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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 03/31/2015

A Lifetime of Love

A Lifetime of Love

Martin (Marty) and Jeannette Fedder have spent most of their lives together. The couple has been married for an impressive 72 years. Now in their 90s, they are happy to still be living together in their long-time family home.

One of the primary reasons the Fedders have been able to remain in their home in Maryland is the help of in-home caregivers provided by ComForcare Home Care Services. The ComForcare office in Randallstown serves Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Carroll County and the surrounding areas. Licensed by the state of Maryland, the company provides experienced, professional caregivers who meet rigorous hiring standards.

The Fedders love story began decades ago at a sorority party. Jeannette, who was then in high school, was a friend of Marty’s sister. When she attended a party at his sister’s apartment, the two met. However, their initial impressions were somewhat different. “I came in; I saw Jeannette; I grabbed her, and I never let go,” said Marty. “I was attracted to her immediately, but the reaction I remember from her is that she couldn’t care less; I was just another boy.”

Jeannette didn’t refute his depiction of their first meeting, but she added with a smile, “Well, I married you anyway!”

Shortly after meeting Jeannette, Marty was notified that he was going to be drafted. He decided to take matters into his own hands and join the Navy before he could be drafted into the Army. “I didn’t like mud, so I knew the Navy was a better choice for me,” he laughed as he recalled.

When Marty learned that he would be stationed in Little Creek, Va., for two years, the new couple decided to get married. The couple opted to get married on Lag Ba’Omer, a Jewish holiday celebrating Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a well-known sage and one of the fathers of kabbalah. The holiday is a popular day for weddings because according to the Jewish calendar, it is the first opportunity for weddings in the spring or early summer.

Following their wedding, the Fedders used the money their guests gave them to go on a honeymoon in New York City. “We stayed at the Penn Hotel and saw all the sights, and even got to take in a show,” recalled Marty.

Unfortunately, Marty’s Navy career had a rocky start when he encountered some anti-Semitism. “Some people in those days didn’t like Jews in the Navy, so they sent me to Ireland to get rid of me,” he recalled. “That’s the best thing they could have ever done to me.”

After leaving the Navy, Marty returned to school and received a degree in accounting. He also attended law school at the Mount Vernon School of Law, which is now known as the University of Baltimore. He went on to become a Certified Public Accountant and an attorney. As an attorney, he focused his practice on tax, estate and trust issues. His career was both successful and lengthy; he just retired last year.

When he returned from Ireland, the Fedders settled in Baltimore County, where they have lived ever since. They raised two daughters and now have three grandsons and one great grandson.

As the years passed, Jeannette began to experience some health issues, as well as some memory loss. Marty, who was still working, knew he needed help to provide the care she needed in their home. He contacted ComForcare for help. The company began providing care for Jeannette in 2011. They provided a few hours of care every morning and every evening, which allowed Marty to continue working and running the household.

Since he was so pleased with the services they were already receiving, Marty knew exactly where to turn when he started to need some in-home assistance himself. Last fall, ComForcare began providing care for him as well. Today, they offer round-the-clock care in the Fedder’s home, with a team of caregivers led by veteran home health aid Debbie Nelson.

“Debbie is terrific,” Marty said. “She is always friendly and helpful, and it is just wonderful having her around.”

Debbie and the other ComForcare caregivers assist the Fedders with everything from personal care to light housekeeping.  They also provide transportation and companionship, taking the couple to doctors’ appointments and for lunch dates at their favorite local restaurant.

ComForcare in Randallstown recently celebrated five years of business in the region. The company has grown tremendously since it was first established and now includes nearly 100 caregivers and staff. “We have earned various awards during our 5 years of service to the community,” said President and Owner Jenette Young. “We are so proud to have provided hundreds of jobs in our community and, most importantly, to have served hundreds of residents in our community.”

Jenette highlighted the relationship between the Fedders and ComForcare as a powerful example of the importance of quality home care. “Debbie and our entire staff have developed a great relationship with the Fedders,” she said. “Mr. Fedder calls us several times during the course of the week, and he knows that he will always get a quick response to whatever he needs.”

The Fedders are also an excellent example of how home care can help individuals maintain their independence and age in place. “I think we provide a safety mechanism for the Fedders, in case of a fall or any other type of emergency,” said Jenette.  “However, the caregivers are also careful to allow the Fedders to be as independent as possible. They know when to help and when to step back.”

The ComForcare team of caregivers continues to provide 24-7 care for the Fedders in their home. For Marty and Jeannette, the assistance of ComForcare has meant being able to stay in the home they love—in the company of the one person they have loved for a lifetime. 

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