Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Caring for Caregivers


Submitted by Good Samaritan Society — Services@Home

We have spoken of it often and I don’t believe you can speak about it enough. Being a caregiver — it’s something that most people at some point in their life will have to experience. Being in the field that we are, we see a lot of adult children caring for their parents. Sometimes, Services@Home is in the home helping to provide peace of mind by checking in on mom and dad a couple times a week since the child lives out of state. Or we may be there daily helping to provide respite for those adult children who are not only helping mom and dad but working to provide for their family as well. So often in these daily situations, we see these children struggling to find a happy medium — to know how to balance it all and understand it all.

Just because your life changes doesn’t mean you have to change your entire lifestyle. Additional help is there when you need it through Good Samaritan Society — Services@Home. We can help identify what’s important to you and assist in making the best decisions for you. We provide not only the facts, but also emotional and spiritual guidance. This is where our concept of care begins.

Our range of services include helping you recover from surgery, keeping you company, or having a caregiver assist you with your activities of daily living. The possibilities are endless. The primary goal of Services@Home is to help individuals retain their highest level of health and success in their activities of daily living. We have established offices in Bettendorf, Muscatine, Clinton, Moline, and Geneseo to serve the Quad Cities and surrounding areas.

Services can include:

  • Relief and respite care
  • Companionship
  • Memory care
  • Personal hygiene and grooming
  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Meal preparation
  • Assistance with light exercise
  • Ambulating
  • Medication reminders
  • Light housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Errand services and appointment escorts
  • Shopping assistance

The goal of Good Samaritan Society — Services@Home is to provide a variety of care solutions that will enable an elderly person to maintain a sense of independence and to remain in familiar, common surroundings, thereby keeping their enthusiasm for life. This contributes greatly toward a feeling of well-being, self-worth, and fulfillment. In addition to providing the highest degree of independence possible for a person, our services are designed to reduce the family’s burden and stress of caregiving, so that the time spent together is quality time. An elder companion is a solution that not only meets the needs to the care recipient, but the care providers as well.

At Good Samaritan Society, our mission is to “share God’s love in word and deed by providing shelter and supportive services to older persons and others believing that ‘in Christ’s love everyone is someone.’ ”

Communicating With Those Living With Dementia Event

What can be done to help prepare clients and their families for the unexpected? Specifically the unexpected related to Dementia and Alzheimer ’s disease. The diagnosis of these diseases increases more and more every day, and most individuals do not understand the disease or how to work with those who have it.

Services@Home, Casi, and Geri-Ed services are partnering to help educate caregivers on how to reduce stress and communicate with those living with different forms of dementia. Marilyn Woelke and Linda Gilman of Geri-Ed Services both have their Master’s in Gerontology and have personal experience in the elder care field. Their workshops are full of valuable information and an interactive “Miss Lilly” who acts out common behavior problems so it can be discussed how to best analyze and meet her needs.

The event will be held at CASI-Center for Active Seniors, Inc on May 14th from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Please join us for light refreshments and a ton of fun and useful information that can be used to make life more enjoyable for yourself or the caregivers that you know and love.

For more information on Good Samaritan Society — Services@Home, contact them, toll-free, at 844-359-4446 or at their website: www.good-sam.com.

Photo credit: fzant/SilviaJansen/iStock


Suddenly a Caregiver

By Michelle Erpenbach, Good Samaritan Society

Like many of my peers, I’ve become a caregiver by default. I’m the child living closest to my mom; 84-year-old Dorothy Erhart. When she gave up driving more than a year ago, we turned to the Good Samaritan Society for assistance. Mom has always been an active, independent person who participates in a variety of church and service organizations.

Her caregiver, Heidi Ruegge, works for Good Samaritan Society — Services@Home. Heidi helps my mom continue to do the things she loves and the two have developed more than a working relationship.

“Dorothy and I just have that bond. It’s just there,” Heidi says. “You can’t change that. I don’t think that I can stop coming here. It would be very hard for me to quit this job and leave Dorothy. I just value her.”

Mom is among several clients Heidi serves. Her job gives her the time to learn more about the people in her care. “To me, it’s like these people are my grandparents,” she says. “I couldn’t be there for my grandma. I don’t want these people to be alone.”

Heidi’s presence means my mom continues to make her own choices about how she lives her life. “She makes it possible for me to live in this house,” Mom says. “I don’t want to go someplace and stay with a lot of other people. I want to stay here in my own house and she makes that possible for me.”

Mom also acknowledges that Heidi takes some of the burden off me. “This makes it possible for me to do what I want to do without taking up all your time and efforts,” she tells me. And, I agree. There is a level of stress that comes with being your parent’s primary caregiver. I’m talking about stress we’re all going to feel at some point in our lives.

I felt an emotional weight lift when I knew we could rely on another person my mom trusts. Everything looked better when I knew I had someone else there, someone else watching and someone else who cares for my mom almost at the level that I do myself.