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Caregiver's ready to help elderly, disabled get around

Jeanette Jablonske has started J.J. Mobility, a transportation service for the elderly and disabled. The van for Jablonske’s business is equipped with a motorized ramp to accommodate wheelchairs. (Photo by Bill Kirk)

Jeanette Jablonske saw firsthand how her ailing parents had difficulty coping with transportation.

Jablonske’s late father, Donald Hayes, was a cancer patient whom she believes knew about his illness long before anyone else did, she said Wednesday. He died at the Ellsworth area farm where she grew up.

Her late mother, Evelyn, who had been sick since she was a child, especially needed assistance getting around, Jablonske said. In recent years, her mom had trouble riding in cars. The daughter witnessed this problem while helping her travel to family occasions, particularly two baby showers she wanted to and the others expected the suffering lady to attend.

“It wasn’t just hard on me, but on all of those helping,” she said.

One day during a break from her job at High Point Nursing Home in Red Wing, Jablonske said her fellow staffers were talking about the transportation issue and agreed it would be a good business to get into. They were aware of only one such service in the vicinity. That occurred approximately three years ago; the veteran caregiver hadn’t considered driving a van as her future direction, leaning perhaps toward hospice work, but a trip home for her remaining parent finalized her decision.

“I have had personal experience in having a loved one transported to my home to share end of Life…,” she writes in a flyer promoting her new J.J. Mobility LLC Handicapped Transportation. “…In that Life experience, I realized, first hand, the need for safe, affordable and caring transportation services for clients with diverse needs.”

She refers to the journey her mother made from medical care in Rochester, Minn., to be home as death neared. The most important aspect is compassion, said the 20-plus-year health care provider who’s prepared to supply it. She’s been a nursing school student and a home health care worker, besides fulfilling her role at the nursing home.

For more please read the July 24 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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