At 94, Brownie Made New Friends

May 3, 2018
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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When most people think about home health care, the image that comes to mind is of a caregiver visiting a patient on a regular basis. Maybe family members work full-time jobs. Maybe they’re out of state. But Brownie Whittington’s story is different.

At 94 years of age, she doesn’t need a caregiver to come to her aid on most days. She lives a happy life independently at an assisted living facility, and when she needs anything, she mostly relies on her son, Tom, and her daughter-in-law, Sue.

“We first decided to contact SONAS a few years ago, to let my mom know that this type of service exists, and for her to get familiarized with it,” said Tom. “But it wasn’t really for medical care. It was mostly for companionship and to help her around her home with things like reorganizing her closets.”

They chose SONAS because they’ve known Ellen Peitz personally for a while, and they remembered she works there. Ellen is the Director of Community Relations for Care Options for Kids in the Hobe Sound office. While those first few visits weren’t really a necessity, the Whittingtons soon had an opportunity to realize how valuable it is to have a trusted home health care provider.

“A few years ago, we had to go out of town for the funeral of a family member who passed away suddenly,” Sue shares. “Because we were dealing with last-minute travel, we worried about how to find care for Brownie while we were away. Then we called SONAS.”

Tom and Sue were able to go out of town knowing that Brownie was in good hands. “All it took was one phone call,” recalls Tom. “We told Ellen what we needed, and within that same day, we had a caregiver who came over and spent the night with my mom.”

“We were out of town for 10 days, and four different SONAS caregivers rotated shifts to keep Brownie company and to reassure her that everything was OK,” added Sue.

“What’s really impressive is their accessibility and responsiveness,” said Tom. “Tell them what you need, and it’s done”.

On occasion, a SONAS caregiver will also take Brownie to doctor appointments.

The best part is that Brownie, who has Alzheimer’s, thinks the caregivers are all family friends. In fact, that’s how she introduces them to people: “This is Tom and Sue’s friend!”

Tom concluded by mentioning that while caregivers, as a whole, are important, the face of a business is also critical. The face they know is Ellen Peitz, and because they are confident in her caregiving abilities, they trusted SONAS would also have other reliable caregivers.

Even Brownie was excited when Sue and Tom first told her about having someone come over to keep her company.

“Ellen came to my house!” said Brownie. “She’s a nice woman.”