We understand the challenges you are facing.
Families who are facing the challenges associated with caregiving know all too well the impact it can have emotionally, physically, and financially. It is reported that 74% of family caregivers are employed at some point during their time of caregiving. Many have additional responsibilities such as raising their own children or grandchildren. In addition, it is not uncommon for a spouse to have the primary role of caregiver while, at the same time, having physical limitations of their own.
It is a fact that the life expectancy of Americans has increased in the last several decades and is expected to continue to increase over the next few decades. The advancement of medicines and technology have allowed us to experience longer lives. Longer life expectancy brings additional challenges when it comes to living independently. Ideally, an ounce of planning is worth a pound of prevention, but, unfortunately, that most often is not the case.
Too often the decision for home care comes with the crisis of a sudden illness or a fall that leads to a fracture. Despite medical advances, there are still challenges with aging. Fading eye sight and diminished hearing, along with declines in physical strength, posture, and balance are ongoing challenges. Cognitive declines which can range from mild forgetfulness to escalating dementia complicate independence. The risk of injury and loss of independence increases.
Our nursing advocates understand the struggles that families face. Questions surface; how safe is it for Mom or Dad to be alone…should they drive…when is it an appropriate time to intervene? For spouses the questions continue with what will happen to him (or her) if something happens to me…what will happen to me if something happens to him (or her)?
- 36% of family caregivers care for a parent
- 29% of the U.S. population provides an average of 20 hours per week caring for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member
- 13% of family caregivers are providing 40 hours of care a week or more
- Approximately 66% of family caregivers are women, and more than 37% of them have children or grandchildren under 18 years old living with them
- 6 in 10 family caregivers are employed
(National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP; November 2009)
A common concern for adult children is the resistance for outside help they are met with. While parents do not want to burden their adult children, they are sometimes resistant to outside help. They continue to think they can manage things on their own. Through many life experiences, they have always managed their own affairs, have had successful careers, have raised children, and have overcome crises time and time again. They have reached goals, planned for their future, and dreamed of their retirement years. Those goals, plans, and dreams have not consisted of giving up any of their independence.
Our experts know how to preserve dignity and integrity and facilitate the freedom of independence while, at the same time, providing a safety haven that will give you peace of mind. Prestige Care Services will listen to your unique situation and offer guidance as to how to get the help you need. For some families, there may be a need for intermittent respite care or part-time personal care. Some may require more full-time personal care with weekly nursing visits and medication management. For others, assisted living or long-term living facilities may be the answer. Whatever the need, you can know that our experience can offer insight into your needs and we will be with you every step of the way.
Prestigious Precedent (for Adult Children)
A Success Story
Dorice (name changed to protect privacy) and her husband made a commitment to her parents that they would do everything to make sure their needs were met as they got older. They are an example of a family who did plan in advance. They modified their home to accommodate the needs of her aging father who came to live with her after the passing of her mother even though he remained well for several years to come.
Dad’s health eventually wavered. Dorice’s care of her father exhibited her understanding of “aging in place”, from the modifications she had already made to the house to coordinating physician appointments, managing medications, and meeting nutritional needs.
After a particularly debilitating hospitalization, it became clear to her that more help would be needed. Dad had become very unsteady on his feet and at risk for falls. He could no longer be left even for short periods of time. She contacted her father’s physician who made a recommendation for our services.
The challenge was that dad did NOT think he needed help, nor did he WANT help. After all, he had his mental faculties and, according to him, he was “absolutely fine”. The resistance caused a strain in their relationship. She had valid reasons to worry about his safety, but he would not budge. Worse yet, he became angry, lashing out at her when she was only trying to do the right thing. When Dorice contacted us, she was in turmoil and distraught about what to do.
What Dorice didn’t know was that her situation was more common than she thought. Many times, people lash out at the people they love most. In this situation, Dad was losing control over the decisions in his life.
During initial contact with Dad by an RN Care Manager, Dad was informed of his right to make decisions and preserve his dignity and they developed a respectful relationship. With nurse intervention, Dad became more agreeable and open to accepting help. By the end of the meeting, he had agreed to allow a Certified Nursing Aide to assist with his activities of daily living.
He connected with his new caregiver immediately. Dorice was shocked that he responded so well. She expressed to us that she could hear Dad laughing when she came home from work and that he didn’t even realize she had walked in the door. In addition, their father/daughter relationship greatly improved. During a Care Management review, he took the Care Manager’s hand, looked directly into her eyes, and with his eyes glistening with emotion said, “Thank you for sending her. You made an old man smile once again by sending me her”. To him, his care was meaningful, and to us and his family, his life was valuable.
Prestigious Precedent (for Spouses)
A Success Story
When the primary caregiver is a spouse, there are added stressors to the family. Mrs. Hollingsworth (name changed to protect privacy) was the primary caregiver for her husband. Despite her own disabilities and poor health, she was able to care for her husband who had mild dementia. He had been able to get around with a walker until a fall with a broken hip and slow recovery caused his mobility to decline and his dementia to worsen. Mrs. Hollingsworth tried everything to get support through friends and neighbors because their resources were sparse. Both of their children lived out of state so they were unable to step in for respite.
Mrs. Hollingsworth finally expressed her concerns about his immobility, incontinence, and agitated behavior to his physician, who referred her to us. We identified his physical needs and safety issues along with providing emotional support. As it turned out, his agitation was escalated by the indications of pain in his legs. Upon assessment, our RN Care Manager recognized that his knees and his hips, despite the physical therapy he had had, were bent in a contracted position that made it painful for him to straighten and made him unable to stand on his own.
The Plan of Care was prepared to incorporate massage and range of motion exercises daily to his legs. The physician was contacted to get orders for appropriate medical equipment in the home. These actions made an enormous difference in his behavior. As his behavior improved, he was more open to the exercises, and more diversional activities were incorporated to keep him active and stimulated. Because his legs were no longer stiff, his hygiene was better able to be maintained, preventing skin breakdown and urinary infections associated with incontinence.
This family received, at no cost, RN Care Management, individualized care planning, ongoing communication, and consistent re-evaluation. For only a few hours daily, his condition improved dramatically. Mr. Hollingsworth smiles and interacts with his caregivers who continue to give him plenty of exercise, nutrition, and social stimulation. Having his needs recognized and initiating proper intervention significantly contributed to Mr. Hollingsworth’s quality of life, which greatly enhanced Mrs. Hollingsworth’s quality of life as well. We at Prestige Care Services make the care meaningful for every valuable life.