By any standard, the amount is daunting: Thousands of military personnel continue to return home from serving overseas with major injuries, meaning they can no longer do tasks that once were easy. They may have missing limbs or cope with the reality of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). More face the hidden scars that accompany post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“This is a 20-year problem. There’s still a war now, but when all of these soldiers need help, it’s going to be a monster. What’s here right now is just a small percentage of returning veterans out there in society. The number of people that need help now is a problem. When the masses start to hit – we need to be ready with open arms,” Malcolm Junior said.
Malcolm was a first sergeant in the U.S. Army. He spent 26 years in the military, serving in places as wide ranging as Louisiana, Fort Riley, Kansas, Germany and Bosnia. Now, he helps people by providing home care services through his Homewatch CareGivers office in Southwest Houston.
“When I get to the point where I need help at home, that’s what I want. I want someone looking out for me,” he said.
Wounded warriors More >
Charity Ntim read the words in a book once and they are now her mantra. They stay with her every day as she cares for people in their homes while they age.
“‘Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.’ I want to make sure they live,” Charity said. “When you walk into somebody’s home and care for them, and they need end-of-life elderly care, many people focus on the end of their lives. They feel they’ve lost their independence and they cannot do anything for themselves anymore. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You could be 90 years old, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to die tomorrow. No matter what stage you are in life, you should still have a life.”
Caring.com recently named Charity one of its 10 Caring Champions. She achieved this ranking out of more than 80 nominees from across the country and was chosen by a panel of judges who relied upon their own expertise and weighed votes and comments.
“I couldn’t believe it. It gives me motivation to do even better because you have to be good at whatever you do. You have to keep going and getting better and better,” she said.
Charity works for the More >
It’s a newer phenomenon: Stepchildren are trying to care for people who are not their original father or mother, and sometimes the situation can become tense or nasty. This is what Emma faces.
After Emma’s father died, her mother remarried a man named Edward. Edward’s three daughters were never close with Emma and her four siblings. More than 30 years later, the tension continues, especially due to the consequences of her mother’s death in 2006. Emma’s family assumed Edward would pass first, because he was nine years older than Emma’s mother, but it did not happen that way.
“When she passed, Edward was devastated. We took care of him. We had holidays with him and all my nieces and nephews call him grandpa. He is the only grandpa they’ve ever known,” Emma said.
Emma, her siblings, and Edward live in Massachusetts, where he receives elder care in an assisted living community. Problems began when he decided to move there and sell the house that had been in Emma’s family for 80 years.
“We did not handle the situation very well. The morning of the move, one of my brothers and I cleared out many things we thought didn’t matter to Edward. However, when More >