The Day I Hired Home Instead Senior Care to Help My Family.


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My husband’s grandmother started showing signs of dementia last year and right around Christmas we noticed it was worse. 

In early February, she fell, visited the ER and they determined that her liver was failing – and failing fast. One of her sons lived with her and was her primary caretaker. She was starting to repeat herself and he found that he could not leave her alone while he ran errands.  

I mentioned to her son that using a CAREGiver from Home Instead would be beneficial to keep everyone at ease. I sent one of our nurses over to do an assessment and to get services set up.  In my 10 years at Home Instead I have never had to use the services for personal reasons. So, this was new to me and I was a little anxious about mixing work with family. I called one of our staffing coordinators, Michelle to see who she thought would be going to the shifts once they started and she told me the CAREGiver’s name was Ella. I couldn’t help but laugh a little because my daughter’s name is Ella. The family would not have a hard time remembering her name! 

I was anxiously waiting to hear from Dixie’s son about the first shift. He told me that he was pleased with Ella and she was engaging Dixie in bingo when he left the house. I was so pleased! Every shift brought more positive things and great appreciation for the peace of mind Ella was bringing to him every time he left the house. Oasis Hospice was called in to help because she was quickly deteriorating. Our CAREGivers do log notes after each shift for the next CAREGiver to know what is going on with the client. Ella was Dixie’s only CAREGiver so all the log notes are from Ella. Here are some excerpts from the log notes. Instead of telling you how things unfolded, I am going to let Ms. Ella’s log notes show you…

February 27th - “We played Bingo several times. She won 3 times and I won once. She had a shower at 12:30 by the hospice nurse and she enjoyed every minute of it. She thanks you for everything. She loves to watch game shows. She repeats a lot, but won’t let you wash dishes. She wants her son to do it.” 

March 4th – “We did memory games. Match the rhymes.  Made a card game. Number match and circle the right number. This was paper work. She also did match the pictures and put a puzzle together. She wants to call her son and all the neighbors but I would not let her. She is using the bathroom several times.”

March 9 – “She had me take her to the potty before I could ever clock in. She couldn’t wait to potty – but she doesn’t really have to go once she gets there. She matched the shadows on a game. She also matched the shapes on a shape game and put together a puzzle. Ms. Dixie did good.”

March 11 – “Today Ms. Dixie used an Oxygen tank. Her steps were slower than usual. After using the tank she moved a lot faster. She matched numbers on a game, weather match up and also a sorting veggie game. She did a great job. I did her hair and makeup.”

March 13 – “She kept taking cat naps through the day. She didn’t watch her favorite TV shows at all. Couldn’t stay awake long enough to do a game. Everything is slowing down – almost to a stop. She is starting to get weaker. Her son had to get the wheelchair to assist her. She thinks she is going to fall when she gets up.”

March 16 – “Ms. Dixie is now total bed bound. No activities were done with her. I cleaned her bathroom, swept the floor, wiped fingerprints off the doors, dusted a little and wiped down kitchen appliances. I kept checking on her from time to time. It’s hard to believe that my friend Ms. Dixie can no longer do stuff with me. I’m going to miss her. She was such a joy.”

Dixie passed away before Ella’s shift ended. I called her and asked her if she would stay with Dixie’s son until the coroner came to the house. She gladly said she would. I was later told that this was Ella’s first death as a CAREGiver. She handled it like it was not her first. 

There are many times I sat with a family and explained to them how our services could help them sleep better at night, could allow them to attend their grandchild’s baseball game all while our CAREGivers were taking care of their loved one. Earlier this month, I experienced it. There is no dollar amount you could put on the peace of mind Dixie’s son had while Ella was with his mom. At the time that Dixie passed away I was home alone with my two children, who were sleeping. My husband was with his dad in the ER getting diagnosed with pneumonia. If Ella would not have been there I would have had to find someone to come sit with my children, but Dixie’s son quickly said that he was fine because Ella was there to be with him. 

Our services bring much more than just physical needs to a client. There is an emotional need that is met also. I saw it, I felt it and I would recommend it to anyone who asks. 

CALL US TODAY – 205-822-1915





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