‘Angels’ spread their wings in Midwest Ohio


For the Sidney Daily News



MINSTER — Visiting Angels of Midwest Ohio visited their first client on April 18, 2012, at 8:45 a.m. The caregiver visited an elderly woman who needed assistance with errands and transportation to the beauty salon.

Almost six years later, a Visiting Angel caregiver still makes that appointment with the same client, and now works alongside 61 other “Angels” throughout Shelby, Miami, Auglaize and Allen counties.

“In the past five years, Visiting Angels Caregivers have visited hundreds of men and women in need of assistance with their activities of daily life, and a connection with someone who could give them their full attention, caring for their social and psychological needs as well,” said Luke Slonkosky, Visiting Angels of Midwest Ohio director.

His report continues:

This team of caregivers assembled gradually over the past few years, and continues to grow at a steady pace. Each month the office staff located at 156 E. Fourth St. in Minster, receives 40 to 50 applications for employment, and less than 5 percent of applicants will receive offers to become an Angel. A benefit often voiced by our caregivers, Visiting Angels offers a flexible work schedule and a rewarding work environment. Many Angels speak about the trust and strong bonds of friendship they build with their clients. That connectedness between caregiver and client is the lifeblood of the relationship the improves the quality of life for any senior encountering decline or challenges to their daily routines.

The visits between an Angel and client are often the bridge for both to reach across a generation of experience and learn from each other. Whenever the office staff does an assessment prior to starting services, they learn the health history of the new client, but also some piece of history of Shelby county or the surrounding community. The stories often recapture the hardships and challenges of the post-depression era and World War II, but also the excitement and fun of the golden age of dance halls and small town Americana. Visiting Angels provides seniors and adults with the needed assistance to continue living in their own home, and to maintain the independence and familiar surroundings for those in need of care. The key for each family is the “match” between caregiver and client. The office staff and caregivers work together to ensure not only great care, but consistent reporting to families concerned about the progress made each week. Navigating the evolving care needs of a loved one can be difficult, and having an Angel can enable the family to be “family” and relieve some of the burden of maintaining the home and caring for the medical needs of their loved one. We view our work as joining the team of the caregivers (often family and friends) already present in someone’s life.

In the coming year, Visiting Angels is focused on providing specialized training for the team of Angels in the areas of caring for those with Dementia and suffering confusion and memory loss. All Angels are already certified in Palliative Care, which is care focused on maintaining quality of life and comfort in the midst of health challenges. The current trends of senior and adult care all point toward a growing need for caregivers, but more importantly, the trends call for compassionate and experienced caregivers to share their knowledge and experience with families and friends who can help meet that need in their own homes and neighborhoods. We look forward to continuing to serve the families of Shelby, Miami, Auglaize, and Allen counties. Please reach out to us with any questions and we will always do our best to help in anyway we can. For all inquiries about our services or employment opportunities, call 419-501-2323 or email [email protected]

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For the Sidney Daily News