AUDREY’S STORY

Finding common ground with other caregivers

“You never know when a loved one might need cared for. United Way is there to help.”

Audrey Chmiel, an employee at Deloitte, is the family caregiver for her 88-year-old mother who has dementia. Her mother was living with Audrey and her husband for nearly five years but recently went to live at an assisted living facility when the situation took a turn for the worse.

During the time Audrey’s mom was living with her — and even now after she has moved elsewhere — Audrey found resources and support through Deloitte’s partnership with United Way’s United for Caregivers@Work program.

“I realized I’m not the only one here that is in this boat. I heard my coworkers’ stories and we were all able to relate to one another and offer support,” Audrey explained. “Working full time and caring for a loved one can be tough, but the Caregiver Support Meetings and help from Deloitte made it easier.”

Through United for Caregivers@Work, Deloitte has Caregiver Support Meetings every month where employees come together to hear about resources available in the community, share stories and ideas, and ultimately find common ground.

“There are so many resources and assistance programs United Way can help with, but a lot of people don’t even know about them until they desperately need them,” Audrey said.

Audrey found resources such as United Way’s Open Your Heart to a Senior program, services that provide help during the day, and she learned more about Deloitte’s new 16-week paid leave time for employees who are caregiving for a family member or loved one.

“Working for a company that cares so much about its employees and is willing to put this much time into ensuring we have the support we need makes me feel like I don’t have to hide what I’m going through. That’s a good feeling,” Audrey said.

While Audrey’s mother no longer lives with her and her husband, Audrey continues to attend the Caregiving Support Meetings so she can share her experiences with others and continue learning different ways she might be able to support her mother. To learn more about United for Caregivers@Work, visit /united-for-caregivers/.

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