A love letter to PHS caregivers



Bee Meyer, life enrichment coordinator at Carondelet Village, offers music therapy to Lois Young.
Bee Meyer, life enrichment coordinator at Carondelet Village, offers music therapy to Lois Young.

In honor of National Caregivers Day, Chaplain Jenny Schroedel writes ‘A Love Letter to Caregivers’ from her personal experience with her parents living at Carondelet Village in Saint Paul, MN.

Jenny is an Optage hospice chaplain who facilitates grief groups at Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS). Her letter renews our passion and purpose. We hope that it touches your heart too.

Jenny writes:

This past year, my life changed in ways I could not have anticipated or imagined: my mom died on November 8, and I became a caregiver for my dad.

Back in July, my brother and I had started touring long-term care communities. I initially thought that we would move my parents into a non-PHS community, because I thought it might be awkward to have co-workers care for my parents. Perhaps it would feel just too close?

However, this plan shifted quickly once we got a feel for our options – we saw grand buildings with impressive grounds and activities, but none of this convinced me that my parents would get what they needed. It was only by looking outside that I could see clearly what we have on the inside here at PHS.

Here are three things I observed this past year:

1. You provide care with soul. Over this past year, my parents experienced gentleness, compassion and creativity as their care became increasingly complex. They were known and loved as whole people – and they received support on all levels: physical, emotional and spiritual.

2. You remember the little things. When my parents moved in, they received beautiful handmade “welcome home” cards from the receptionist. A resident assistant made my mom laugh by dancing as she tended to her. A couple of weeks before my mom died, the life enrichment coordinator offered to play my mom’s favorite song, “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen – a song my mom had mentioned when she moved in back in July. These little things became beautiful memories that we now carry.

3. Your care creates calm. As difficult as it was to move my parents from their home into long-term care, the steady, unwavering compassion they received created a pocket of calm in the midst a chaotic time, so we could simply be together. For this, we will always be grateful.

To PHS staff who do the work of love each day, keep up the good work as you care for our residents and families. The love you give (and the love given to you) cannot be taken away. This is what you will always get to keep.


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Kind Regards is a regular feature that shares the letters, handwritten cards, emails and reviews we receive from those we serve. Beyond expressing appreciation, these letters remind us how important and needed our ministry is and inspire us to offer our best. All letters shared with permission. Please consider writing a letter or leaving a review on Google or Facebook.



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