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Restoring Quality Time with Mom

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As caregivers we can become so task-oriented that we lose sight of what’s really important at the end of the day- spending quality time with our loved ones. I saw this happen very quickly as my mother and I worked together to care for my grandmother who has dementia.

It starts out very innocently- mom needs a bath, to get dressed, to eat breakfast and then take a glass of water to her chair in front of the TV. Every hour, she needs to get up and do some exercises so that she can maintain her strength. Oh shoot, did she take her pills this morning? When is that next doctor’s appointment? How am I going to get her there? Did I put the kids on the bus this morning? Did I get groceries for her house last night? Were the bills paid? And then gradually, we lose sight of mom. We become so overwhelmed with making sure that everything is done properly and on time that we forget to sit down, hold mom’s hand and have a real conversation with her.

By now you are saying that it is impossible to sit down, I know. But what if it were possible? What if there were some way to make sure that all of these tasks were done and we still had time to sit with mom and chat or hold her hand at the end of the day? I am writing to tell you that it is possible and that I can make it happen.

As a Certified Geriatric Care Manager, my background is gerontology. I understand the aging processes, changes associated with aging, health-related concerns and illnesses that affect the older population and I happen to very much enjoy helping people cope with these things. But most importantly I am familiar with services, programs, resources and professionals that exist to serve this population and improve their quality of life.

My job is to identify the needs of my older client and put together a plan that meets those needs and which will improve their quality of life, create a safer living environment and restore quality time for the family with their loved one. My goal is to take the burden off of the family and give them the freedom to enjoy those special moments with mom and continue to make memories that they want to have.

Care Management Services is a non-legal service that Marshall, Parker and Weber offers for families who need assistance coordinating services in the community to help their loved one age in place or even find a new place to call home. The service involves identifying needs and then matching the need with a service provider.

Once I coordinate these services, I monitor them to make sure that they are successful and the needs of the client are being met. I communicate with the family, update them on any changes and provide ongoing education. I visit my client in his home- whether that is the home they’ve been in for fifty years, an apartment, an independent living center, a personal care home or a skilled nursing facility. I ensure that the care and assistance they are receiving is good and that it is enough to keep them safe.

I can take some of the burden off of you as a caregiver. I can make appointments at doctor’s offices; schedule transportation; arrange for a caregiver to provide assistance with bathing, dressing, medication reminders, cooking, cleaning and laundry; arrange meal delivery for when you can’t be there; schedule respite care; equally distribute care giving responsibilities between family members that are local and long distance; make home modification and home safety recommendations; schedule social activities for mom or dad during the day; assign a friend to take her to church; reroute the mail or reassign financial management duties; assist the family in understanding behaviors related to dementia; perform facility visits to ensure that mom or dad is getting the best care and determine if and when there will be a discharge and what level of care is most appropritate; communicate with doctors, attorneys, health care professionals, financial professionals and other professionals in the community who exist to serve mom and dad’s needs.

Call me. I can help.