It’s no secret that living in a nursing home is not as safe as it used to be. I don’t know the statistics before the pandemic, but according to a recent AARP Bulletin:
“Fewer than 1% of Americans live in long-term care facilities. But 40% of COVID-19 deaths have occurred there.” That is a sobering statistic.*
It is also no secret that I started my home care agency back in the mid-1980’s as an alternative to institutions who were not providing adequate care to seniors. It was clear to me they were operating on a business model where the less services you provided, the more profit you made.
Although any of us can be exposed and infected by the COVID-19 virus, risk management and statistics say the safest place to be, at least until the pandemic is under control, is to stay home.
Christel’s Home Care offers seniors who are no longer able to maintain their independence the option of remaining in the security and comfort of their own home with the assistance of an experienced caregiver.
And with an abundance of hospice programs now available, most can remain at home until their last day.
Our caregivers specialize not only with hospice patients, but with dementia, cancer, and other debilitating illnesses. Also, having a live-in or full-time caregiver assures that the same caregiver is there, limiting exposure. Our continuity of care policy means you are not exposed to multiple caregivers, but bond with one who, in most cases, becomes like “one of the family”.
While no “bubble” is foolproof, the odds favor adding a home caregiver to help with activities of daily living as the safest option for seniors today.
* AARP December 2020 issue, volume 61, no. 10, page 6.
Now, more than ever, Senior Citizens are benefitting from staying at home with the help of caregivers as opposed to entering nursing homes. Our caregivers are taking extra precautions to reduce risks for our clients. Below are some suggestions from the CDC for helping keep the elderly from acquiring coronavirus.
And of course, if we can help provide caregivers to keep your parent, grandparent or loved one at home, please feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation.
Thank you to AARP for putting together this list of questions to ask if your loved one is in a nursing home.
It was 30+ years ago when I decided to open a service designed for those who wanted to remain at home rather than spend the last part of their lives living with others facing a similar fate.
It was to this end that Christel’s Home Care Agency began helping seniors and their families in the mid 1980’s. Our mission was, and still is, to provide an alternative to institutional settings.
We remain open and ready to help during this pandemic. Give us a call. Caregivers are waiting and looking forward to helping provide a safe home environment conducive to maintaining as much independence and quality of life possible.
Chris Christel, Owner
Recently, I posted on google that we have caregivers looking for work. When I started out over 30 years ago, my goal was strictly focused on helping seniors remain in the security and comfort of their own homes. While this mission has been a big success, I have shifted my focus somewhat over the years.
Besides helping seniors, I realized I was also helping caregivers find jobs, stay working, and support their families. So, while I continue to help our elderly community maintain the highest quality of life possible, an added benefit is finding rewarding work for those who directly provide the service.
Just a reminder that August 21st is “National Senior Citizens day”!
Please take the opportunity to help in any way you can. One idea would be to join together and share watching the eclipse that morning.
Remember to wear protective glasses!
Enjoy the day.
My wife and I recently watched the movie, The Notebook. It is a very moving account of one person’s perspective of what it is like to live with and take care of someone with dementia.
It is set in a nursing home and tells the story of a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who kept a journal/diary, a “notebook”, chronicling her life growing up in the 1940’s. The man Allie married, Noah, reads it to her in the hope that her memory of their life together will return. (It is not immediately apparent, at least not to me, that he is her husband and that the story he reads to her is about them.)
While the doctors there give him no cause for optimism, he continues reading to her; and indeed she will occasionally “return” for a short time – even playing songs on the piano from memory! There is a scene where family members visit but she doesn’t recognize them. Quite heart wrenching!
It raises some hard questions: Will my spouse eventually forget who I am or vice versa?
Why do some people get dementia and others don’t?
Lastly, this is a movie about life choices. We find out that Allie, unlike her mother, chooses love and passion over money and security.
What does this all have to do with home care?
The story brings out just how hard it is to watch someone decline and try your best to care for them. Noah did that job, 36 hours a day, until they die in their sleep together in each other’s arms.
In the end, at the final exam of life (if there is one) there is only one question: “How much have you loved?” Allie and Noah passed with flying colors!!
Thought provoking and emotionally charged, this is a movie for the ages!
Please comment and let me know what topics are of interest.
Because I have always specialized in providing live-in caregivers, my focus has been as much on personality and character as on their skill set. When it comes to evaluating a caregiver, I look for qualities that can't be learned in a nursing class: compassion, understanding, patience, etc.
While it is important to match the caregiver's skills with the client's needs, it is also vital to make sure they are "compatible". In a previous blog, I gave the example of caregivers who have either a "take charge" or "take orders" personality. A caregiver not only needs to have the right skill set, but how they perform their duties is equally important to insure long-term success of the home care placement.
For the temp/part-time caregiver, skill set is probably more important than their personality. But even then, I would submit that for the client's comfort and peace of mind, compatibility is necessary too.
Caregivers are always providing some type of companionship regardless of how busy they might be with other duties. While cooking, cleaning, driving, and personal care may be required, who is doing it and their attitude (hopefully friendly and upbeat) makes all the difference. A smile goes a long way!
Families run the gamut for how much they want to participate in their loved one’s life as the end nears. During my initial home visit, I specifically ask families how much contact they want from the caregivers who are taking care of their loved one.
I hear everything from “don’t bother us, that’s what we’re paying you to do” to “call me every day with an update”. Most times though, it is somewhere in between. I also encourage family members to make unannounced visits to check up on the caregiver. I also do this and have the caregivers keep daily “nursing notes” so visitors can read about how the patient is doing.
We make no judgment about the level of family involvement and try to accommodate their wishes.
At a minimum, someone usually needs to pay the bills every so often unless a payroll company or fiduciary is hired. Most other responsibilities can be outsourced or handled by the caregiver or myself. Toward the very end, some families contact hospice for help. They specialize in “palliative care” which means keeping the patient as pain-free and comfortable as possible. Hospice provides a team of professionals who interact with those involved in the home care in order to make the transition as smooth as possible.
In conclusion, family’s can be as involved as they wish. Those who serve seniors need to be aware how difficult it can be not only for the ailing senior, but for those around them who have their own set of needs, emotional and otherwise. Caregivers need to understand their job is to support and assist family members as well as their patient.
Chris Christel, Author
Chris Christel, a pioneer in geriatric care, founded Christel's Home Care Agency in 1985. Chris has a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and a wealth of knowledge in the field of home care.
Note: Any comments posted here belong solely to the individual posting & should not be considered an endorsement by our agency.