By Katie Hinerman Klug
Walter Scott loves his home in Chester, WV. For over 20 years, he has enjoyed the beautiful view from his apartment overlooking the Ohio River.
In 2015, Walter began dealing with multiple cancer diagnoses and treatments, and the activities of daily living were becoming too difficult for him. With no family nearby, and a desire to remain living at home independently, he reached out to Catholic Charities West Virginia for help.
Homemaker Jennifer Davis entered his life, and the two have developed an inseparable bond.
“At that time, I had skin cancer all over me – back, face, nose, arms, head,” Walter explained. “I don’t think I’d have gotten through it all without her, really, to be truthful,” he commented, holding back tears.
Jennifer comes to Walter’s house for four hours a day, seven days a week.
Even as the coronavirus pandemic spread, Jennifer continued to care for Walter while taking necessary precautions and wearing personal protective equipment.
Jennifer arrives in the morning, helps Walter get out of bed, prepares his breakfast, helps him bathe, shaves his face, helps him dress, and helps with other personal hygiene activities.
“She’s been a god send. She does everything – laundry, shopping… gentle aggravation,” he joked.
Another important part of Jennifer’s responsibilities is that of medication management. With multiple doctors, multiple diagnoses and multiple medications, medication management can be overwhelming for individuals, like Walter.
To ensure Walter is taking his prescription medications properly, Jennifer helps him organize and understand his prescriptions and supplements, places them in pill sorters, and sets medication reminders for him.
After serving Walter’s lunch, Jennifer prepares dinner for him to reheat in the microwave later. Then the two enjoy spending quality time together.
They often run errands together, go to the grocery store, go to the bank, or just get out of the house.
“It’s good to just be able to help him walk around the store,” Jennifer remarked. “And it’s especially great on nice days when we can get outside and go for a walk.”
In addition to the activities of daily living, meal preparation, light housekeeping, and errands, Jennifer also provides companionship for Walter.
“He’s just like my dad,” said Jennifer. “I’ve kind of adopted him.”
Catholic Charities HomeCare services provide comprehensive in-home services for as little, or as long, as a family needs them. Registered Nurse supervisors develop an individualized plan of care with the family and monitor the care and assistance being provided by the homemaker.
All staff are thoroughly screened with comprehensive background checks.
“I love this job. I always have. I always treat my clients as if they were my parents or how I would want my parents to be treated,” said Jennifer.
Jennifer and Walter recently celebrated his 91st birthday with his favorite meal of Mexican food.
“I really enjoy the one-on-one time with her,” said Walter. “She’s a really special lady, and I’m lucky to have her.”