At the age of 52, needing a caregiver is rarely a consideration taken into account. But for Harry, who is fighting brain cancer, the need for help is a daily reality. As one who does not ask for much assistance, hiring a caregiver was not something that Harry was eager to accept. So, Caring Hearts of Hinsdale found the perfect match for Harry: someone who could be a caregiver and a friend.
Chris Alexander was placed with Harry and the two of them spend every weekday together. They are close enough in age to be brothers, share an affinity for dogs and are avid fans of the Chicago White Sox.
Chris Alexander started with Caring Hearts in October 2013 after his father passed away. He had spent seven years caring for his father and wanted to continue caring for people in need. “I felt compelled to apply at Caring Hearts,” Chris says. Being placed as the caregiver for Harry has allowed Jackie, Harry’s wife, to focus on work and other household responsibilities. Chris goes above and beyond by helping take care of Harry’s two dogs, and he even pitched in by helping to move their daughter to and from college.
“I can’t imagine running the house without Chris,” Jackie says. “He is a fantastic guy.”
Chris helps Harry with his daily errands, takes him to his physical therapy appointments and accompanies him at outings. Many of these activities include Harry’s beloved dogs as well. Chris understands the importance of Harry maintaining an active lifestyle and keeping up with his interests. “The more he gets out, the better it is for him,” says Chris. He realizes that some days are good and others are not so good, and that this is part of both his job and his life.
It is this calm demeanor and laid-back outlook that may have helped save Harry’s life in one instance. While recently shopping together, Harry suffered a seizure. Chris knew exactly how to handle the situation and who to call for emergency help.
In addition to Harry’s family expressing their gratitude and satisfaction with Chris’ services, Care Manager Michelle Pantoja is pleased with him as part of the Caring Hearts of Hinsdale staff. “Chris is so patient and easygoing,” Pantoja says. “His laid back nature is good for his client.”