KUDOS From Kelly ~
Our Everyday Heros

By Kelly McNamara

Elizabeth Dogbe: During the lovely funeral service at the elegant longstanding Congregational church of Elizabeth’s cherished client Gene Clair, his granddaughter Ryan read a touching tribute to her much-adored grandfather. She ended her speech with a note of sincere thanks to her grandfather’s caregiver Elizabeth. As if on key, Elizabeth, sitting in the first pew with Gene’s widow Bettye, she threw up her arms in thanks, practically bouncing in her pew. There was no doubt who this splendid caregiver was.

We recruited Elizabeth especially for Gene and his lovely wife Bettye, since they were both quite elderly (He 101 She in her 90’s). She began as their live-in caregiver in April 2019 and stayed until Gene’s death October 11. Their apartment was compact but roomy enough for all three of them in an assisted living facility. Elizabeth was an attentive and loving caregiver who was also very astute about any changes in her beloved clients.

She kept the couple busy, ensuring they took full advantage of the many activities at the facility, including bowling (by a large computer screen) where Gene competed with many folks far younger than he and regularly won games.

Darcey, our therapy dog was a regular visitor to the couple, who enjoyed her immensely. Elizabeth, once very fearful of Darcey, quickly warmed up and they became great pals.

Bettye was living with dementia but it did not slow her down a bit. Gene, traveling mostly by wheelchair suffered from respiratory illness but much of the time enjoyed all the field trips and activities.

Until Covid struck in February. From that point on they were not permitted to leave their apartment, nor dine in dining room, partake of any activities, or even venture outside. And visits with Darcey ended.

When Gene began to decline, his daughters decided to bring in hospice. Elizabeth’s; focus then became monitoring his status, working closely with Regional Hospice nurse, aides and social workers to provide him the best care and treat his symptoms. As Gene neared the end, she kept his pain under control and comforted his wife and daughters. With her special care Gene was able to have a peaceful pain free death with his lovely wife of nearly 70 years at his side.

As the funeral home staff carried Gene out of his home, Elizabeth stood and saluted in honor of his service to his country.
Elizabeth will have a brief few days off then begin care of a very lucky woman. Thank you, Elizabeth, for your thoughtful and loving care! You are one of our BEST!!

All caregivers mentioned in this column will receive a bonus and our sincere gratitude! Many thanks to all of you for once again extending yourselves to ensure that we are of course Always There…!! ■