We often see situations where elderly couples have different limitations. One may have a cognitive impairment, while the other has a physical disability.
Often, these couples can make most of the activities of daily living work by working together – we’re talking about couple who have usually been together for many years, after all — so if she is doing the heavy lifting of cooking, he is reminding her to use a towel when touching the pan and to turn off the stove when they’re done.
Sometimes, however, the care responsibilities can become just too much, even with the assistance of family.
That’s when it’s time to consider a professional senior care provider.
The situation outlined here is a true one. And although the husband and wife had very different care needs we were there to help find a way to make their desire to stay at home together, possible.
Helping an elderly couple to manage Doctor’s appointments
He was physically weak due to cancer treatments. She had progressive dementia.
When he had appointments with his oncologist, one of our PSW caregivers was there to help them get ready before leaving the house, and would attend the appointment. The caregiver also “drove” the wife’s wheelchair.
When we knew in advance that the appointment was likely to result in important changes to the medication regimen and the care plan, the Registered Nurse Case Manager would accompany them and attend the appointment as well.
In our experience, not all doctors are equally sensitive to seniors’ needs.
We’ve been in an examination room where the doctor had his back to the patient, and was speaking instead, in the direction of his computer monitor. Not only was this inconsiderate, if the patient has hearing loss they may have absolutely no idea that the doctor is speaking at all – and may as a result, miss important information that the Doctor is trying to communicate.
Doctor’s appointments can also be stressful, especially if you are unwell. It’s easy to forget questions you may have wanted to ask and the details of what a doctor has said. Having someone there to write everything down and remember to ask important questions can be extremely helpful.
We often accompany clients to their appointments to improve the likelihood that important information is not missed or misunderstood.
Providing care isn’t just about taking care of someone’s physical needs
We were able to help the elderly couple mentioned at the start of this blog post to have the life that they wanted – living as independently as possible while remaining safe and most importantly – together, without having to figure out all the logistics themselves.
When the couple went out for one of their grandchildren’s birthday parties, Eldercare Home Health set up transportation, helped order a cake, and provided a PSW to attend to the wife’s care needs.
Socialization is an important part of maintaining mental health and not becoming isolated. Because our PSW caregivers help with light housekeeping – to maintain a safe and clean environment – the husband and wife were able to have visitors in their home.
We even helped make sure that there was food and beverages available. And of course, despite any “distractions”, we made sure that all medications were still taken on schedule.
With Eldercare Home Health assisting the couple and accompanying them to their many medical appointments, their children were able to get the relief they needed, enjoy a more “normal” relationship with their parents, spend more time with their own families, and pay attention to their work responsibilities.
We bring a professional approach to providing home care
Having one parent who requires care is challenging. Having and elderly couple who both require care is more than most families can handle on their own. Hiring a professional care provider – like Eldercare Home Health – where Registered Nurses actively supervise the caregivers and case manage the care, can make a real and very meaningful difference the to the entire family.