Gina had flown in to be with her mom, Susie, after her heart attack. It felt like a whirlwind of activity and information. She was by her mom’s bedside day in and day out for a week and then helped her mom go home and stayed there to care for her further. Coming up on being there for a month, she knew that she needed to get back home to her kids and husband. Emotions were on the rise, for Gina and her mom, because she knew she would have to leave soon.
Susie is a widow, so having an empty house when Gina was gone was making her feel anxious. She knew she had specific instructions regarding medications and follow up appointments. She was not well enough to drive so they would have to figure out how transportation worked and figure out how to get the appointments scheduled by herself. On top of that, Gina reminded her that she was going to need to adjust her diet and get involved in a cardiac rehab program to gain her strength back. Susie just didn’t know how to find help and accomplish all her care needs and Gina knew the distance would limit how much she could do for her mom.
Gina knew that Susie should have someone come in to help around the house but she was nervous about finding the right person. She didn’t know if she should hire someone and pay them or use an agency and she wanted to do the best by her mom. She turned to the Internet to do a search to see if there was such a thing as a care manager who could help her. She was pleasantly surprised to find the Aging Life Care Association (aginglifecare.org) and as she read over the website she was excited to see what she was looking for. She used the Search button for our local area and connected with our office. I was happy to go out and meet with her and her mom.
Our meeting was pleasant. Susie was open to having help in her home because she was adamant that she didn’t want to live in assisted living unless she really had to and wanted to remain independent in the home she had built with her husband and raised Gina in. I assured her that we could bring in the right kind of agency to provide trusted care. I explained to Gina the concerns with her hiring and paying someone on the side to help could be a liability issue if that person was hurt on the job or was dishonest. I assured her that we wanted to use an agency who would be responsible for monitoring the care and we agreed that I should stop by in a random schedule, once per week, to stop in for a home visit. I would check on Gina’s needs but also be aware of what was happening with the agency’s caregiver, and I would communicate with Gina so that she knew everything that was going on with her mom’s care.
I would outline a plan of care to help with Susie’s lifestyle management. She asked a few questions and let me know that she was fearful of having a second heart attack. I let them both know that I would put my emergency contact information clearly on a large print report on the refrigerator and would make sure that I could be available should she have to go to the Emergency Department or hospital for any concerns. I could see the relief on both of their faces.
Later, when Gina and I were talking alone, I assured her that I would pay attention to mental health and depression as this is something that can become a problem for many who are recovering from heart attacks. I would also help Susie connect with Gina via FaceTime and would make sure that I regularly updated her on everything I was involved in helping Susie do.
Gina knew that when she went home, it was going to be okay, and she was happy to have a partner who could locally manage care and communicate with her. She promised her mom she would be back in 3 months to see her in person and went home at peace with what she had put in place and what we were going to do to set up transportation and help schedule physician and therapy appointments.
If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 317-300-5454 or email us at Shannon@AgingLifeCareConsultants.com. We’ll be happy to assist!