A Real Life Example of Senior Home Care

Different people can respond differently to the benefits of senior home care. Most seniors who receive in-home care enjoy the personalized service, the one-on-one attention from the caregiver, and the ability to stay in their own familiar home with all of the personal items and memories they treasure. With the very best of care providers, seniors also like seeing the same familiar faces on a regular basis. They become genuine friends with their caregivers in a way that’s not usually possible in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Here’s the story of one woman and the reasons she loved having senior home care

This is a true story of a woman named Mary. She was never financially well off. Her childhood coincided with the great depression and perhaps because of that, it was always important to her to take very good care of the relatively few possessions she owned. She treasured a rather small number of items which graced her home.

Mary divorced in 1972 at the age of 47. After that, she was never able to make much more money than what was necessary to cover her living expenses. She rented a small house. In the last decade of her life, Mary’s youngest son was able to invest in a new house for her. This large new house was the most beautiful thing Mary had ever “owned” and she absolutely loved her new home. She took great pains to keep it spotlessly clean. She enjoyed tending the yard. She liked going out shopping, or occasionally visiting friends. Mostly, though, she was happy and content just to be at home by herself.

Mary was healthy well into her mid eighties, but then started to develop some heart issues. After a number of doctor visits and a few short hospitalizations, complications from an unrelated illness put Mary in the hospital for an extended stay. Upon her release, she was moved to a rehab center. The doctor told her she could go home as soon as she regained enough strength to get around on her own. The prognosis was that she would only require a two or three week stay in rehab. However, Mary was now so upset about being away from her home that her anxiety interfered with both eating and exercising. She became so anxious that she was unable to keep even soft foods and liquids down. Mary began to lose weight and weaken even further.

The three week projection for her stay at the rehab center came and went. She entered into an extremely negative mental state and even began to blame the rehab staff for her ever increasing physical deterioration. Her health declined so much that her sons finally decided to move her back into the home she loved so much to die.

Her sons provided her with a 24-hour senior home care. The caregiver prepared homemade soups and fed her one or two tablespoons at a time. In her weakened condition, this was all her system could handle. But unlike the rehab center, she was able to actually keep the food down. As the days passed, she was able to consume more and more food and liquids. Within weeks, the day came when she was at last eating full meals again. She regained weight and began doing daily exercises. Soon, Mary was strong enough to cancel the senior home care services.

She continued to live happily and independently without any assistance for several more years. Her doctor called her recovery a miracle, but her sons viewed her recovery as a profound shift in her mental state which was effected simply by returning to her own home. Given her anxiety about being somewhere other than her home, the in-home caregiving arrangement almost certainly allowed Mary to peacefully live for several years longer than she would have otherwise.

Mary vowed never again to return to a hospital. She said she would rather die than be anywhere else other than her own home. Later, when cancer weakened her so much that she could no longer care for herself, senior home care was provided once again. Her care was a combination of a part-time caregiver, a few hospice workers and a family member filling in on weekends. During the last few months of her life as Mary’s condition worsened, a second caregiver was enlisted in order to provide 24-hour around the clock caregiving.

In Mary’s final months at home, she still took much pleasure from just being in her own home. She had extended family members come to visit and stay in the guest rooms. She was able to have many in depth conversations with her immediate family in a comfortable and familiar setting. Her home allowed her grandchild to have a place to play near her, and he had another room where he could temporarily retreat whenever his grandma needed to rest. With Mary’s care provided by professionals in the home, the family could focus on having quality time with her rather than scurrying about to cook, clean, and tend to her physical needs. And Mary was relieved that her sons didn’t have to do things like assist her in the bathroom or help her with bathing. Staying at home also allowed Mary to keep her phone number and street address, so she heard regularly from friends who otherwise might not have all been able to locate her if she’d been moved into a care facility.

Mary kept a keen interest as to which home care worker was coming on which day and she had different kinds of pleasurable talks with each of them. Her strongest friendships, however, were with the professional caregivers who provided for her day to day needs. These caregivers learned what she liked and didn’t like. They prepared whatever food she requested, helped her with medications, changed her position in the bed and tended to other physical needs. They kept notes so her family could stay informed of day to day details, changed bedding and did the laundry. They watered plants, regularly cleaned the house and even put up decorations for her birthday! The caregivers were very good company and added a special warm dimension to her final months. Her caregivers often often made her smile or laugh– even during her final week of life.

While Mary was happy to live alone so much of her life, things felt different for her near the end. She was deeply grateful not only for the caregivers’ assistance, but also for their company and friendship. Her sons were left with the knowledge they had provided their mother a peaceful ending to her life. This was something that was of immeasurable importance to them. Mary’s caregivers helped, in fact, make it possible for her sons to be at her bedside in her own home the night she passed away.

Home and Hearth Caregivers know every situation is different. The one just described, however, is not at all an unusual one. The benefits of senior home care can often exceed a family’s initial expectations. If there is a person like Mary in your life, please consider giving us a call and finding out how we might help, serve, and assist your family.

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