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Aging Parents: Providing care as they transition to assisted living

Posted at 6:00 AM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 08:48:46-05

RANDALLSTOWN, Md. — Complete strangers, now like family are brought together in his bright, nicely decorated Randallstown house. It's become their home away from home.

"Believe me this is traumatic when someone has to leave their home. I felt there was a void and the void I felt was individuals who came at that point of aging. They're not ready for a nursing home, but they can't stay at home by themselves and I didn't want them to be left out."

Christina Fitts purchased this home in hopes of becoming a full time caregiver for five residents. She started Perfect Fit Assisted Living with her parents in mind.

"My mom had a health scare back in 2010 and what I noticed was that you need an advocate in the hospital. My dad had a health scare probably two years after that, and both of them had mild strokes. My parents are the best most supportive people but truthfully I saw the aging process with my parents too and I said let me create something where I can keep them involved but I can also have something they can look forward to in terms of being with family."

Now her parents, Shirley and Worthington Winkler serve as volunteers at Perfect Fit, and they are just that.

"They look forward to seeing us. It's like an extended family. I'm so attached to everyone here."

"For many years I've been a barber, so I come over and volunteer my skills on cutting their hair and shaving because most men like to look good."

"My parents are doing much better but I think part of that is because I keep them very active and very involved. They feel very much like they have a purpose here and I create a purpose for them. They kind of go down memory lane together and just keeps them very involved."

Watching her parents age gracefully and providing much needed care to families making the transition to assisted living is gratifying for Christina Fitts.

"You're automatically brought into their family unit. Being a part of their family and being looked at as a daughter or niece or just part of their families is so important and they show their love and you receive that and it just feels wonderful. The benefits of knowing that I'm helping someone feel bettering for them to be their best self. I'm giving them tips on nutrition, helping them to exercise, heling them to stay cognitively clear and lucid. It just makes me feel good."