The Story behind ElderCare Home Assisted Living Sarasota

My name is Kitt, and this is my story...

About Eldercare Services Sarasota VeniceFirst of all, I have always been a “caregiver”. I remember my Mother telling my then boyfriend, future husband “you need to understand my daughter. We all run to her to handle things, to do things, to make things right, to do the best for us, to step up to the plate for us, to fight and fight for us. She is our protector, she will lead, sometimes follow and most of all she will question for our sakes.” I was so embarrassed however when I thought about what she had said, it was my life's goal to make sure everyone, in my world, safe.

In 1986, both my husband and father were diagnosed with terminal cancers, same day, different locations, Tampa and Fort Myers. The doctors told my husband he had between three and a half to four years to live. He was in his early forties. My dad had an array of different cancers and the prognosis was not much better.

I wish I could tell you that I was the best wife and daughter during those years. All I can say is that I was scared and I tried my very best. It was a new arena for me. Running back and forth for treatments. Treatments that caused more ill effects than good.

I called on the in-home care agencies in Sarasota and Port Charlotte to help with care, to my dismay they were awful. Twenty-three years ago, no one was really trained or skilled for what I thought was necessary for “home care”. They did not ask my husband if he was thirsty or hungry. They did not check to see if he needed toileting, bed bath, or clean sheets on the bed. They sat in our living room, on the couch and watched TV the whole time. No conversation, no "can I do anything", no straightening up, or no fixing a meal. In the end, I asked them to leave and took on the responsibility. I remember the first time I gave my husband a bed bath. I soaped, I rinsed, I lotioned, and I powdered. At one point, I remember my husband opening his one good eye and stating that I was making him smell like a pimp. We laughed until we both cried. My husband, the love of my life then, now and forever, died in June of 1991.

Almost the same scenario played out in Port Charlotte with my Dad. So, my Mother and I took on the same role as I had with my husband. Again, poor caregivers were sent out with no concept of what needed to be done or inclination to do more. My father, my rock, passed in July 1993.

In that year and a half between my husband and father, I traveled to Ohio to visit my mother-in-law whom had had triple by-pass surgery before her son died. Thank goodness she had local relatives who visited daily to keep her safe.

In 1993 during an office visit with my mother's doctor I was told that she had lung cancer in a stage that was not treatable but the pain was controllable. She came to live with me and passed in July 1996. I was her caregiver with the help of a neighbor because, again, the local in-home care agency's did not have the skills or the insights to give her the care she so needed.

Over the next 3 years, I cared for an aunt and an uncle with the help of family members. They passed before 2000.

In 1994, I founded ElderCare Services Unlimited. In 2003, it became licensed in the State of Florida. Each and every client I meet brings with them a sense of “what can we do to make it better for them and their family”. I believe in “bucket lists”, special occasions, celebrating the moment, and doing whatever is possible to give a quality of life that makes our client glad they opened their eyes to the day.

All my caregiver's see my passion and my need to give our best and more. We are blessed to have the opportunity to care, to make a difference no matter how small.