" Following years of balance issues, in January 2013, my spouse was diagnosed by Mayo Clinic in MN with PSP, a progressive neurological disease.) Prior to the Mayo visit, we made the decision to proceed with her Long Term Health Care insurance and she qualified. I had no idea how to search for a caregiver and asked a friend at our church on Sunday, 28 April, Tammy referred me to Home Instead, and gave me several contact names at the Home Instead Bettendorf office. Tammy was thrilled with the service and care Home Instead gave her parents, and endorsed them immediately. Tammy's endorsement was good enough for me to start with Home Instead.
I called Home Instead on Monday, and talked with the administrator about our needs. On Tuesday, Jeanie visited us at our home. Jeanie asked how soon we would like the service to begin; I hopefully asked for "next Monday", six days later. Jeanie called Wednesday to say she had a caregiver lined up for my wife, and asked if we would like to meet Susan on Friday. Even before Friday's visit, I added a 4th day to the schedule for the next week.
Susan turned out to be a perfect match for my wife - common interests, attentive to detail, and eager to much more than we expected of her. Little did I know the endless number of surprises that were coming the next week!
Susan's first day went very well as my wife and Susan developed a comfortable space, but yet gave my wife (and me) confidence that Susan was accessible to assist, or provide balance and a sense of security. I left to play golf Monday AM, knowing my wife was in good hands. I returned in time to take my wife to her Physical Therapy appointment Monday afternoon (which Susan also attended).
On Tuesday, Susan worked with my wife on the exercises the PT therapist suggested, in addition to taking my wife for a walk (using a gait belt). After 2-3 days, my wife relies less on the gait belt for security than holding Susan's hand!
We were so delighted with the care my wife received and the peace of mind that Susan gave us with her attentiveness, that we increased the second week's schedule to five days a week. Susan is taking care of the household items which kept me occupied, and keeping me away from doing important household jobs such as paying bills and adding more safety features to our home, as well as working with my wife's medical caregivers (doctors, Physical Therapists, neurologist) for her care. I can also play golf with my golf buddies without worrying about my wife's safety immediate.
I am delighted with Home Instead's services, the flexibility to adjust days to the schedule I originally asked for. Home Instead offered to change caregiver hours on a 24 hour notice (e.g. add a 2nd or 3rd shift. I work with the administrator on planning as far out as I can so Home Instead can plan appropriately to give Susan the schedule she wants. Incidentally, when I increased the number of days from the original three to my new five day week, Susan offered to adjust her schedule and her prior Friday Home Instead assignment so she could assist my wife five days a week! We were delighted to have Susan ask for us, as we knew the extra days would likely have meant additional caregivers.
Although I have yet to go through a billing cycle, I like the process Home Instead told me they will use, which clearly communicates to our Long Term Health Care insurance company the necessary information to track the number of Elimination Days, before coverage begins.
At this point, I am very pleased with our Home Instead decision, have told all our friends and neighbors, as well as church friends. With Home Instead's nation-wide organization, I look forward to finding a Home Instead care giver in Southern California, where we spend January through mid April. Hopefully, she will be another "Susan"!
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