Stories

Nearly every day, we come into contact with incredible people with even more amazing stories. On our Stories page, you will find and be able to read about the amazing people we meet and help.

Jack and Joan’s Story

Joan was complaining of excruciating pain in her back and abdomen when her husband called me to get some in-home care for her as he was so exhausted trying to care for her. I went to assess her in October and she indicated she had been in the ER 4 times in the last 3 weeks because she had fallen and the ambulance had taken her to the hospital where they were treating her for Arthritis. It was obvious she had something wrong and it was getting worse each day. I decided to call for an ambulance and follow her to the ER and as an Elder Advocate, I was not going to leave her side until the ER performed several tests to rule out certain cancers! 5 hours later she was told she had 4th stage lung cancer. Respect Your Elders Care will go above and beyond any service if we feel our client needs more personal service! Respect Your Elders Care will continue to assess all clients as if they were our own family and suggest the best care, service, and outcome for the family.

The Doris Lockness Story

As you may or may not know, I meet the most amazing people nearly every day while working. One of my most recent encounters involves a tremendous lady I recently met. I’d like to share the story of Doris Lockness with you all!

Recently, I went to Mercy Folsom to assess placement care for Mrs. Doris Lockness. She is 105 years old but with her wit, seems only 80! As I sat in her hospital room, I listened to her stories and wisdom while trying to put her health needs in perspective. She was so alert, and full of life's stories. She has over 60 grandchildren!

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I was honored to meet her and assess her needs for her so she can continue to thrive in a safe environment. Her personality and stories enlightened me. She is a well respected, amazing woman. WIth that, I have a clip from her Hall of fame at Smithsonian museum in Washington DC:

“Doris Lockness began flying in the 1930s. Today she holds all of her ratings, from signal-engine land/sea to free balloon, and those in between. She started World War II working for Douglas Aircraft as a Liaison Engineer on the C-4, but then joined Jackie Cochran’s WASPs and went off to Sweetwater, TX, to train. Lockness continued to fly after World War II and earned her helicopter rating in the 1960s, and her commercial gyroplane rating in 1998 (she was only the second woman to hold the rating in a constant speed prop gyroplane). For many years you could pick Lockness out of the crowd at air shows by her Vultee-Stinson war bird, "Swamp Angel", which she flew around the country. Her contributions to the promotion and public acceptance of women as pilots in general aviation have been honored by the ninety-nines in its "Forest of Friendship" and by the OX-5 Pioneers, which has recognized her with both its Legion of Merit Award, Pioneer Women’s Award and Pioneer Hall of Fame. She has also been honored with the Whirly Girls Livingston Award in 1995, and a certificate of honor from the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), as well as the organization’s Elder Statesman of Aviation Award (1991 and 1995). In 1997 Lockness was honored again by the NAA, receiving its Katherine Wright Memorial Award. Lockness aeronautical achievements have inspired many to set higher goals and stretch to reach them, encouraging countless women over more than seven decades to put on their wings and fly.”

Respect Your Elders is all about compassion and helping the many special loved ones in need. My recent experience with Doris Lockness is only one of many experiences I look forward to sharing with you all.

Stay up to date with more great stories on the Respect Your Elders blog and Facebook page.

Need placement for your loved one ASAP? Visit our services page and contact us today!

Shelly’s Story

Ronda Butman is a credit to her field in so many ways. She has entered into a season in her life where wisdom has paid off. She is like a tree that is planted by streams of water that has yielded its fruit in season. When the time comes, it’s effortless for a tree to produce what is stored within it! I want you to know how appreciative I am, and my family is, of what Respect Your Elders did for us. Ronda did a kindness to us which can’t be repaid, because it involved her time and patience, your experience and your wisdom. You don’t get those kinds of things overnight. These “tools” are developed over time, over many years of application.

Ronda has the steady calm of a seasoned veteran--- in the midst of our family crisis, my very first conversation on the phone with you was answered by… “I can do that! We can do that!” That was like a healing balm to my worried and troubled heart, and for my parents hearts.

From our family I would like to express our humble gratitude towards Ronda and her staff. You absolutely make a difference in a person’s life on a daily basis, you are paying this kindness forward.

Thank you for the excellence of care you provide in life each and every day of your life.

Respectfully and warmest regards,

Shelly Feeler

Stewart’s Story

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ronda Butman of Respect Your Elders Care for the outstanding assistance she provided my family in an extremely chaotic period for us. My elderly mother was in the hospital for a short stay and, after treatment, opinions of medical staff on site were that they felt it unsafe to return her to her home, where she was living independently. I was notified by hospital staff of the situation and was put in contact with Ms. Butman.

I live some 500 miles away, as does my brother, and so was not immediately available. Ronda, after being notified by the hospital of the situation contacted me and offered assistance. I explained that our family was aware that my mother was apparently beginning to have difficulty living on her own at 90 years of age. We had been looking for suitable assisted living locations around the state with little success considering price and availability. My mother’s hospital stay and subsequent medical staff evaluation of her abilities to care for her needs independently placed an urgent need of a solution.

I had been in contact with a local assisted living facility that seemed to suit our needs financially and of acceptable quality and care, however, there seemed to be no available space for lodging at the time, and nothing in the foreseeable future. I provided Ms. Butman with the contact information of the primary administrator at the facility. She contacted this person and the end result was that my mother would be given to the next opening citing the exigency of our situation.

Ms. Butman then contacted facilities known to her and provided my other with very desirable temporary lodging, at a price we could afford, and until such time as an opening presented itself in our facility of choice. My opinion of Ms. Butman’s assistance to my family is that she went out of her way to help in an extremely stressful time, and ended up improving our chance of permanent lodging for my mother. She also facilitated her move from the hospital to the temporary care facility she located for us, contacting appropriate facility staff and coordinating the move I am so grateful for the assistance Ronda provided.

Stewart Smith

Leila’s Story

It is with great respect and confidence that I write this letter of recommendation for Ronda Butman of Respect Your Elders Care. Ronda is truly one in a million; her positive energy is always a breath of fresh air. Regardless of the complexity of the case in hand, Ronda is always happy to take it on and move to the next challenge in the most compassionate, generous and selfless manner. Within the last two years that I have been working with Ronda, she has proven to be successful with many of the most complex and challenging cases. I have received countless phone calls from both Pt’s and Family members extending their gratitude to me for introducing them to Ronda Butman.

Sincerely,

Leila Mohaddess
RN Care Coordinator

Patricia’s Story

As an RN Care Coordinator for a local hospital, it is often my role to work with patients and families in arranging discharge needs. This may require the input from outside agencies experienced and committed to assisting with transitioning a loved one into an appropriate assisted living setting, hiring in-home care, accessing community or government resources, etc. There are many reputable agencies in our healthcare community which provide these services, and I am always cautious about showing favoritism or specifying one agency over another. However, experience shows that, as in any industry, there are those who excel, who go above and beyond to do an excellent job.

It is my pleasure to recommend Respect Your Elders as a leading agency ready and able to assist families and patients with discharge needs when it involves any of the above-named services. The owner/administrator, Ronda Butman, has always responded to families in a timely, professional manner, is willing to take the time needed to meet with them, to understand their special, financial, and personal needs, accompany them on tours of facilities. She has the expertise needed to help access Veterans benefits In-Home Supportive Services and other community resources. She is very supportive of her clients and follows up afterward to ensure they are comfortable and safe in their new surroundings, with the care they are receiving and, most important because she sincerely cares. She definitely goes above and beyond to assist patients and families when health or circumstances require lifestyle changes.

Sincerely,

Patricia R. Modlin, RN
Care Coordinator
Mercy Hospital Folsom

Mark’s Story

What can I say about the care and guidance Ronda gave our family during a very stressful and emotional time? From her very first visit at my parent’s home, she was a wealth of knowledge and so caring and compassionate. She truly guided us along a very fast and turbulent path. Mom went from driving to dying in 4 weeks. I don’t know how many times I told family members, “Don’t worry, Ronda said she would take care of that.” And she did!! Most of all, she got Mom home so she could be with family and in familiar surroundings in her last days.

The staff Respect Your Elders provided us, Melanie and Destiny, were amazing. Both worked 12-hour shifts and were with us the five days Mom was a home. They not only took care of Mom but they made a most difficult time so much better for my Dad. They also made it easier for our family to be together because they were making sure Mom was comfortable. They really became part of the family. How could they not when we saw how much they cared about Mom and Dad. They were truly a God send.

The Ross family is so very thankful to have chosen Respect Your Elders Care. I am very sure that it was a God thing. Thank you so much for caring for the elderly patients and their families that need a warm touch, a caring word, and guidance during difficult times. I would recommend Elder Care to anyone needing help to stay at home.

Sincerely Thankful,
Mark Ross and the entire Ross family!!

From the Hanks Family

We are writing this letter on behalf of Ronda Butman who we have known for more than 15 years.

Ronda is a person of integrity and character. She is a community-oriented individual who consistently puts the needs of others before her own needs. Her professional interaction with her clients is sincere and she is truly committed to helping meet the needs of the elderly. She regularly contributes her personal time and resources to helping others. In years past, Ronda was actively involved in several ovarian cancer fundraising efforts. In this endeavor, she interacted with many local physicians and cancer experts. Her work was recognized by others and speaks to her commitment to community causes.

Ronda’s work brings her in contact with may elderly people in our community who may not need her professional services, but they do need a friend. In this regard, she is always available to them. She works tirelessly on behalf of the elderly, often for little or no compensation and at times at substantial personal cost. But over and above those efforts, she provides kindness and friendship.

Ronda often visits many of her elderly acquaintances (including my mother until her death) because she enjoys the interaction with them. Ronda’s contact with the elderly members of the community is what sets her apart! This interaction is her passion and her calling.

We have been in awe of Ronda’s unflagging energy and steadfast allegiance to her work. Her humanity, humor, and compassion are unparalleled. Her greatest loves are her family and her career. She is truly one-of-a-kind who will provide unconditional kindness, friendship, and love to all she meets and most especially to our seniors who often need these qualities the most. In our opinion, her motivations are entirely selfless.

Sincerely,
Carla J. Hanks and Dennis G. Hanks

From the Pretaris

Thank you for making our mother’s passing as comfortable as possible. Ronda, your presence during this time was unbelievably comforting. Thank you for being there for us.

Sincerely,
Anthony & Andrew Pretari

A Hands-on Account of a Man in “Control”

By Ronda Butman | August 31, 2017

The right to die is not an unfamiliar concept, but what is foreign to me is knowing someone who has decided to execute this right.

When is it time to take control of your own life? According to Mr. L, it is when you are eminently sick, you don’t want to suffer any pain, and the doctors can’t treat the cancer, only mask it with drugs and hope for the best. This is the situation of Mr. L. I personally asked this question to the man who has become a friend and client over the past few months. Mr. L is a gracious, witty, independent, and in control man. He is grateful for the life he has lived, the children he has raised, the woman he married, and now will join in the life after this. He has many friends, and prides himself on those long-time connections. He is a likeable man and is always grateful. His children are proof he is a good man because it shines through in them as well.

I was called to meet this gentleman and his family from a case manager at a local hospital. Although he was not ready to input care, he was ready for someone to clean his house. I referred him to a housekeeper that accommodated this a few times. As I checked in on him weekly, he seemed to get weaker, so he asked if I could manage a person to drive him to the doctor, or grocery shop for him. It was my pleasure to do this for him, and he was so grateful. The caregiver Miss M started helping him as well, they hit it off, and with his family living in two different states, they were now relieved someone was keeping a watch over him in between visits. After several months of comfort treatments to remove fluid from his abdomen, he decided it was time to move forward with his long-time decision to take the drugs to prevent suffering. The “Right to Die” process takes time to get approved. Many doctors, administrators, and hospital directors must be on board to allow one the right to die.

As I sat with his daughter, son-in-law, and many friends in his living room, and watch them respect his wishes through slightly dry eyes, I wonder how my children would react if I decided this same destiny. His son also respects his wishes maybe with a more stoic domineer like Mr. L.  He is adamant on taking his last breath in his casita on his property without his children to watch.  He has asked that some of the medical staff of Hospice that has cared for him last few months, to stand by through the process. Although, I have never had anyone in my personal or professional circle want to take the drugs that can take one’s own life, I respected his decision as well. I asked him if he was really sure he wanted to do this and his response was….” I’ve never been more sure of anything else, also indicating just in case, he has sent a message to Lucifer for a private room with an ice machine.”  He doesn’t want his children to see him go through the last minutes or hours of his life, not knowing how his body will react to the drugs that will put him in a permanent sleep. In the short 4 months, I have had the pleasure of assisting Mr. L. to doctors’ appointments, having conversations with him, or grocery shopping for him, it is crystal clear he is in complete control of his opinion of how he wants to die, and cancer is not in the equation.

This proves his unselfish domineer to remove the worries so others won’t be burdened by his cancer. As I sat next to him, he looked at me and said,” You’re going to miss me when I’m gone.” with a little smile.  I looked away toward his daughter and tried to hold back my tears, it was true, he is a likable man that everybody enjoys from the moment they meet him: just ask any of his friends or family. His children are now here in California and waiting on the prescription of the drug cocktail so he can proceed with his plan to control his death instead of the cancer controlling it. I suppose I don’t really understand this process because as an elder advocate who strives to help seniors thrive in their environment this is against my normal practice. I am calling daily now and speaking to his children or texting them so I can stay abreast of the timing of his fate, I say a prayer for them each night.

It’s Monday am and after speaking to the daughter this am, Mr. L is only waiting on the cocktail of permanent sleep. If it is delivered today, he wants to take them tomorrow, he had decided he only wants to have a medical staff with him because friends shouldn’t see this. He is a thoughtful man! I went to see him today(Tuesday) and he acts as if it’s not a big deal to get this done! It’s now Wednesday, I stopped by for a visit this morning. His daughter said he had a great night’s sleep, had a Manhattan, and his son went to pick up the special potion of drugs for him. He has decided to take them on Thursday (tomorrow). I’m not sure what I feel about sitting next to him and having someone so positive and unafraid of dying.  He said he is more afraid of pain then dying, and this gives him the strength and fearless attitude to just go to sleep forever.

I went today to say my goodbyes and let him know how much I enjoyed his company, wit, and positive attitude about life, and DEATH. I learned a great deal from this man and his children in 4 short months. I learned its ok to be afraid of suffering, and to not be afraid to let your family know you want to control a killing disease that will put you in horrific pain. I leaned that the unknown is just that, what will be will be and you can’t change it, you just roll with it. I learned a sense of humor in the face of death is a wonderful trait that eases those around you. I will miss him. His son and daughter are wonderful people and a reflection of Mr. and Mrs. L and I’m privileged they chose Respect Your Elders Care to watch over him and form the friendship of a man in control.