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Farewell To My Caretakers :(

Saturday, November 09, 2013

In the eight years I have lived in my current apartment building, the one very bright spot has been the caretakers, Dennis and Francine. A wonderful couple, they cared deeply about each and every tenant and tried to take care of any problem, big or small as soon as they could. In a 251 tenant building, this was incredible. The nurse practitioner would frequently consult with them on how tenants with health problems were doing, if they had been seen lately. They knew everyone and had a friendly smile and greeting for everyone. They had a patience beyond measure, dealing with the brownnosers who followed them around like little puppy dogs and would hang in the office any time they were in.

Two years ago Dennis had both knees and hips replaced! When he came back he worked as hard as ever. They were out clearing snow at all hours, ensuring the walks were clear for the early risers to get out. But it was truly an overwhelming task to keep up with it all. They recently had a dear, close relative die and that was a wake up call. Did they want to die on the job or retire and enjoy time with their family and friends. They were both past the standard retirement age. The housing authority also wanted them gone as they had the highest wage. They used their conscience against them. There are buildings half our size that had far more staff looking after them. When ever Dennis and Francine were gone on holidays or earned days off, there was no one around to look after the building. We were to call their emergency line if we needed anything urgent. So we suffered along with them. Not sure how it will change with new young caretakers, if they will have the compassion like Dennis & Francine, but if its anything like most workers these days, we might not get our money's worth as pride in their work has gone by the wayside.
Two major projects in our building went way over the length of time given. We have not had air conditioning since spring, and it was supposed to be done by September. Now they have to contend with snow and ice when they get back up on the roof to finish it.
I stayed home this weekend to go to the retirement luncheon for Dennis & Francine. The tenant association had a neat cake made for the occasion:

I am really going to miss them :( But I think its time they started looking after themselves..
I am exercising regularly at home now, alternating between boxercise, circuit training, walking with weights and Zumba DVD's and as always have my elliptical. Unfortunately, my toe is still bothering me, still red and swollen two weeks later. I am trying to use my right arm as strongly as possible so it won't get any weaker, but my shoulder appears to be paying the price and I could barely tolerate the pressure points of leaning on the ball, a self treatment. I really can't stop moving, that is not an option. Losing movement in it (more than I already have) would be worse. I am braving the icy sidewalks and got out for a couple of 6 km walks around the neighborhood, looking for new parks. Some of them have been cleared by the city. They are so small it only takes me at most ten minutes to get from one end to the other. I am not one for going round and round in a circle. I like exploring new places.
My Mom did get a concussion (mild) from her fall but the Dr. cleared her of any serious injury. She does have a sore hip and arm now so knows where she impacted. She gets dizzy watching TV (see TV watching is bad for you) She is sort of taking it easy, just taking Daisy out back and to a nearby park. Poor Angus is limping around also as he took a fall as well. They are both strong willed and will keep on keeping on. But I do worry about them as falls are the beginning of the end in elderly people :( I have know a number of people who fell, ended up in the hospital and never came home. You get quite a snapshot of seniors living in a building with an age limit of 60 and working in a club where the average age is at least 70.
All the more reason to look after your body as well as possible to be able to deal better with the accidents of life.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • C8TSON
    Wow! So sorry to hear you lost such good caretakers of your place. I hope the next ones are good. Also sorry to hear that your toe is still bothering you. I hope your mom gets better also. emoticon P.S. I love the new look of your page! emoticon
    1592 days ago
    What a wonderful tribute to your caretakers . . . I sure hope you shared it with them. Those are the kind of people who make such a difference in everyone's lives, and yet so often get taken for granted or abused and harassed.

    Thanks for your comments on my addictions and buffet blogs -- always so interesting and thoughtful. Potato chips . . . wish I could shake that one. All I can do is avoid temptation!!
    1593 days ago
  • SABLE77
    I hear ya! As a caretaker I always seem to have "extra" jobs to do which really have nothing to do with cleaning. I am always willing to help out though as otherwise it just won't get done.

    Have a Great Day, sis

    1593 days ago
    I'm sorry your lovely caretakers have moved on but understand why and appreciate you taking the time to fete them. I'm glad your mum is ok - sorry to hear about the concussion, but it sounds like she got off easy given the potential dangers. Congrats on hanging in there with the exercising, and I hope you're feeling healthy and strong. emoticon
    1594 days ago
    Great news that your Mom saw the doctor and is basically okay. Continuing prayers...
    What wonderful caretakers and such an amazing couple. Glad that they can now take care of themselves and do for themselves but I am sure they will find other whom they will bless. I know you will miss them and I can hope the new ones are at least half as amazing and compassionate with super work ethics!
    Please continue to take the very best care of yourself as you always do and be careful when you are out and about. Continuing prayers for you, your Mom and Angus...
    Prayers, blessings and hugs,
    1594 days ago
    Hope your new caretakers are a wonderful surprise. It is so comforting to have conscientious people managing a building when you're a tenant. Hope your mom and step dad heal quickly. My husbands aunt broke her hip a couple of months ago. She's in her 80s. They glued it back together and she was home, living alone in 1400 sq ft bungalow in about a week as I recall. Amazing what they can do. She was having problems bending down I believe but last I heard she was fairing pretty well. Amazing what they can do now when conditions are right.
    1594 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    We've had more property managers than I can remember. The good ones never stay!
    I completely understand the tenant uncertainty!

    I worry about falling, too.
    1594 days ago
    Sorry to hear about your mom's concussion...even mild, head injuries are serious.

    Best wishes for your retiring caretakers. I hope the new ones surprise you in a happy way.
    1594 days ago
    Best of everything to them. they sound like wonderful people and now deserver to take care of themselves and such.
    Have a great Sunday!
    1594 days ago
    Your caretakers sound wonderful and it sure will be hard to replace them. Glad your mom is ok, she is very lucky.
    1594 days ago
    What a wonderful and caring caretaker
    couple - they will be missed for sure.
    Have a great Sunday. emoticon
    1594 days ago
  • KANOE10
    That is a lovely cake. They sound like a wonderful caring couple. O hope the new ones are responsible and friendly. You are inspiring with your exercise. I am glad your mom is better. You are so right about keeping up your healthy tp better survive any accidents.

    1594 days ago
    They sound like wonderful people. Glad your mom is OK and you continue to exercise. Hope the toe and shoulder heal soon. You continue to inspire and motivate us!
    1594 days ago
    What a beautiful cake for a beautiful couple. It's good to know there are still good people in the world like them making a difference!

    Sorry about your toe. I hope that heals quickly. You have great workout.

    I'm glad your mom is not seriously hurt!

    1594 days ago
    I love that you guys had a party for your caretakers. I do hope they get someone with compassion in there. Maybe someone who can move you away from the smoker in the next unit to you. That would be epic!

    Keep us all posted in case we Americans need to come up there and kick them in the butt. I am ready for a road trip in the new truck! It seats 6. I am sure I can find a few Sparkers to pick up along the way. LOL!!
    1595 days ago
    I'm so glad your Mom finally saw a doc for her fall. I believe that the key to aging well is to always being as active as possible and eating healthily.

    You are the only person that I know with RA. You are a proactive warrior with keeping healthy and strong in body and mind in the face of it's challenges!

    You will hopefully be blessed with a new set of caretakers with a similar work ethic!

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    1595 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/10/2013 1:10:27 AM
    Glad your mom is basically OK - and wise enough to take it easy while she heals.

    Good luck with new caretakers - changing up when the people you were used to were so very good is hard. I hope the new people can live up to the tradition!
    1595 days ago
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