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Catholic Social Services Respite Care

Wednesday is Howard Ruckstuhls favorite day of the week.

Every other Wednesday, for the past seven years, the 89 year old has received a visit from Helene, a volunteer from Catholic Social Services Respite Care Program.

Howard welcomes the help. He wants the help. He needs the help.

His wife of 65 years suffers from Alzheimers Disease. Howard holds a 24-hour vigil caring for her.

In the twenty years since his retirement, he has watched his wife, Eva, lose both her mental and physical health, and Helenes welcomed visits afford him a break in his routine of cooking, cleaning, and caring for the needs of his wife.

Helene is a retired nurse and experienced volunteer who has assisted more than 20 families since joining the Catholic Social Services Respite Team. Perhaps that is part of the reason Howard trusts Helene so much.

When he leaves his wife with her, he feels as though he has left her with a member of the family. Even Howards neighbors know Helene and welcome her visits.

When Howard and Eva took their wedding vows many years back they promised to remain faithful in sickness and in health. Today, thanks to the support of this United Way funded program, Howard is able to keep that promise.