Dear Ms. Will,
My father suffered a debilitating stroke on his 50th birthday. For the next 25 years, my sisters and I saw to it that Dad received the best possible round-the-clock care. Through this process we became experts in all manners of eldercare. About a year ago we made the decision to move Dad closer to me, as his health was deteriorating and I was in the best position to watch him more closely. I visited essentially all the senior residential facilities in the near western suburbs of Chicago. Belmont Village quickly rose to the top of the list and eventually we decided to relocate Dad there.
The benchmark my family set for every caregiver we employed over the past quarter century was simple: treat my Dad with the same care you would treat your own parent. Every member of the Belmont Village team treated Dad thusly. However, several individuals deserve special mention because their efforts day in and day out exemplified the manner of care every one of us would want for a parent, a partner, or a loved one in their time of need.
My father’s PALs gave him exceptional care. They were attentive to his ever growing needs, mindful of his feelings, respectful of his pride, and they expressed at every turn a genuine fondness for him. One could not ask for more. As I mentioned above, my father had a stroke. Because of this he was unable to spontaneously say more than a dozen words. Their capacity for patience with my Dad was infinite. They worked hard to make him feel, among other things, safe and understood. The grace they showed my Father came from more than a job description. It came from each of them being extraordinary human beings.