The Perfect Fit, Right from the Start

Both Stephen S. and his wife, Regina, found comfort and care from Marcia’s family-centered approach

BAYADA client, Lisa with two of her nurses
BAYADA Home Health Aide Marcia Slowly with client Stephen S. and his wife Regina

When Stephen S. was first diagnosed with ALS — and began to lose some of his ability to complete daily tasks on his own — his wife, Regina, stepped in to help. She was able to assist Stephen with bathing, dressing, toileting and eating, but, eventually, the disease progressed to the point where he needed trained aides to assist him with his care. That is when they called BAYADA Home Health Care.

Regina says, “A few days later, Marcia came into our lives, and from the moment she walked in our front door, I knew she was the perfect person.” Marcia S., a BAYADA Home Health Aide, knew that having someone new in their home to care for Stephen was a difficult transition for both of them. During her first visit, she made a special effort to put Stephen and Regina at ease, assuring them that she would guide them through this next step in their journey with ALS. It didn’t take long for Regina and Stephen to realize what a great match Marcia was for their family. Regina says, “When I first heard Stephen’s laughter at something Marcia said, I knew that she was a perfect fit.”

Stephen grew to rely on Marcia more and more as his disease progressed, solidifying the special bond that could only develop in a situation like this. She took exceptional care of Stephen, always remembering the way he liked his hair combed, the water temperature of his showers, and that must-have cookie after lunch.

Marcia always alerted Regina to any changes in Stephen’s condition and calmed the couple even through the hardest times. She was especially sensitive to the family’s anxiety, and made it her mission to help them navigate all the challenging aspects of living with ALS. Regina’s sister, Katie, once told Marcia “You’re not just taking care of Stephen, you’re taking care of the whole family from coast to coast.”

Eventually, Stephen needed an aide present through the night and Marcia adjusted her schedule to help Stephen acclimate to the new routine. She helped Regina adjust as well, reminding her to get sleep herself so that she could be strong for Stephen. Marcia provided respite for Regina as much as she provided care to Stephen, allowing her to get a much-needed peaceful night’s rest.

Marcia’s compassion, tenderness, and attention to Stephen’s needs helped Regina and Stephen immeasurably throughout his battle with ALS. She was more than a home health aide; she became like family to them. Today, when Regina thinks of her wonderful husband, she remembers his smile and laughter – and how often Marcia was responsible for that. She says, “Marcia never forgot that he was Stephen, the person, not just Stephen the patient. She was our true hero.”