Caregiving’s the topic at breakfast

Nancy Diablo, the senior nurse manager for Southeastern Home Health Services, shared her personal story about caring for her aging mother at a recent breakfast meeting of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

The April 17 session took place at the Philadelphia Protestant Home.

Southeastern Home Health Services, established in 1987, is based in Bristol and serves Philadelphia, the suburbs, seven other Pennsylvania counties and the state of Delaware. It has 11 satellite offices and rents space at the Protestant Home, at 6500 Tabor Road in Lawndale.

The staff consists of nurses; medical social workers; home health aides and homemakers; and physical, occupational and speech therapists.

Private-duty nursing ranges from a two-hour shift to round-the-clock care.

Diablo, the nurse manager for the Bristol office, discussed the topic When the Adult Child Becomes the Caregiver for Mom and Dad. She explained that individuals must be homebound to receive home care.

According to Diablo, women account for almost two-thirds of the caregivers for their parents. Her mother, Ellie, retired at the Jersey Shore and became the caregiver for her 92-year-old husband.

By the time their mother was 85, Diablo and her brothers took away her car keys. Diablo cared for her mother during weekend trips to her shore home.

Though recently married at the time, she and her husband welcomed her mother into their home for five years. The elderly woman remained active at an adult day-care program.

“Adult day-cares are awesome,” Diablo said.

Ultimately, Diablo was forced to put her mother in an assisted-living facility.

“She thought she did something wrong,” Diablo said.

In reality, the woman’s health was declining. She was moved to a personal-care unit, then spent time in a hospital after a fall. At age 92, she wasn’t eating. She entered a hospice and died four days later.

Al Taubenberger, president of the Northeast chamber, said Diablo’s personal story showed the difficult choices adults have to make when caring for their parents.

“It’s very, very challenging and very emotional,” he said.

For more information on Southeastern Home Health Services, call toll-free 1–866–285–2007 or visit www.sehomehealth.com

Meanwhile, the chamber will hold its 90th annual Business is Blooming expo on Wednesday, May 9, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Holy Family University. There will be dozens of exhibitors, and former Flyers Hall of Fame goaltender Bernie Parent will address the crowd.

Admission is free. There will be food samplings, beer tastings, giveaways and raffle prizes.

Call 215–332–3400 or go to the Web site at www.gnpcc.org ••