Some of the best success stories in private home health care start with some of the toughest situations. Years ago, we met with a client and her family at her home. Her son and niece were visiting from out-of-town and were very concerned about her continued safety.
Mrs. M was a former nurse and still very physically fit, but she had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease for the last few years. She managed most of the tasks around her household, but was increasingly forgetful, rarely making appointments and showing signs of poor safety awareness. She also had increasing paranoia and had been making multiple calls to the police and emergency personnel (usually not remembering that she had done so when they arrived, and getting very upset with them).
At our first meeting, she adamantly denied needing any help and absolutely refused to consider moving closer to one of the family members. She stated she would “be in touch” as she might like some housekeeping help. She also agreed to have someone come to visit her when her neighbor helper was going out of town. Her son assisted with paperwork and we began services during the small “window of opportunity” presented by the upcoming event.
Things progressed quickly, as her needs became very clear as soon as her helper was out of town. Her EasyLiving home caregiver arrived the first day to assist and Mrs. M did not want her to leave. She asked if she could stay the rest of the weekend. Before long, Mrs. M had transitioned in to having caregivers with her from about mid-morning until they helped her to bed.
What were some of the positive results of private home health care for Mrs. M and her family?
- Increased safety and health for Mrs. M (Her home caregivers assisted with household tasks as well as preparing nutritious meals and making sure she was safe.)
- Better coordination (She now had help with appointments, someone to reassure her if she felt anxious, eyes and ears visiting each day for her family’s reassurance.)
- Crisis prevention (Mrs. M’s emergency calls had already resulted in one protective hospitalization and the severity of paranoia was increasing prior to her having someone there to reassure her.)
- Companionship and activity for increased quality of life (Most of Mrs. M’s friends had rejected her due to lack of understanding of her behavior and she was becoming more isolated. She and her caregivers started going on many outings in addition to activities at home.)
What were some of the key success factors in a case like this one?
- Trained caregivers with knowledge of dementia (Mrs. M was not always easy to deal with and the caregivers had to have important skills in Alzheimer’s Specialty Care about how to manage her outbursts, redirect her and appropriately work with her.)
- Care planning and ongoing adjustment/feedback (The family’s feedback formed the basis of the care plan which helped the caregiver identify with Mrs. M and build a bond. The various caregivers also met as a team and shared ideas and things that worked for them in best helping Mrs. M.)
- Care coordination (Mrs. M had a care manager to be a liaison with her caregivers, family and medical providers. The care team could all work towards the same solutions, supporting each other’s efforts.)
If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, or worried about someone you know, we hope this story provides some insight in to how private home health care services can help. Consider the success factors mentioned above as you review your options, to increase the chances your solutions will be successful.
Have questions about how to pay for private home health care services?
Need to talk to someone about you private home care needs, or concerns about an aging loved one? Call us at 727-448-0900 or fill out our senior care inquiry form.