kept in touch as he researched information to assist in the care of his wife. As Linda’s disease progressed, the time came for the Stocks to seek a formal referral and consultation with Cathleen and Capital Caring.
For Gary, having “Team Linda” as he refers to it has provided more options when it comes to care for his wife. “It makes things clearer with the 8-10 Team Linda people routinely sharing Linda’s care-giving and health needs via email,” he says. “Having Capital Caring and Cathleen come is a huge difference.”
The Stocks have been able to overlay Capital Caring’s services on top of the care that Linda receives at Aarondale Assisted Living Facility; the support of her wonderful Care Options Care Manager, Shannon; and her Angel-of-an-Aide, Aster; their medical team and other care providers. Gary shared that this team approach has helped create a central point of care for their family where one phone call brings all the support they need. This model has helped ease the frustration of trying to figure out where to go and reduced the hours spent on the phone trying to get answers.
Dealing with a life-limiting illness is incredibly hard to fathom, but for the Stocks the unique team they have created is working. “You have to surround yourself with people who know what they are doing,” said Gary. “For circumstances like this you better find yourself a Capital Caring who can guide you through the care.”
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