My reason for getting into home health care was to keep seniors out of nursing homes. Back in the 80’s when I started Christel’s Home Care, these institutions were “warehouses” for those society no longer had a use for. The frail elderly were hidden away and forgotten. The only way to leave was to be carried out “in a box”. It was a one-way ticket on a ride nobody wanted to take.
Back in those days, “good nursing home” was an oxymoron. Their goal was profit, and the less services they provided, the better their bottom line was. It seemed like a conflict of interest to me. In my mind, they were taking advantage of a segment of the population who were vulnerable and at risk. Neglect and abuse were not uncommon.
I was exposed to these places in my role as a social worker on the East coast back in the 70’s. When I relocated to CA. I made it my mission to help seniors who wanted to remain in the security and comfort of their own home.
Fast forward to today. If you have enough money, you can find a nice place to live, a “community” that offers services conducive to maintaining quality of life. However, statistics show that most seniors would prefer to “age in place”. When I am called upon to make this happen, I am usually contacted by an adult child of a senior looking for a caregiver for their parent. These adult children have been called the “sandwich generation” because they not only have their own children to care for but aging parents as well. They are “sandwiched” in between with double the responsibility and not enough time!
In next month’s blog, I will address how family’s can best cope with this burden, or better yet, labor of love.
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.