My Mom was a totally independent, self-sufficient 83-year-old woman. She appeared extremely healthy and was completely able to care for herself. She was still living in the house we grew up in and still doing her own income taxes.

Then, all of a sudden, everything changed. I noticed she was having a little difficulty breathing--shortness of breath, as they say. She was hospitalized with what turned out to be congestive heart failure. The doctors assured me she would be fine. What turned out to be worse was that during the hospital stay, Mom changed mentally. She became very confused, not herself.

When she came home, things went from bad to worse 'mentally' and we had to put her back into the hospital. During her second stay, she somehow severed a nerve in her left knee and her left foot curled in permanently. After the second hospital stay, the doctor infomed me that I had no choice but to 'put her away,' as she needed 24-hour nursing.

This was definitely not something that I could live with! I wondered what happened to my mother! Since Medicare offered so little, I brought Mom home and arranged for a 24-hour nursing service to come in. I did everything I could and, I must say, Mom was improving a great deal although she was not the woman she used to be.

Within a few months, the nursing bills were reaching astronomical figures. I approached her health insurance company and they flatly refused to reimburse the $60,000 I had paid to the nursing agency out of Mom's life savings. They claimed she did not need 'skilled nursing' as the doctors had indicated. She only needed 'custodial care' and they do not pay for 'custodial care.'

Now what was I to do? Mom could not be left alone! Gone were the days when Mom could fix a meal, clean the house, do the laundry and all other things considered to be normal activities for daily living. She could not even walk with her walker if someone were not present in case, God forbid, she were to fall and no one was with her.

It was truly by accident that I found that by hiring what is called a 'live-in domestic companion' I could make a workable solution. A caring, kind companion to be there for her 24 hours a day to do the cooking, cleaning, the laundry--all of the things she could no longer do for herself...and even play a game of Scrabble with her every afternoon. Above all, I was assured my Mom was never alone and always safe.

Well, it worked out and we were able to afford it. Unfortunately, eight years later, shortly before her 91st birthday, Mom passed away. Although I miss her terribly, I have no regrets. I kept her home, happy, safe and comfortable for the last eight years of her life.

In 1990 I started my own agency to help other families keep their loved ones safe at home--to take the stress and strain off family members in this already hectic world.

Our caring companions could be the answer to your problems. For further information, please call us at