Imagine you are in your late 50s and already living in an assisted living facility. That was the case for Audrey who contracted West Nile Virus here in the states then developed encephalitis. Her judgment became impaired and she could no longer drive or live on her own. She had also been a brittle Diabetic since her 20s. A brittle diabetic experiences extreme swings in blood sugar levels. The facility was quite confining for Audrey who had been an active community volunteer. She felt caged so one of the staff called our home care agency. We provided a caregiver to take her out and about during the days. She would go to pottery classes, museums, and shopping but her favorite outing was to visit her home where her cat Albert still lived. The caregiver’s day quickly extended from 7 hours to 11 hours to accommodate Audrey’s need to be more independent. Eventually Audrey convinced her brother and sister-in-law to let her try living at home with round-the-clock home care.
Audrey did not want several shifts a day or many caregivers. She wanted consistent home care. She required caregivers familiar with her Diabetes and blood sugar fluctuations. She was able to have two 12 hour shifts per day which meant only four caregivers per week. Home care worked out fabulously for Audrey! She had routinely been administering her finger stick for years but could no longer read the results, so her caregiver did so and then Audrey administered her insulin. Audrey and the caregivers would plan her meals, grocery shop and cook together. She still went on her outings. Audrey was able to entertain visitors in her home and of course be with Albert! The caregivers assisted Audrey with her personal care and kept the house spic and span. They also warded off a plethora of contractors offering to pave her driveway, remove trees and replace her roof for very ‘special’ prices. Prior to living in the facility Audrey fell prey to such folks quickly writing checks for unnecessary work. The caregivers were integral for her doctor’s appointments too as they knew her best. Family worked in tandem with the caregivers behind the scenes to make sure Audrey’s needs were met and she felt in control of her situation.
Audrey left the assisted living facility nine years ago and remains living in her home today thanks to home care.