A couple of months ago we had to seriously reconsider the assistance that we were using to help mom and dad. We have seen a definite decline in mom’s mental ability over the last six months and she basically does not want the responsibility of making decisions any more. We have had several home health assistants over the last couple of years and the main problem that we have experienced is the lack of caring on their part. The job is not highly compensated and the requirements are not very stringent either.
We are always walking that fine line of providing what mom and dad need and conserving their money. They are definitely on a limited budget and that makes the decisions harder sometimes. I got recommendations from friends and then I spoke with several new agencies. We knew that to get what we needed that we needed to increase our budget and we were prepared to do that. When we made a decision, I spoke with the current home health agency that we were using. They were very adamant that they could provide what we needed with one particular aide. Of course, my thoughts were “why did it take a threat of leaving to have them take us seriously” but I listened to what they had to offer and I told them that we would try one more time. Mom and dad do not adjust to change very well, so we need to minimize the turnover of help.
The main thing that I was looking for in assistance for them was more help in planning. Forgetting to buy things at the grocery store and lack of meal planning were concerns. Treating dad with respect and helping him get out of the house and moving again was another big concern.
It turns out that we have been fortunate to have found an absolute angel. Katie has made the biggest change in mom and dad’s life (particularly dad’s). She oversees so much of their daily schedules. She plans and cooks meals for them. She has dad exercising and getting out of the house. They both love her to pieces. The house is cleaner and their attitudes are better. And dad has an advocate in his corner and he realizes that. He talks with her about his concerns and fears in a way that he can not with the rest of us. He finally has someone that has no unreasonable expectations from him and will listen unconditionally. That is what I want for him. I don’t want him to worry and be scared. I can’t stand the thought of that.
We have a long, hard road ahead of us, but it will be so much easier with Katie by our side. I am ever so grateful that she came into our lives.