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Read caregiver stories from Stryker home care customers

Stryker Home Care created this space for caregivers to tell their stories as a way to help others in their care journeys. If you'd like to share your own caregiving story, use our form to submit your story online.

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Caregiving comes full circle

Cheri and Cay’s story

​Life has a peculiar way of taking you by surprise. Then it sets you on a course—often it’s not the one you would have asked for. When those unfathomable and sometimes tragic events enter your world, all you can do is try to embrace a positive attitude in life—in hopes that everything will be ok. Maybe that’s life’s way of reminding us—we’re not in the driver’s seat. I learned that firsthand in Spring 2009 when my son, Thomas, sustained a brain injury from an accident. At the time, he was a young, vibrant semi-pro soccer player. And his whole future was right in front of him. Around that same time, my now 85-year-old mom, Cay, started showing signs of dementia.

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Caregiving with purpose

Christine and Liza’s story

My caregiving journey began about six years ago when my mother, Liza, developed a dual diagnosis of dementia and early Alzheimer’s. While watching my mother walk through life with this kind of disease, I’ve had to bear witness to something that’s gradually robbed her of memory, mobility, and speech. For the most part, mom is non-verbal, but we still manage to communicate with each other—something I am grateful for. Even a small amount of communication let’s me know she’s still my mom. I know because small parts of her personality still shine through. Maybe it’s similar to the time when a child first communicates with a parent—how they coo and learn their syllables. It warms my heart in the same way when my mother manages to share even a few words. It’s hard to see a disease take hold of someone you love and watch as it takes their independence away—especially because my mother has always been such a strong woman. She always stood up for what she believed in. And she taught me to do the same.

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A mom who stands by her son

Valisa and Jason’s Story

It’s the dreaded phone call no parent ever wants to get—and there’s no easy way for the person on the other end of the line to deliver the news—that your son was in an automobile accident. My son Jason sustained injuries to the frontal lobe of his brain which caused him to lose the ability to talk and now he uses a wheelchair. He was just 20 years old at the time of the accident; now he’s 32. And he’s just as handsome as ever—blue eyes, 6’1” tall—and a very solid guy. As his caregiver, I end up doing some heavy lifting. But I’m also careful not to hurt myself when moving Jason around. I use a Hoyer Lift when moving Jason out of bed.

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A family works overtime to keep their 83 year old mother at home

The Holcomb Family’s Story—as told by Brenda

We call her Mother Holcomb—we call ourselves Team Holcomb. That’s because we’ve rallied a crew of 11 people who tend to our mother’s caregiving routine. Over the years, the team has grown to include Mother Holcomb’s six adult living children, a nurse, family friend, granddaughter, god daughter, and me—I’m married to her oldest son, Lawrence. The ages of our caregivers range from early twenties to mid-sixties.

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Mike and Peggy’s Story

When I first met my wife Peggy – I remember that night so clearly. I took her out to eat. The entire evening was filled with magic. We talked, she smiled a lot, and I was hooked. We hit it off like two lovebirds. Soon after, we tied the knot. Looking back at Peggy’s life—she spent 15 years at AT&T where she enjoyed a successful career in management. No matter what she stumbled into on the job—she handled it with grace and tenacity. A proud moment for Peggy was when she pulled off a big presentation for five corporate vice presidents.

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Caregiving that comes straight from the heart

Jeanette and Joseph’s Story

So many people say they want what Joseph and I already have—to grow old with each other—as if it’s their mission in life. We have 58 years of marriage behind us—so I think it’s safe to say we’ve accomplished the mission so many people dream about. Many years ago, Joseph and I met in front of a candy store. Joseph had just returned from the military. Before I knew it—I was walking down the aisle in a wedding gown and we were exchanging wedding vows. We wasted no time starting a family. With two sons and a daughter, we had lots to be grateful for. Joseph worked as an engineer who designed large air conditioning systems for casinos. Now, at age 79, he’s still a smart and handsome man.

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The unstoppable Joyce—nothing gets in her way

Joyce’s Story

I use a motorized wheelchair to get around the house and run errands. I have no feeling from my waist down. But believe me, my physical limitations don’t stop me from living a full life. The way I see it—I do everything I can while I can—no excuses. That’s always been my attitude in life. Each morning I let my dogs outside—Rocky and Sissy. Then I make a cup a coffee—add some cream and sugar—then I start my day.

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They shared many meals and many memories

Kenneth and Joan’s story

My wife Joan loved to sew quilts. Seems like a quilt always sat on the sewing machine, or on her lap— where she stitched in the final touches. Her sewing machine sat on the kitchen table, a place where she worked for hours piecing quilts together—square by square. She loved that spot because the sunlight beamed into the window. Joan’s quilting crew from church worked tirelessly and donated quilts all over the world. My wife took pride in giving back to a world in need of more kindness.

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