Silver Linings: How a Tragedy Led to a Wonderful Friendship
This is the first blog in a series that will provide a glimpse into the caring and friendship our Seniors Helping Seniors caregivers provide to our clients and what they receive in return.
Larry and Janell called Seniors Helping Seniors looking for a little help around the house with chores that had become difficult for them. What they didn’t anticipate was the friendship that would come with that help. Their story isn’t an unusual one for Seniors Helping Seniors (SHS), a unique home care company that matches seniors that needs some assistance with seniors that want to help. Larry was stricken with an illness which has left him in an electric wheelchair and his wife, Janell, uses a walker. After an initial meeting to learn more about their needs, personalities and situation, SHS provided caregiver Steve Pettersen to Larry and Janell. “I liked him right away,” Janell, 78, said. “He’s very outgoing and friendly. He’s educated and strong and confident and qualified.”
Larry, 80, enjoys Steve’s company as well, and appreciates some of his qualities that you wouldn’t find on any job application. “We just enjoy talking, we’re always discussing things about our lives,” he said. “We have man-to-man chats all the time.” Both men have business backgrounds, and find that they never run out of things to talk about. Larry especially enjoys hearing stories about Larry Schneider’s time as a Navy pilot. Caregiver Pettersen, who is an active 65 year old, heard about Seniors Helping Seniors from a fellow volunteer at Scripps Hospital Encinitas. It was a perfect fit for a man who has spent many years doing a variety of services for the community. While many of his efforts have been focused on helping area youth, he recognizes that what he is doing now is equally important. Earning a little extra money to supplement his retirement income is also a plus.
Pettersen helps the Larry and Janell with transportation to doctor appointments and trips to the grocery store and pharmacy. Their visits will also often include sharing a meal together. And it isn’t just about the services Steve provides, it’s about the caring and companionship as well. “Steve and I are very close,” Larry Schneider said. “I find him very dependable and always on time. Upbeat and friendly and is always willing to help anything he can do for us.” Janell Schneider had more kind words to describe Pettersen. “He is just like family,” she said. “We admire him.” The feeling is mutual. “These two people give me hope,” Pettersen said. “Although they are homebound and a lot has been taken away from them, they deal with it in a very positive way. They remain very positive and they don’t let circumstances affect their lives in a negative way. These are loyal, good people.” Click here to view an article that appeared in Coast News about this caring relationship.
Seniors Helping Seniors offers a variety of services in throughout San Diego County and Orange County, pairing together qualified senior caregivers with their peers to offer companionship as well as services such as light housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation to doctor’s appointments and more. To learn more, or to find out about employment as a senior caregiver, call 800-481-2488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.