I promised him.
When I first met George and Lisa, they were calling around for help after Lisa's Dad, Mack had suffered a stroke. Unfortunately, Mack was also very sensitive to some of the medications he received in the hospital, and he suffered from dementia.
Mack was acting aggressively, even more confused, and now extremely weak. Lisa and George knew one day that Mack would require more care, but like most of my clients, they thought they had more time...
Lisa had made a promise to Mack a number of years ago. She promised to support him living in his own home, no matter what. Lisa worried, "am I breaking my promise to him?"
When Mack came home from the hospital, we made sure it was with lots of support. His daughter and son-in-law each made several trips to his home throughout the week, and they also hired two private caregivers (very costly, at $45/hour). I knew Lisa was not going to give up on her promise without a fight-- and Maintain Me was there to support her efforts.
This went on for a couple weeks, but alas, it was not enough.
We tried everything to keep Mack at home, but the burden was still so great on his family. They felt trapped by the circumstances, as most of my clients do.
It is possible to still honor your loved ones wishes, but it requires that we shift our thinking of what "home" is.
In supporting George and Lisa, I helped them learn about their options. They thought a nursing home was it before they contacted Maintain Me.
We started touring. I showed Lisa and George many different assisted living options. We went to a big memory care, a small memory care within a bigger community, and then we started looking at residential settings. I wanted them to feel informed and empowered, not just as though they were "going back on their promise".
After looking at several places, Lisa and George found comfort in a residential memory care right near their home. The staff was trained to help Mack maintain his independence, but also provide the 24 hour care, support, and loving interaction that he needed. Mack's family felt a huge sense of relief when they realized they worried less. Their own health improved. They were able to enjoy Mack's company, rather than worry about who could get off work early to rush home in time for the evening medications. Mack's dementia was advanced, he still thought he was at home, but just that there were extra people around.
Maintain Me works hard to support our clients and families along the path of aging. We know you are facing some of the hardest decisions of your life, or making hard decisions on behalf of a loved on. We do not take this lightly. Thank you for taking your time to read our stories.
Morgan Leigh Jenkins- Transition Director