My journey into home care in Morristown and the surrounding area, began long before I started Preferred Care at Home of Morris, Essex and Passaic. My journey started when my mother was diagnosed with early stage dementia, my brother and I began looking into what senior care options were available to us as a family. My brother and I lived far enough away that caring for mom was not something that either one of us could do without a major life disruption. However, we wanted to give my mother the senior care that she needed in the least restrictive way possible. She had always been a very social person and had long-term friendships that we wanted her to continue as long as possible.
We first considered finding an assisted living facility or nursing home where we thought she would be safe and where we thought her every need would be met. We arranged visits to several facilities but mom, who was adamant about not needing care, was even more adamant about staying in her home. She was so clear about wanting to stay at home that my brother and I began investigating home care. What we found surprised us. After visiting the dementia units of nursing homes we frequently saw seniors sitting in wheelchairs either sleeping or looking very bored and having very little real social interaction. We learned that home care is the only form of senior care that provides one-on-one care which leads to the formation of a relationship between the senior and the caregiver that would be very difficult to achieve in a setting where the caregivers come and go.
Once we decided to try senior home care we thought our troubles were over. In fact, they were just beginning. When the first caregiver arrived on Monday morning, mom invited her in, made coffee and put out some cake. Of course, mom had long forgotten the deal we had made with her: that in exchange for remaining in her home, she would accept help at home. She thought the aide was someone who had just stopped by for a visit. After the aide had been with her for a few hours mom stood up and told her that she did not appreciate being put in the position of having to ask the aide to leave. She let her know that people who are well brought up do not overstay their welcome and know when it is time to leave. The aide, surprised, informed mom that she was not leaving and that she was there to take care of her. That was not what mom wanted to hear. She asked the aide her age. After the aide replied mom informed the aide that she was 86, not in need of care, and probably better capable of caring for the aide, than the other way around. This scene was repeated four or five times over the next month as the agency kept sending aides who would leave after being followed around relentlessly day and night being asked when they were going to leave her in peace. Eventually, a very capable aide with very good social skills and a very sunny disposition was able to gain her trust and acceptance. They formed a bond that lasted for the six remaining years of mom’s life. The aide whose name was Sonia and hailed from Central America was in the room with mom when she passed away.
There is no magic trick or easy answer on how to get a loved one who needs senior home care to accept it. After some difficulty we were able to create a situation for mom that met her needs and gave her what she wanted most, which was to remain in her home. That decision, which was made to please mom actually lowered the cost of senior care. Since the house was paid for, we only had to pay for senior home care, and not all of the overhead that comes with an institution. The money that my parents had saved plus the money that my brothers and I contributed each month allowed her to be cared for in the way that she wanted, at the lowest cost.
When it comes time to start senior home care here in Morristown I have a first-hand understanding that it is not easy. That is why I work with you, your loved one, and your family, to ensure your care needs are met.
There are many senior care options in Morristown, finding the right care for you or your loved one is a process. If you have questions about senior home care or my own journey of finding care for my mom, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call me.
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