Our newest team member, Donna Richetelle, shares why she decided to join Dependable Care.
Over 40 years ago, my husband and I met an older couple.
They had no children of their own, and over the years we sort of adopted each other.
As they aged, we took care of them. The husband passed away first, leaving the 90+-year-old wife, Prudy, suddenly on her own. One day she fell and had to go to the hospital, so we decided she needed live-in care.
The hospital referred us to a local caregiver agency (not Dependable Care). The company came in, and I was skeptical from the beginning. They didn’t ask me many questions and seemed just to be going through the motions. Different caregivers came and went, and it was impossible for Prudy to develop a real relationship with any of them.
Then the stealing started. Caregivers from the agency regularly took things from the house.
I know I should’ve cut ties with the company, but I assumed this was just how they all work. I’d fire this group, only to end up with someone worse. Better the devil you know I guess.
But one day I got a phone call from the agency alerting me that they were removing services from Prudy’s home. No caregivers would return until we took care of our “bedbug problem.”
A bug problem? There were no bedbugs. The house was spotless. Prudy hardly left home. Also, she had all her clothes dry-cleaned and hung in her closet wrapped in plastic. There wasn’t even a washer or dryer in the house.
I rush over there and lo and behold; the chair that the 12-hour aide always sat in was infested.
Now it’s just Prudy and I. I have no care, I have to be at work, and I have no idea what to do next.
A couple of weeks prior, my husband Steve was at work and met Joseph Mut, the owner of Dependable Care. They had started a casual conversation, and Joe mentioned that he owned a caregiver agency. He didn’t aggressively solicit the business; they just had a great conversation.
Steve instantly remembered meeting Joe and suggested that we give him a call to see what he thought about our predicament.
Within one hour, Joe had an exterminator at the house for me. In fact, Joe came himself so that I didn’t have to be alone with an exterminator I didn’t know.
The exterminator informed us that we’d have to remove Prudy temporarily from the home while he sprayed the chemicals.
I began to panic. We have dogs, and Prudy was deathly allergic, so she couldn’t stay with us. And given her myriad of health issues, she needed 24-hour care.
Joe spent the next eight hours on the phone. He made call after call trying to find somewhere she could stay for the week. Most assisted living homes don’t want to house someone temporarily and opt only for long-term care.
Joe kept calling and calling. After spending all day with me, at nine that night he found an assisted living home where Prudy could stay. The next day, he helped us get her there, helped her check-in, and continued to check in on her every day.
Meanwhile, I can’t even get the other agency to return my calls. Finally, I just said, “All right Joe. I can’t work with my them anymore. What can you do for me?”
Joe promptly set up an interview with a caregiver named Tracey. That alone was unbelievable to me. The other agency had sent whoever was available and never gave me say. Someone would show up, and I’d have to accept it.
I could tell that Joe and Dependable Care had put considerable thought into who they should send for the interview. Tracey was quiet but kind. Throughout the following year of live-in care with Prudy, Tracey proved herself to be insightful, able to handle any issue, and deeply compassionate.
For the year that Tracey, Joe, and Dependable Care looked after Prudy. There was no drama and no issues. Joe was always a phone call away and would visit Prudy often. I soon learned that Prudy and I’s relationship with Joe was not unique. He did this with everyone under his care.
Joe and Tracey were there with us until Prudy passed. They clutched my hands in her final moments and grieved with me. I couldn’t have lived my life without the support of Joe’s company and his team.
Joe gave me my life back.
We have a family lake house in Connecticut’s quiet corner. No longer did I spend my weekends there fretting what may be going on at Prudy’s. I knew she was in capable, compassionate hands.
When the opportunity arose to join Dependable Care, it was an easy choice for me. I can’t wait to help other families age gracefully. It is never easy to assist our loved ones through the end of their lives, but Joe and Dependable Care have proven to me that with their help — it doesn’t have to be as hard.
Reach out if you’d like to learn more about the personalized service that Dependable Care could provide for your aging loved one.