Sally was a thriving and determined young woman who had just finished medical school. She was looking forward to a fulfilling career helping patients. That dream burst when Adolf Hitler’s Nazi troops stormed into her home town. She was a Jew living in Germany.
Sally, her sister and parents were detained in a Nazi concentration camp. The harshness of the camp claimed both of her parents’ lives. Shortly after the war’s end, Sally and her sister came to the US. Starting over, she earned a degree in physical therapy. She went onto chair a PT department of a major university. She never married but lived with her sister into her late 80s, until the sister’s tragic death stumbling down some stairs during a power outage.
Sally was now living all alone and her mind was failing. She had been financially exploited by people going door to door offering to do odd jobs. Neighbors would find her wandering the streets at all hours of the day and night. A family friend stepped in to help manage her finances and eventually her care. Despite her feistiness and agility, frequently displayed by performing high kicks, she was repeatedly hospitalized and eventually needed round the clock home care. Sally was not an easy client which makes one wonder was it just the effects of the Alzheimer’s disease or was this the toll of the concentration camps and the devastating loss of her family? She was full of prejudice too. She was sprite so she spoke coarsely to overweight people, even lecturing about diet and exercise. She was leery of folks of different skin color. Odd to me because she had been a victim of extreme prejudice, but her mind was not her own. Sally could also be mischievous. She often smeared her feces all over her house. Cleaning it was an awful task for her caregivers. Her behavior was so poor that she was rarely taken out except for an occasional trip to her favorite restaurant Waffle House. If it were not for home care she could not have remained in her home.
It took a team from the home care agency to keep her at home. Imagine schedulers trying to find enough caregivers to meet Sally’s criteria. It could not always be done, so caregivers had to have thick skin and truly appreciate that Sally had Alzheimer’s. Most professional caregivers understand and know how to compassionately deliver care even to clients that are sometimes incredibly mean. Hiring through a home care agency was key as well because that meant a registered nurse was supervising the care, offering suggestions, working with Sally’s physician and seeking other professional assistance too. While Sally suffered cognitive impairment, the extremeness of her disease would have made it difficult to move her to dementia facility. She was fortunate to have the financial resources to afford round the clock home care.
Originally appeared on: http://www.homecarechoice.com/home-care-articles/home-care-helps-woman-with-alzheimers-at-home