Monday, July 22, 2019

Caregiver Help, Pt. 1: A Respite Stay May Be What the Doctor Ordered

Barb and I were cleaning sinks and toilets when we both thought thought of the same thing.  It's called respite.

We don't normally clean bathrooms within shouting distance.   But last week they were our assignment as we worked to help ready my mother-in-law's manufactured home for the upcoming sale.  Mom has moved to assisted living.

Respite is something Barb has toyed with for awhile.  She cares for her husband, who has dementia, and she also works part-time outside their home. Barb is also a great friend. A high energy woman, she's been carrying this load and wearing many hats for years.  Understandingly, though, she said it might be nice to take a little break.

Specifically Barb wants to connect with relatives and friends in Iowa, where she grew up.  Her husband's dementia puts him at risk for falls and confusion in strange places such as airport terminals.

As we talked, it became apparent that if Barb were to leave, say for a week or two, her husband would need the security of their home plus the safety of a caregiver.  A caregiver from a home care agency might be best.  Their daughter could sleep at her parent's home at night, and a caregiver could watch him during the day.

Barb is thinking about the respite idea.  I gave her the name of an excellent home care company.  She can inch into this decision a little at a time, by having an assessment with the Care Manager in her home.  She can discuss her husband's likes and dislikes,  plus his care needs.

If she goes ahead with the respite, I'm pretty sure she will be able to come home refreshed, sharing photos and memories with her husband and with her friends.

Coming up:  Another respite story with a different venue.  Also, a teeny report on my book proposal.  I have two publishers who have expressed interest.  And I have a lot of work to do to finish the next step.  Thanks for your support.
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