Jeanne McCusker, Owner
In 1996, Jeanne McCusker and her family had a life-altering experience. Six months after moving to the Charlottesville area, Jeanne’s Mom was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease at the age of 51.
The next four years the family rallied around caring for her Mom at home and making sure she had the quality of life that we all would want for our loved ones. Initially the process started with being support for her Mom as her physical capabilities started to change.
First, her Mom lost her ability to speak which was ironic since her Mom was a speech pathologist and audiologist. The challenge of the disease continued and slowly she started losing other abilities; typing on her communication device, feeding herself through her feeding tube and eventually she started falling.
“After a few scary trips to the hospital we knew things had to change. The worst was when we found my mom laying on the driveway with her head split open-- it was dark, 40 degrees and my Mom couldn’t get up. She had to get staples in the cut on her head. The next day we made a change.”
As Jeanne often tells the families she works with, it is best to try to avoid crisis whenever possible, but if it does happen it is time to swiftly make a change. She hired a caregiver immediately to help with her Mom.
The next year or so her family had this wonderful person in the house during the day helping the family and making sure her Mom was safe. As the disease came to the end stages they had to split the shifts: her Dad took the overnight shift, the private caregiver helped during the day, her sister in the evenings, and Jeanne did the weekends since she traveled for work all week. But without their steady and competent caregiver, the family alone would be overwhelmed to provide the excellent care that her mother needed and deserved.
This whole life-changing journey inspired Jeanne as she considered the invaluable service that caregivers contribute to our society. It became her personal mission to provide our community with the most qualified and reliable caregivers available. In 2003, Jeanne opened the doors of Home Instead Senior Care of Charlottesville which has served individuals and families for over 15 years.