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Caring for an aging loved one? Caregiver Connection can help.
by Iris Valanti, Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh

At 93, Abigail's* daughters thought she should give up her Pittsburgh apartment and move to assisted living facility near them in New York. Her health was beginning to fail and they were worried they would not be there if there was an emergency.
But Abigail was adamant that she wanted to maintain her independence and stay in the community where she had always lived and felt comfortable. So her daughters said they would hire home care on a trial basis. They hired caregivers from Caregiver Connection.

Caregiver Connection is a state-licensed home caregiver registry. Caregivers are carefully screened; most have been with the registry for more than a decade. As a nonprofit agency, administrative fees are much lower than private companies, and clients negotiate the caregivers' fees and pay them directly.

Caregiver Connection allows clients to select their caregivers, and/or change at any time. All caregivers hired by Caregiver Connection have had background checks and their references verified. There is no required set or number of hours. Caregiver Connection offers 24/7 back-up if for any reason the scheduled caregiver can't be there. And Caregiver Connection is affiliated with Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh, so additional services, like case management and home care assessment by professional social workers are also available.

Sure enough, at one point Abigail did have to go to the emergency room; she had difficulty breathing. But her caregiver stayed with her through the entire visit and kept in constant touch with Abigail's daughters. When she was discharged, her caregiver saw her safely home.

Abigail and her daughters realized that Abigail was in capable secure hands. In the time since, Abigail says her caregiver has become more like family. And her daughters trust that their mother is safe, and she is no longer alone. They've given up their plans to uproot her from her home. And while they would gladly have paid for the assisted living facility in New York, home care was much less expensive, and their mother was much happier!

*Client's name changed to protect confidentiality.

If you have an aging parent, or you are a senior who wishes to stay independent in your own home, consider Caregiver Connection for those times or tasks that are just getting too hard to manage. Call 412-904-5995, or visit the Caregiver Connection brand new website: www.pghcaregivers.org.

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