FCP Live-In Caregiver Brings Caring And Understanding During A Difficult Time For The Sullivan Family As They Deal With Their Fathers Parkinson’s Diagnosis.
“When Dee [FCP Live-In Caregiver] arrived at the house, it was as if we could all take a deep breath,” says Mary Barnea. “Her care, her knowledge, her communication with Dad—it was all unimaginable. Her level of patience with Dad was incredible—even when he was incredibly frustrated and upset.”
For years, Jack Sullivan was a well-known figure in Waltham, Massachusetts. He had drive, determination, and authority, which led him to achieve awards and promotions throughout his career.
“He was a force—the kind of man who came into a room and just owned it,” his daughter, Mary Barnea, recalled. “When Dad spoke, others listened, at work or even in government.”
However, Jack’s life began to change drastically after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder.
“As summer of 2022 began, Dad was struggling to walk, talk, and many other basic things causing his frustration level to be at an all-time high,” Mary said. “He was in and out of rehab hospitals after falls, and the family felt at a loss.”
Jack’s family began to question how to keep him safe so he could live out his remaining time where he was the happiest: In his home where he and Anne, his wife of 61 years, raised their family. So, the family decided to bring in round-the-clock care. They heard about FCP Live-In, a full-service agency that specializes in live-in care, but had some concerns.
“We were a bit nervous,” Mary recalled. “It was an unsettling feeling bringing a stranger into a home to live with our parents. But we had nothing to worry about.”
FCP Live-In Services Helps Seniors Stay In Their Homes.
FCP Live-In, which provides live-in services throughout New England and Florida, understands the concerns families have because options are limited when it comes to caring for older adults who want to remain independent but need help to stay in their homes. Without daily assistance, older adults may find it necessary to move into an unfamiliar environment of a nursing home or an assisted living residence.
For the past 25 years, FCP Live-In has been providing another option: Having a professional live-in caregiver help, seniors live safely and securely in their homes.
“FCP Live-In is about caring for people,” said David Anthony, FCP Live-In’s Founder and CEO. “Right now, you either have a home health aide who comes to the home for a few hours, or a loved one needs to go into an assisted living facility. But what if you take the best of both? An insured and bonded live-in caregiver that provides one-on-one care stays in the home and is there 24/7. That’s where FCP Live-In comes in.”
FCP Live-In assigned Dee as the live-in caregiver to Jack, and his family was more than pleased with the care she provided.
“When Dee arrived at the house, it was as if we could all take a deep breath,” Mary said. “Her care, her knowledge, her communication with Dad—it was all unimaginable. Her level of patience with Dad was incredible—even when he was incredibly frustrated and upset.”
FCP Live-In’s Caregiver Vetting Process
To provide quality care, FCP Live-In developed an extensive process to hire experienced, highly skilled caregivers to live with clients. All FCP Live-In caregivers are Certified Nursing Assistants, Home Health Aides, or Personal Care Assistants with two or more years of experience.
Before being hired, caregiver applicants must undergo state and national background checks and be evaluated through in-depth interviews. Potential live-in caregivers are asked to return for third-stage interviews, must pass skills assessments, and attend a full-day orientation designed to further assess their capabilities and attitudes.
“This process is important to ensure that FCP Live-In provides quality care to its clients,” said FCP Live-In Care Coordinator Constance McFarland. “It also contributes to establishing a trusting relationship between our live-in caregivers and clients. Live-in caregivers work in a wide range of care situations, yet they are able to handle individualized care plans. In this way, our clients receive the best care possible.”
Live-in caregivers help clients manage health conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer and strokes to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. They also provide compassionate end-of-life care to clients and comfort to their family members.
The caregivers also work diligently to provide clients with personal care that includes bathing, dressing, grooming, and bathroom assistance. But that’s not all. They also do light housekeeping chores, such as making beds, vacuuming, cooking nutritious meals and special diets, running errands, grocery shopping, and taking clients to their medical appointments. Of equal importance, live-in caregivers provide companionship to older adults, particularly those without family or friends nearby, and keep them engaged in their community.
Live-in caregivers and their clients are not left alone to fend for themselves. FCP Live-In has a 24/7 professional support system, which begins with live-in caregivers and expands out to a multi-faceted corporate structure.
Dee, FCP Live-In Caregiver, “Just Always Knew,” Says Mary Barnea Regarding Dee’s Understanding Of Her Fathers Needs.
FCP Live-In caregivers must also take personality tests to match caregivers with clients. It soon became apparent that Dee was the perfect match for Jack Sullivan.
“When he struggled to speak, Dee understood what he needed,” Mary recalled. “When he wanted to move, Dee knew before he even had to alert us. It was as if they had their own secret language. In Dad’s final days, I noticed his eyes when he saw Dee—they were full of relief when she walked into the room. We may have struggled to understand what he needed, but not Dee; she just always knew.”
Dee also answered questions Jack’s family members had about his health condition.
“It’s impossible to count the amount of questions we would all ask Dee as Dad’s Parkinson’s progressed,” Mary said. “Personally, I must have said, ‘What does that mean?’ no less than 500 times. And each time, Dee answered me with a direct answer allowing me to understand what was happening and prepare myself for what was to come.”
Sadly, Jack Sullivan died in August 2022, surrounded by his family and dog in the home that he had lived in—and loved—for decades. In the midst of their sorrow, Dee was there to comfort the grieving family.
“Losing a parent is not easy, but Dee helped us navigate this more than she can ever imagine,” Mary said. “She was a gift that brought us relief, knowledge, comfort, and care.”
Although Dee is no longer with the Sullivan’s, she is still fondly remembered by the family.
“Many of our family members have said over the past few weeks that, when our time comes, we hope we have someone as amazing as Dee by our side helping us and our families,” Mary said. “The Sullivan family will forever be indebted to Dee. While she may not be with us anymore, she’s always part of our family.”
Duryiah “Dee” is recognized by FCP Live-In with a Caregiver Appreciation Award!
Duryiah “Dee” D. has been with FCP since May, 2022. Dee has been a true professional with her calming way of speaking and impressive skills. The care that Dee provides to her clients is immeasurable. Dee has had difficult cases and has always done an outstanding job with them all. Once Dee enters a home, she becomes part of the family. Dee’s skills and abilities as a caregiver have left an impression on the families and the loved ones she has cared for.