Shirley Kimball

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To Us, It's Personal.

​Why is it Personal to Shirley?

In 1995 on a trip home to New Hampshire, I noticed a change in my mom.  Was it dementia?  I worked in the restaurant industry and has no clue what dementia was.  Then my life changed as I found out very quickly that her dementia was the beginning of a long road for both of us.  I moved home from Colorado to be near her.  Back then doctors and their staff were not as educated about Alzheimer’s as they are today, and I found myself as my mom’s advocate. 

In 1996 my mother tried to toast bread in the microwave.  Luckily, her apartment fire alarm was hooked up to notify the local fire department.  This is when I knew it was time for her to move in with me, it was no longer safe for her to be alone.  Her Alzheimer’s had reached a point where she needed a structured environment and daily stimulation, which I found out was so critical for someone with a memory impairment.  Around this same time I was introduced to Community Health and Hospice, who supported me in providing care to my mom around the clock.

At this time, my uncle’s health was also failing, and his wish was to die at home, not a facility.  He moved in with me, and this is how I found my love for hospice.  He passed away with a gentle smile on his face.  After his passing, I also cared for my aunt and her friend until their passings.

In 2008 my mom fell and broke her hip, which resulted in her move to a nursing home.  Once my mom went into the nursing home, I was at a turning point in my life.  I had to decide if I should go back to the restaurant industry, or continue to care for others.  That’s when I found Home Instead Senior Care.  I came to understand through all these years of caring for family members, that there is a great need for individuals to assist the elderly to stay in their homes and maintain their independence for as long as possible.​
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