Are you suddenly faced with the total care of a loved one? Their sudden illness or hospitalization can change your life overnight into being a full-time, primary caregiver. The need for increased support for our elderly family and friends can happen gradually or suddenly, and we often do not plan in advance. We have not had time to think through the options and do not want a nursing home to be the next step.
My mother has always enjoyed good health and independence. Recently, however, she became ill and suddenly lost her independence. She could no longer manage her daily activities without assistance. This sudden change in her lifestyle had a direct impact on my lifestyle as well. It required that I take off work, travel to her hometown, accompany her to physician’s visits, plan and prepare meals, grocery shop, pay bills, and take care of housekeeping responsibilities. Overnight I had become a full time caregiver.
I have worked for Angels for Elders for several years and have witnessed what families go through when someone falls ill. However, this time it was personal to my life and my relationships. My role as her caregiver was a priority to assist in her recovery in every way I possibly could.
I had to think of everything. How was she going to cook and eat? How were her needs for socialization going to be met? Who would pay her bills, grocery shop, clean the house? Drive her to her doctor’s visits? And make sure she took her medicines? It just seemed endless.
My mother is active in her community and has many friends who offered to help when they could but we could not impose on their lives for full-time care. So from my list I started to make calls, the first to the local Meal On Wheels Program. This program has been a lifesaver, they came to our aid by putting her on their route for meal deliveries.
I inquired about local caregiver agencies in her area and received several recommendations from her doctor’s office. I added to my resources by pursuing ads in local publications, dialing 211, contacting churches, and local healthcare facilities. I was able to identify an agency that I felt would meet not only my mother’s needs, but my needs as well. With services lined up, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. My worries would be eased and she would receive the of quality care she deserved.
My recommendation to anyone faced with a similar situation is seek recommendations from others in the community and do not be timid about getting your questions answered and your specific needs met. Always look to do business with a caregiver agency that is honest and ethical in their communication with you. They should be willing to act as an objective resource and customize services to meet your specific needs. Check with the Texas Dept. of Aging & Disability Services (TDADS- 800-458-9858) to insure that the agency is properly licensed and follows state policies and guidelines.
Happily my mother has recovered nicely and has returned to her independent, active life style. .
Angels for Elders is a locally owned and operated non-medical Personal Assistance Service agency that has been serving the small towns along the I-35 Corridor since 1999. Angels For Elders provides 2-24 hour service including, but not limited to: personal care, short-term illness recovery, long term care, overnight sitters (in hospital or nursing home), homemaking (meals, cleaning, errands), transportation. Payment sources are private pay, LTC insurance, and some VA benefits. Our motto is: …whatever you need to remain independent ! …and you do not have to be elderly to use the services. For information call 512-847-7445.
Article written by Jerri Roberts, Community Liaison for Angels for Elders