BAYADA Stories

“There is such a strong connection between them”
Assistive care at home helps a client with diabetic neuropathy


bayada client virginia with her nurse vida

Virginia Smith, 84, had the upper hand in her daily battle with diabetes for many years. She never wavered from her self-imposed rigid diet, and walked three miles every day. Yet, despite her best intentions, the disease began to take a devastating toll.

“She started to experience pain while walking, and in such a short time, she went from a cane, to a walker, and within six months, to a wheelchair,” says Virginia’s daughter Magnolia, who has shared her home with her mother for over 20 years.

Virginia had succumbed to a condition called diabetic neuropathy, which causes damage to nerves in the body as a result of high blood sugar levels. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation, especially in the feet and toes; muscle weakness, and difficulty and pain when walking. What’s more, Virginia also experienced worsening symptoms of arthritis with flare ups that especially affected her hands.

Magnolia tried her best to tend to her mother’s needs while also coping with her own health challenges. “Two years ago I was scheduled to have knee replacement surgery, and I told my doctor how worried I was about my mother. I didn’t know how I would be able to care for her while I was recovering,” she recalls.

Fortunately, Magnolia’s physician recommended she get some extra help for her mother from a home health aide. “I called BAYADA and we clicked right away. My mother adapted to the care almost immediately.”

At first, a BAYADA Home Health Aide came for two hours every morning to help Virginia get out of bed, bathe, and dress, and to prepare breakfast for her. The aide also made sure Virginia got safely on the bus that took her to a senior care center three days a week. Last year, when Magnolia needed hip replacement surgery, the home health aides from BAYADA also added an evening shift to help get her mother ready for bed.

“BAYADA gave my mother a new lease on life,” Magnolia shares. “It was really difficult for my mother to lose her independence, but the aides always make her feel included in her own care. They help her when she needs it, but they also encourage her to do things on her own, like brush her teeth and apply her make up.”

According to Magnolia, one of her mother’s home health aides, Vida Okine, can get Virginia to do things that nobody else can get her to do. “There is such a strong connection between them,” she says.

For Vida, caring for Virginia comes quite easily. “Virginia and her daughter Magnolia are the nicest people! I love coming here. They are like family to me,” says Vida, who tried her hand in the retail industry before training to become a home health aide with BAYADA. “I thought I would never be able to do this type of work, and now I love it. In fact, I’m going to school to become a nurse.”

Vida helps Virginia bathe and get changed for bed. She also prepares dinner and assists with some light housekeeping, such as laundry and dishes. “She is such a nice girl,” says Virginia when asked about Vida. “We talk about our children and just laugh and joke all the time. She helps me in so many ways...anything I need.”

Magnolia is so appreciative of everything that BAYADA has done to improve the quality of life for both her and her mother. “I had been under so much stress and discomfort when I struggled to get my mother up out of bed with my bad knees and hips. Thanks to BAYADA, I don’t have to go through that anymore. They are just wonderful!”

To learn more about BAYADA Home Health Care, click here, or call 888-4-BAYADA.

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