January 08, 2016

There is "No Place Like Home" with Community Nurses' Home Support Services

Margaret Occhiutto with Personal Support Aide, Kelly Bliss

“I was so grateful I kissed her hands,” exclaimed Margaret Occhiutto.

She had missed her Personal Care Aide, Kelly Bliss, when she had taken time off for Christmas.  It was a relief to have Kelly back.

“She’s like my daughter,” said Margie.

Personal Care Aides, from Community Nurses Home Support Services, help individuals stay independent at home by helping them with activities of daily living.  Kelly does Margie’s housecleaning, grocery shopping and laundry.  She also helps Margie get cleaned and dressed in the morning.

“I can’t get out of the bath.  I can’t vacuum or mop,” explained Margie.

Without help from Community Nurses, Margie would likely reside in an assisted living facility.  Instead, Margie is still able to live in her own home in Johnsonburg.  Aides visit three days a week for about four hours.  

Margie also has a sister and nieces who live nearby who help with her care and take her to doctors’ visits.  

In 2011, Margie fell on her front steps and broke her hip.  After a stay in the hospital and another at Pinecrest Manor, Margie was able to go home.

“It was wonderful there, but there is no place like home.”

The Community Nurses provided care for her after she was discharged from Pinecrest, and Margie has remained a Home Support client ever since.

Before her husband Siv died, he and Margie lived the high life in New York City.  Margie was a bridal consultant, and the shop where she worked was featured in a magazine.  She was also an award-winning artist, working in oils and watercolor.  

Siv’s business took them to St. Thomas, where they lived for a couple years.  The two were married for 42 years, and when he passed, she moved back to her hometown of Johnsonburg to live near her family.  She came from a family of 10 children, whose mother emigrated from Italy.  

“I never had children of my own, so I dote on my nieces.  But these girls [from Community Nurses] have become members of the family,” said Margie.