You are in the car on the way home from work and you get a call from the hospital. Dad has had a stroke. He will be treated to remove the clot and will undergo physical therapy to learn to walk again; speech therapy to learn to talk again; occupational therapy to learn to dress himself and feed himself again. When he goes home, how are you going to care for him?
Recent weather events in Houston have brought disaster response back to the forefront. How do Senior Care Agencies, like Senior Care Management Solutions, handle adverse weather conditions? After all, clients are expecting care, and in many cases, can’t live without our caregivers. So, when roads become impassable or power is out for extended periods of time, what should clients expect? The fact is that we don’t realize how much we rely on the consistent operation of our power and water supply until it’s not available. Driving a properly paved road is such a common luxury that when it’s icy or, as is the case in Houston currently, completely submerged in water, most of us have no way to travel.
So how do you deal with a homebound senior?
Often, families are caught off guard when confronted with the fact that they need to add caregivers to the plan of care at the assisted living facility. The first thought is the additional expense, but fear not! A caregiver used in conjunction with the care and amenities provided at an independent/assisted living facility can be a terrific experience.
After months of suspicion, it’s been confirmed. Your mother has Alzheimer’s Disease. You’ve been in denial, hoping that some of her behavior change was just natural aging. She’s had trouble speaking clearly and has forgotten what everyday items in her house are called. Where she once was an organized, meticulous planner and appointment-keeper, now she’s unable to navigate the most basic business and social appointments in her life. So after taking her to the neurologist, the truth is upon you.
I read a troubling editorial today that attempted to spread fear amongst senior citizens and their families. The editorial states that pricing should be simple and customer focused. I whole-heartedly agree. It goes on to say that agencies who “distinguish personal care from homemaker services are wrong-headed.”
However, is it fair to a client who receives companionship and light housekeeping to pay as much as a client who requires lift and transfer assistance? Is it fair to a client who only requires a trip to the beauty shop and help buying groceries to pay the same as a client who requires diaper changing and bed baths? Doing crossword puzzles versus bed sore prevention and repositioning? Distinguishing the two levels of care is not an attempt to increase margin. It allows an agency to provide a higher wage to the more highly skilled caregiver.
Any time you are dealing with someone whose brain function is altered, you must throw common sense and reason and logic out the window. Whether it’s a brain injury, stroke, or Alzheimer’s/dementia, a person who can’t embrace reality on the same terms as one with a healthy brain must be met on their level. That means you, the caregiver, must submit to a world of irrationality. You will engage in conversations that are monotonously repetitive and non-sensical. You will witness behavior that is uncharacteristic of your loved one.