For 20 years, Stephanie Johnson worked as a nurse, caring for patients daily to treat their various medical ailments. Her work as a nurse provided her with a medical background that allowed her to move to a new type of career. However, it wasn’t until Johnson became a part of the sandwich generation that she realized the real need for a reliable in-home care service. 47 percent of adults in their 40s and 50s are part of the sandwich generation,
For 20 years, Stephanie Johnson worked as a nurse, caring for patients daily to treat their various medical ailments. Her work as a nurse provided her with a medical background that allowed her to move to a new type of career. However, it wasn’t until Johnson became a part of the sandwich generation that she realized the real need for a reliable in-home care service. 47 percent of adults in their 40s and 50s are part of the sandwich generation, “sandwiched” between raising their children and supporting aging parents.
Raised by her grandparents, Johnson took on the responsibility of taking care of them as they aged. Her grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1992 and her grandmother became his full-time caregiver. Johnson assisted her grandmother in caring for her grandfather as much as possible, as she had a family of her own and a nursing career to juggle.
In addition to caring for her grandfather, Johnson became the sole caregiver for her grandmother in 2008. After receiving a call from her grandmother saying that she wasn’t feeling well, Johnson accompanied her to the hospital where they found out that her grandmother had atrial fibrillation. But, that wasn’t all. Upon further testing, Johnson’s grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Since both her grandfather and grandmother required full-time caregivers, Johnson decided quitting her nursing job would be best for them and for her. As soon as her grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer, Johnson quit her job to become their 24-hour caregiver.
Her grandmother underwent surgery, chemo and radiation for her lung cancer and Johnson remained with her for the duration of her treatments and procedures. In 2009 her grandfather passed away. He lived with Alzheimer’s for 18 years and was the oldest living person to have the disease in the state of Illinois.
Johnson and her family relocated to Orlando, FL and moved her grandmother with them. Even with hospice care, J
ohnson was left caring for her grandmother most days. She was not aware that there were resources out there to assist her with her mother’s care as she wanted her to be at home with the family instead of alone in a facility. Her grandmother passed away in their home, with her family by her side.
After her grandparents’ passing, Johnson realized her passion in caring for others. She returned to college and obtained in Bachelor’s degree of Science in Alternative Medicine. Even after her studies she realized her passion was to help individuals remain at home with their loved ones when they would otherwise be unable to do so. While researching in-home, non-medical care options, Johnson discovered FirstLight Home Care and knew that opening her own facility was something she needed to do for herself.
“It was the greatest experience for all of us to be with my grandmother before she died. Everyone should have the opportunity to keep their family at home and be with them during their time of need; that is why FirstLight is here.”