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"My heartfelt thanks to all of you who helped my sister maintain her dignity and comfort during her last days in her home. Thank you all for the work you have chosen to do. I wish you the utmost success and satisfaction so that others in the North Country might receive the compassionate and professional care that you gave my sister."
~D. Gaudette, Tyngsboro, MA
"I can never thank you enough for sending these wonderful ladies to my house. They are hard-working, dedicated ladies who come in and not only do their jobs, but take the time to talk with and listen to you, so that after a short while, they become not only helpers, but friends. They go way beyond the call of duty. I can truthfully say I don't know what I would have done without them. Their patience, understanding, hard work and sense of humor was the best stress reliever on earth. A million thanks to all the ones who helped out since my husband became ill."
~ Doris A., Berlin
"Dear A. V. Home Care Staff, we can never thank you enough for your unbelievable help, excellent care, support and compassion. Our community is truly blessed! "
~B. P. and family, Gorham NH
"We wish to thank you for your loving and professional care of our mother when she broke her shoulder three months ago, and for the support you provided my father while Mom was in rehab. Mostly we want to thank her Homemaker not only for cleaning but more for her companionship. As our parents age, it is so important that the services available make it possible for us to live our lives knowing that our parents are safe. Thank you for all you do!
~Children of M. R., Berlin, NH
"Thank you to each of you for caring for my mother all those years until she was admitted to the nursing home! I have nothing but the utmost respect for your business and each of you. I do tell everyone how wonderful A. V. Home Care Services is--for their caring, compassion and professionalism. God Bless you all!"
~A. L., Berlin, NH
"Thank you. It was nice to arrive to a clean cabin! Have a good fall, and we will be in touch again next year when we return to NH for the summer."
~L. M., Virginia
"I feel that it is necessary for me to say how happy I am with my Homemaker. She does everything I ask and even asks if she can clean places I would never think of. Thanks!"
~B. D., Berlin, NH
A.V. Home Care Services
From Giving to Receiving
Kate Landry has devoted her entire life to helping others. She worked as a home health aide for Androscoggin Valley Home Care Services until she was 81 years old. Her strength of character, personal resolve, and years of hard work have made her unique. It wasn't uncommon for her to be caring for those who were much younger than she. And now, at age 85 and needing care herself, Kate has become one of the agency's clients and on the receiving end of the quality care she's generously given throughout her life.
What makes Kate so special? Margo Sullivan, Executive Director of Androscoggin Valley Home Care, says, "She has a huge heart. She sees what needs to be done and she simply does it because it's the right thing to do." Margo remembers one incident in particular that illustrates Kate's total dedication to her clients. "I was hired in 1997 and at that time my job was to evaluate our health aides and home aide workers onsite at our client's homes. These visits were unannounced so that we could candidly and accurately gauge the quality of care our workers were administering. One day, we had a terrible snow and ice storm and I was scheduled to evaluate Kate, who at that time was 80 years old. As I was driving to the client's house, I realized I had made a bad decision to venture out. No one was on the slippery roads. None of the buses were running. Schools had been cancelled. When I finally reached the house just before 8:00 a.m., in comes Kate. I said 'Tell me you didn't drive in this weather Kate!' And she said, 'No, I didn't drive, I walked.' I then proceeded to watch Kate give the client top-notch care. She bathed her, cleaned the bathroom, did her laundry, everything. It was unbelievable. To Kate, it was a simple decision-this client needed her help and Kate was going to do everything she could in her power to deliver."
Though no longer personally caring for clients, Kate continues to serve on Androscoggin Valley Home Care's professional advisory committee. Adds Margo Sullivan, "We're fortunate in many ways-to have been able to offer, through Kate, high quality care for 26 years; to still have Kate's invaluable insight as part of our advisory committee; and to be able to serve Kate in her time of need and give back to someone who gave so much. She's a consummate professional, a remarkably skilled caregiver, and an extremely special person."
Kate Landry died unexpectedly on February 25, 2005, the very day this Client Focus column was finished. Like every single client she cared for throughout her life, her own wish was to live as self-sufficiently as possible. That she died in the comfort of her own home is a fitting legacy to a gracious, noble, and fiercely independent woman. And although we will miss her spirit and the gift that was her life's work, we are blessed to have known her and happy that she was able to leave her life the way she had lived it-with peace and dignity. Kate Landry 1919-2005 Excerpt from: HOMEFRONT, Home Care Association of New Hampshire, Winter 2005.