Last Thursday I had a little time to kill before picking up my kiddos from school. I decided to run into a large chain department store and take a gander at the childrens’ spring play clothes. While approaching the Childrens’ department, I could hear a woman speaking loudly on her cell phone. I first walked by a large fixture of socks and as I rounded the corner, I ran into the toes of a wheelchair. I looked up and saw a woman seated in that wheelchair who I could tell was facing a long term need for assistance. She was wearing a purple jogging suit and tennis shoes without socks. Her left side was drawn into a palsy, indicating paralysis, and she leaned heavily on the arm of the chair. When I saw her face, I smiled and with great effort, she strained to look up at me and gave me a slow, large grin.

It was at that moment that I realized, the continuous phone conversation I could hear was her “caregiver”. She was easily identifiable, not because she was close to the woman, engaging her or even acknowledging her; but instead she was wearing Scooby Doo Valentine scrubs. Then her conversation caught my attention because she was openly discussing her financial situation regarding her paycheck and her pay for caring for the woman in the wheelchair. Yes, in front of the client and everyone in the Children’s department.

I was so bothered by the whole situation and thought long and hard about finding the good in the situation. After all, the caregiver had brought this woman on an outing. Then the reality of the indignity overtook my thoughts and I became enraged at the caregiver’s lack of respect for her client. 

I began to think about my list of caregivers and asked myself, would a Mom’s Best Friend Caregiver do this?  I was proud to confidently and quickly answer “No”. Our caregivers are well trained in the area of client dignity and care, as this caregiver was clearly uneducated regarding neglect and exploitation. Mom’s Best Friend takes careful time to teach our caregivers about client perception and how our clothing, mannerisms and behavior are a direct reflection on the type of care we provide.  We place provisions in our client’s service plan to identify appropriate outings that address the interests of the client and that achieve the highest benefit. And most of all, we provide continued support to our caregivers in the event that they need access to resources for personal concerns.

We all face challenges when looking for the right candidate to care for our loved ones. I hope that Mom’s Best Friend becomes a resource for you and your family.


Claire Maestri
Director of Senior Care Services

Mom's Best Friend