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Giving thanks to caregivers

Katie Swartwout

Katie Swartwout Submitted Photo

— “The opportunities that Bright Horizons provides are things that I cannot do for him at home,” said Swartwout.

Before becoming a Bright Horizons member, her husband was rapidly becoming a different person. He would gravitate to the TV and became a couch potato. He stopped reading, something that used to be one of his favorite activities. He became less responsive.

Now, that’s all changed.

“There’s socialization with people, not only of his own age because there’s over 20 years between us, but also people who have the same difficulties he does,” said Swartwout. “If you see him in a social situation outside Bright Horizons, he’s practically mute, he will not speak. He is so fearful of making a mistake, so worried about not being able to express what it is he has to say.”

Miscommunication isn’t an issue at Bright Horizons and her husband’s fear quickly evaporates as soon as he steps through the door.

“He doesn’t worry about not being able to express himself because everyone’s having a hard time,” said Swartwout. “He has conversations that I cant understand but it doesn’t matter that I don’t understand it as long as he does.”

The constant stimulation he receives during his Tuesdays and Thursdays at Bright Horizons is also having a positive effect.

“It has been wonderful for his cognition. I can see a difference in how well he’s able to respond,” said Swartwout.

But Swartwout almost didn’t send her husband to a day program. She’s played the role of caregiver to five people in her lifetime and said with each one, the initial reaction was that she was the only person who could provide proper care.

“I thought I knew him better, I knew what was right for him and no one else could do that good of a job,” said Swartwout. “Well, the Lord has a way of telling me when I’m wrong and certainly did in this case. … Bright Horizons truly can take care of him equally, if not better, than I can.”

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