Caregiving was already hard, but I feel like Covid and the isolation has made things twice as difficult. I hope you are all managing to adapt and have resources and options to help best serve those you are caring for now.
So many things seem to go wrong and fall through the cracks. I have two clients that are alone in their homes and the effort and care of the team is the only way they can safely stay in their homes. These clients are lucky to have the money to afford these resources. I don’t think most people really understand that aging in place brings with it different costs that can be as much (and even more) than a care community.
I’m lucky to have passionate individuals on these care teams that contribute insight and truly care about how we can best serve their needs.
My Aging in Place Dream Team includes:
- Aging Life Care Manager: Someone needs to be the lead on medical appointments, follow-ups and health care needs. I tried to manage all of this for my parents and wish I had brought them in sooner than her last year to help. I regret the lost time managing her health care needs when I visited her memory care community versus just being able to sit and spend time with her as a daughter.
- Friendly Visitor: There are a variety of individuals who are able to engage, help, and guide through hobbies, shopping, and setting up and helping with Zoom calls to socially distant friends and family.
- Home Care Team: Whether it is an individual or an agency with a deep bench, having someone that can help with the activities of daily living as well as ensure they are safe in their home 24/7 has been a necessity.
- Daily Money Manager: Someone to pay the bills and manage the home maintenance.
In the past two months, we have experienced an Identity Theft (he gave his banking information to someone that he thought was Apple Support even through he has a Dell); a flooded apartment; phone service outage; a failed car inspection (he has a car that family can use when visiting that was his wife’s and is important to him); yard care needs (this rain has really helped the kudzu grow).
There are many handoffs and follow ups needed to keep the team in synch. We share a digital calendar for one client and the other one has 24/7 in-home care that updates the schedule of visitors.
For both clients we have talked about having them live in a care community. Right now it’s a hard transition with required 14-day isolation and difficult to decide to move someone into a care community where we know Covid wreaked havoc. We recognize that we are the ones helping them lead their lives in spite of all the Covid barriers.
The reality is that you will make the best choice with the information you have. I just realized how much I valued the team of individuals helping support these individuals in their homes lead the lives they had planned. While we are all feeling so isolated lately, I am happy to be part of these thoughtful care teams. Appreciated.