Bill had been hospitalized in October 2010 after experiencing a severe fall. He spent many days in acute care before going to a skilled nursing facility for several months. Bill had lost all of the strength in his legs, was unable to stand, and required two aides to transfer him from his bed to the wheelchair. In addition, his appetite was poor and he had experienced significant weight loss. He was extremely ill, was not expected to survive more than six months, and had started to receive hospice care.
I received a call from Bill’s family in March 2010 inquiring about our 24 hour home care services. Although Bill was married, his wife, Betty, who was also 87 years old at that time, was not able to provide the care that Bill needed to be able to come home safely. Betty as well as her daughter, Brenda, and son-in-law, John, wanted the best care possible for Bill and also wanted to respect his wishes to be home with Betty. After serious consideration, they requested the services of Senior Helpers to supplement the hospice care that he was also receiving to enable him to return to his home.
With the dedicated care from Bill’s family, hospice, and our live-in caregiver, Marie, Bill’s health began to improve almost immediately after coming back home. Brenda, a registered nurse and very loving daughter, was intricately involved in helping to oversee her father’s care. She immediately put together an exercise program for her father to further his rehabilitation. Marie, a Certified Home Health Aide, assisted Bill with his activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, and transferring. She was also diligent about motivating Bill to make sure that he completed his exercise program a few times each day.
With the support of his family and Marie, as well as his own efforts and determination, Bill became stronger and his appetite improved within the first month of being home. Within three months, Bill no longer needed assistance with transferring and was able to walk with his walker. Within six months, Bill’s health had improved so significantly that he was no longer in need of hospice care. The progress that he had made in such a short period of time was truly a miracle!
Three years later, Bill and Betty are still living in their home together. Although Marie has left to be with her own family, another aide, Laura, provides care for Bill as well as Betty who now also needs assistance with personal care. Laura has now been with Bill and Betty for about two years and is considered part of the family. They are grateful that they have been able to stay in their home. Last Christmas, they sent out their annual form letter to friends and family. The letter said, “We are blessed we are healthy enough to stay at the house. We have a live-in aide that is great help to our everyday needs, but we are still living here. Sure, we gave up driving and we have body parts that ache, but it is nice to be home.”
Senior Helpers is a licensed Health Care Service firm. We provide both companion as well as personal care services on an hourly and live-in basis. We are dedicated to partnering with other organizations that are committed to assisting older adults and their families as well as giving back to the community.