Here to Care for Seniors is a locally owned agency that supports seniors and adults with disabilities to live in their own homes with personal assistance and or companion care. Here to Care for Seniors provides services that allow families the opportunity to get the help they need, and to balance their life’s activities when an ageing loved one is not as independent as they used to be. Live-in care is a popular option for families, which assures them that someone is available to support their loved one at all times.
The following story is based on an interview with a client who wanted to share his story and has given permission to publish it. All names have been changed for privacy.
A Sad Story…
Daryl lived in Toronto with his wife and 2 young children. His mother Sandra, now 65 had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at age 55, and had been experiencing an initially slow but progressive decline in memory and cognition. By age 63, Sandra’s mental and physical status had significantly deteriorated leaving her with very poor memory and an inability to do most things for herself. Sandra had very poor appetite and had to be hospitalized for dehydration and failure to thrive on at least 2 occasions before Daryl, her only child decided to move her into his home. Daryl had quit his high paying job as a computer engineer, and had to rely solely on his wife’s income to support the family while he took care of his mother. Prior to this, Sandra lived with her husband of 30 years in a 2 level home. Her husband had passed away after battling colon cancer for several months. Sandra’s husband had been her primary caregiver from her time of diagnosis up until he was diagnosed with cancer. Sandra had also been receiving assistance a few hours per week from Government funded home care services through the Community Care Access Center (CCAC). However, as Sandra’s illness progressed and became more and more debilitating she required a lot more hands on assistance than she was receiving from the government.
While her husband was undergoing treatments for cancer, Sandra’s older sister was able to stay with her for a few months, and supported her daily needs. However, her sister who had not expected to stay as long as she did, had to return home to her own family as she was preparing for her youngest son’s graduation, and the birth of her first grandchild. She returned a few weeks later after the death of Sandra’s husband, and remained with Sandra for a few more weeks. By this time, Sandra herself was not able to express any obvious emotions regarding the death of her husband. She had lost practically all recognition of those around her, including close family members. She would ask repeatedly who they were, even though they had just re-introduced themselves for the 16th time that day. Daryl was left with a very sad and overwhelming situation, which he had to deal with alone. He had no siblings, and his extended family, as much as they tried, could only do so much before returning to handling their own lives.
Sandra moved in with Daryl and his family who assumed the responsibility for her personal care. CCAC continued to come in 2 hrs a day to assist with bathing. Daryl monitored his mother from sunrise to sunset, and all hours in between. Sandra often tried to wonder off because she was disoriented. She had to be fed or else she would not eat. Her gait was not steady, so she had to be monitored to prevent falls.
The Life Changing Moment…
One day, as Daryl was preparing his mother for dinner; his wife came home with a pamphlet in her hand. It was from an attorney, the brother of one of her colleagues from work. The attorney had been a specialist in assisting families and individuals to hire experienced caregivers from abroad. The document highlighted the then called Live-in caregiver program and listed all the wonderful advantages of having someone live within the home to care for a loved one. Daryl felt surprised that he had never even heard of a “live-in caregiver” much less an entire program sponsoring the idea. Daryl could not wait ‘till the next morning to contact the attorney to find out more. He needed help quickly, as he was exhausted and wanted any opportunity that would allow him to resume his office job, which he loved. Upon talking to the lawyer and getting more details, Daryl’s excitement soon became a disappointment as he learned how long he may have to wait to get a caregiver for his mother. Between all the paper work requirements and the waiting time, he felt discouraged especially as this entire process could not guarantee him a caregiver even after the long wait… the caregiver’s visa application could be refused, barring her from entering the country to work!
Daryl continued to research the live-in caregiver option, and came across some local agencies which could provide the service, but who hired qualified individuals from within the country. This is when Here to Care for Seniors got a call. Not surprisingly, before then Daryl and his wife had thought that their only 2 options for care for their mother were:
- Themselves, or
- A nursing home
It had never occurred to them that they could hire professional help! No one had ever told them!
Daryl Learned to Breathe Again…
The best thing about working in this industry is the warm and accomplished feeling we get as senior care professionals, when we are able to assist a family in need by helping them find solutions to their problems . Daryl’s case was no exception. Helping Daryl and his mother really made our week!
After meeting with Daryl and his wife in their family’s home, we were able to help them put 2 and 2 together. We obtained a general health history and performed a thorough assessment of his mother’s need. From that information, we were able to create an individualized care plan, make a caregiver match, orient and assign two caregivers to aid his mother in their home. One caregiver worked Monday through Friday, and the other worked Saturdays and Sundays. Our client Daryl was able to finally go back to work. He came home every evening to find his mother well taken care of, as healthy as she could be, safe and comfortable. On the weekends, he was able to host barbecues, socialize with family and friends, or just sleep in.
Daryl expressed his great sense of relief after hiring a live-in caregiver through Here to Care for Seniors. He had time to truly reflect and appreciate his mother for as long as she was still alive, and to just be the son again. He was able to help is young daughters with their homework, and take his wife out for dinner once in a while without worrying too much about mom, as he knew she was in good hands.
Daryl was at the verge of having a mental and physical break down from the stresses of being a family caregiver. His career had been put on hold, and his children felt neglected as their dad only had time for grandma. They couldn’t go anywhere unless grandma could come along because she couldn’t be left alone for more than a few minutes, sometimes seconds. Yet, grandma wasn’t comfortable in unfamiliar settings, loud, or crowded places. Therefore, a trip to the soccer game was out of the question, unless mom could take them. That all changed after Daryl and his wife took the opportunity to hire a live-in caregiver. Grandma got the care she needed, and everyone else got more guilt free time to do the things they loved to do as a family.
The Benefits of Hiring Live-In Care Are Real…
- Live-in care providers offer the convenience of care within you or your loved ones own home.
- Most seniors express that they do not want to move to a retirement home or nursing facility. They would rather stay at home surrounded by the things they know and love.
- Often times hiring a live in caregiver is less expensive that the cost of stay at a retirement home.
- A live-in caregiver can be the extra set of eyes and ears you need to observe our loved ones’ well-being when you are not there.
- A live in caregiver will perform variety of duties to support your loved one at home including light housekeeping, meal preparation, assistance with personal care, mobilization assistance, and medication reminders.
Getting the best home care for your loved one is priceless!
We understand the challenges that families face when their ailing loved one needs help. This is what we help with day in and day out. This is why we are Here to Care for Seniors. It is our passion and our caregivers are our frontline staff whom you can trust to give the best care possible.
If you or someone you know is in a situation similar to or even slightly resembling Daryl’s case, give us a call to learn more about how we can help! We are a nurse-managed agency, and we do what we do well! Call Us Today at 647-499-4409