These are stories of aging adults and their families that Eldercare Services has helped. While each situation is unique, one constant thread connects them: The care they received was clearly centered on what each person needed.
Resistance to Care
Rose is an 80-year-old woman who lives alone. Her adult child, Steve, lives in the area and is concerned at her reluctance to accept help. Rose sits in her den with three weeks of newspapers on the couch. The television is on, but the sound doesn’t work. Three tea-stained cups are scattered around the room. When asked if she’s had lunch, she says, ‘yes’ . . . but a walk through the kitchen reveals no recent dirty dishes or food-related trash. Her clothes are soiled and her hair is not shampooed. She walks without difficulty, but repeats the same story about her husband three times (she says he’s at work). The first time she tells it, the story makes sense and you’re not sure if it’s real. She says, loudly and clearly, that every one of “those people” who came to help had to be fired.
We found her strapped to a bed in a nursing facility, following a series of small strokes.
She had some short-term memory loss and impaired vision, but could walk on her own. She was anxious to return to her home – a single story 2-bedroom apartment in poor condition, located in a retirement community. Jessie was a widow, with no children and only one relative, a niece in Florida. She had established a Trust with a San Francisco bank, but they were reluctant to make quality of life decisions for her. Her doctor was adamant that she receive 24-hour care.
Caring Across the Miles
George, an 85-year-old man, lived in a California retirement community and cared for his bed-ridden wife, Mildred, who had suffered a stroke. Their family members lived in Kansas.
Both George and Mildred were admitted to a nursing home after George fell and broke his hip. We were called by their daughter to help George and Mildred return to their retirement community. At that time, the family was paying for both the nursing home and 24hour private duty staffing.
George was upset and depressed at the nursing home and determined to get home. Mildred was doing well at the nursing home — her needs were being met and she seemed happy. George was devoted to his wife and wanted her to be with him.