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​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Home Instead CAREGiver

Helping Grandma Manhart remain at home, where she enjoyed life past age 100, wasn't always easy for her family. But it was always important.

Amy's Story:

In late 2005, I saw an article in our local paper in Tucson, AZ about an elderly man who was almost blind and had “Home Instead Senior Care” come to his house to help him shop and take him out for a meal once a week.  Our  son, Christopher, had recently died in a tragic fire at the age of 19.  I needed to do something different to help me get through the most difficult time in my life.  My husbands’ career had relocated us to Tucson, from central Wisconsin, and I had few friends and limited family in Tucson.  I had no experience in CAREGiving, but enjoyed helping Seniors while employed at my family’s retail hardware store.  I called  “Home Instead Senior Care” and  after extensive screening and interviews, was hired and started training. 

My first client was Ruth.   I first met Ruth at her apartment after the holidays, Jan. 6th, 2006.  Her apartment was very dark considering it was 10 a.m. in sunny Tucson.  She seemed a bit down, not all of her family  were able to be there during the holidays.   I looked around her apartment and noticed a piano, I said “You play the piano; I play the piano on occasion”.  Then under the piano I noticed a Green Bay Packer bear.  I asked “Where are you from”?   She replied “New London, WI”. I said “O my gosh, my husband and I are from Waupaca/ Wautoma area”, which is  about 30 miles from New London.  She told me she’d grown up in Lomira, WI and after getting married moved to New London, WI.  Then I recognized the hymnal on the piano and asked “Where do you go to church”, she responded, “Holy Cross”.  Wow! We were going to the same church, but had never seen her there since she didn’t have transportation and in her later years liked sleeping in.  

After my shift I called the office and told them how much Ruth and I have in common and we agreed it was a match made in heaven.  

Ruth and I became great friends instantly and ultimately developed a meaningful, special relationship.  I helped her and she helped me so much.  Ruth had lost a son to suicide a few years prior and we were a great comfort to each other.  She has a great relationship with God and we discussed it often.   I would make her a big breakfast as she sang her Mother’s favorite song (With the Lord Begin Your Task) from the hymnal.
I took Ruth to the Zoo, Mother/daughter church tea, and many other outings.  She also spent time at our house for BBQ’s and I took her to see my daughter perform in a High School play.  I got to know her family and feel like I was  part of it. 
We moved from Tucson, AZ to the Knoxville, TN area in 2007, but we always stayed in touch.  In May of 2009, God came to me in a dream and said “Home Instead Senior Care”.  Steven, my husband, wasn’t having success in a career in TN and I was working as Business Office Coordinator at an assisted living community.  I said to Steven “ I don’t think God meant me, I’m not looking for a new job, it must mean us”.  I went on the internet to find a franchise near our home in Tennessee, but found none available.  Then I looked for a “Home Instead Senior Care franchise” in Wisconsin.  Our youngest daughter is attending UW Milwaukee, our oldest daughter lives 4 hours away in Northeastern Iowa, and we have many other relatives  living in Wisconsin. The only franchise available was Fond du Lac Co., which also now includes Green Lake, Waushara and Marquette Counties.  Steven and I were both raised in Waushara Co. and Fond du Lac is about 60 miles away.  Perfect match, what a blessing!

 After extensive due diligence on “Home Instead Senior Care” and coming to respect their true commitment to improving the quality of life for Seniors, we purchased this franchise.  We put our house up for sale and moved Aug. 09 into a condo in Lomira, that’s right Lomira.  Soon after, I called Ruth and told her I went to the Library and found out where her Dad’s drug store was.  It’s now a beauty salon and I’ve been there many times.   Ruth and her family had lived upstairs.  We live 1 mile from her child hood home and ½ mile from her church, that we have enjoyed attending.  

As I write this, Ruth is soon to meet her husband and son in Heaven.  I will always remember what a special friendship we had and how God truly put us together.  Ruth still has “Home Instead Senior Care” coming, even though she has been in a nursing home for over a year.  The last time I talked to Ruth, her CAREGiver Pat, from “Home Instead Senior Care”, was there and helped Ruth and I communicate, as she has difficulty hearing and holding the phone. 
Now, with the Lords’ guidance, my husband and I are here in Wisconsin, to relentlessly pursue positive ways to make Seniors more comfortable, happy and secure in their homes, or where ever they call home, for as long as possible. 

God Bless all CAREGivers and the many people they compassionately help to retain their independence and dignity.

Amy Freese - Co-Owner​

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