A Christmas Memory I’ll Never Forget

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The Christmas season is now behind us, but the memories of it linger on…

Reflecting on the holidays this year, what were some of your favorite moments? What is one thing you did that brought joy to someone’s face? I’d like to share one thing I did- and it not only brought joy to someone else, but it also made my day.

Our client- I’ll call her Mollie- desperately wanted to go to Tacoma to watch her niece’s school Christmas pageant.  Mollie’s niece isn’t a student at the school- she is the music teacher and responsible for the entire pageant. Directing and organizing 300 children under the age of 11… impressive stuff. Even more impressive, many of the children at this school have parents who have dedicated their lives to serving others by working on the Fort Lewis military base.

I had first heard about this musical performance one afternoon in early December when I was visiting with Mollie in her home. We were reminiscing about the holidays and she mentioned to me that she really wanted to attend the holiday pageant- but had no way of getting there. Although she has a full time caregiver that assists in her home on a daily basis, on this particular day her caregiver was unavailable. As Mollie told me about she had never missed a performance, and how her niece reserved VIP parking and special front row seating for her- her eyes welled up with tears and her voice faltered- I could tell this was very important to her.

 So I offered to take her. The minute the words were out of my mouth her expression changed to utter delight.

In the weeks leading up to the big event Mollie would call me often, running details by me, checking on what time I would pick her up, planning where we would go for lunch… this was a big outing for her and she wanted everything to be perfect.

Finally the day arrived, I picked her up at 10:00 and we headed to Tacoma. On the way down she shared stories of her life and her family, reminding me there is so much more to each and every one of our clients than what meets the eye.  When we arrived at the school her niece came running out to the parking lot to steer us to our VIP spot and then escorted us our reserved seats in the school gym.

The minute the show started I was captivated. Each and every child in that school was bursting with pride and excitement. They were singing their little hearts out- and it showed! My eyes filled with joyful tears- watching these sweet, innocent children have their moment to shine was thrilling.  Each song was better than the last- the kids danced, sang, and entertained the crowd for an hour and a half- and it was fabulous. Best of all, as I looked over at Mollie- the smile on her face confirmed that this was indeed the highlight of the holiday season for her.

Sometimes we forget that we can spread happiness by doing the simplest things for others. By taking time out of my busy schedule and driving my client to Tacoma I got to experience first hand the joy of  the season- and what it’s really about- and that’s a Christmas memory I will never forget.

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Patient Advocacy

One of the biggest challenges of adult children is the constant worry about their parents well-being.  Wondering if a parent is eating right, taking medications properly or practicing proper hygiene care is very concerning. Other worries include questioning their parent’s safety both at home and behind the wheel.  All of this is even more stressful if the parent is suffering from some sort of cognitive impairment.

If the adult child lives far away, has a family of their own, a full time job and other commitments, it isn’t always realistic for them to be available to help their parent with these day to day tasks.

To make matters worse, when dealing with a memory loss or dementia, a senior usually has multiple doctor’s appointments that are necessary. For the adult child, it isn’t easy to accompany their parent to the numerous appointments. Yet it is essential that someone is there to ask questions, take notes, plan the follow up appointment(s), get prescriptions filled and perhaps even drive to the appointment.

What to do?

Capability Homecare can provide a compassionate and understanding caregiver who can be your senior parent’s advocate. They can drive your parent to their appointment, relay any concerns the family has, help take notes on follow up instructions, ask questions of the doctor, schedule the follow up appointments and report back to you. It will alleviate any miscommunication and help make sure the senior is receiving the care they deserve.

Let a Capability Homecare caregiver be your patient’s advocate- and give you the peace of mind you deserve.

Call us today to find out how we can help you 425 679-5770.

A Revolving Door Policy? Not for Us!

 I had a meeting with an attorney a few weeks ago and he mentioned that the Homecare firms he refers his clients to have a system in place to rotate their caregivers.  If you are unfamiliar with what that means- let me explain.

 Let’s say a client needs care 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Instead of assigning one caregiver to that client, these Homecare agencies rotate who will be providing the care.  Each week (or each day) a different person will show up to take care of the senior.

He claims that they do this so that the caregiver doesn’t have time to develop a relationship with the client.  Therefore it is less likely they will have the opportunity to take advantage of the senior.  His belief was that by having a different caregiver- the client will be protected from any misconduct.

Capability Homecare disagrees with this theory.

While we recognize the need to ensure a senior is safe and protected, we don’t think this is accomplished by having a revolving door of caregivers coming in and out of the senior’s home.  In fact, this exposure to so many different people might even make it easier to take advantage of the client.

At Capability Homecare we assign one caregiver to each client (or possibly two if it is more than 40 hours a week) because we believe that by having the same caregiver taking care of a client they are able to develop a true relationship. In fact, our motto is ‘a relationship you can trust’.

Our primary goal is match the caregiver’s personality to the senior’s personality. We employ 2 full time recruiters whose job is to do background checks, reference checks, and also to screen, interview and get to know our caregivers so that we can confidently assign them to a client knowing it will be a good fit. Our recruiters spend hours finding the best caregiver- it’s so important to us that it’s worth the extra time and effort.

Contrary to our competitors, we want our clients to build a trusting relationship with the person caring for them.

I know in the case of my grandfather this couldn’t be more important! He absolutely loves his caregiver- and if for some reason she isn’t able to be there- it completely stresses my grandpa out. It ruins his whole day- and as a fragile 92 year old man, this is the last thing we want to worry about. He counts on Erin being there- and relies on that consistency.

In addition to peace of mind for the client, it is also extremely important in terms of the actual care. By having the same caregiver each shift, the caregiver gets to know the client and what their needs are, what their likes and dislikes are, what sort of personality they have (talkative, private, depressed, forgetful…), what sort of food they like, what activities they enjoy…

By having the same caregiver each time the caregiver is completely familiar with the care plan and what the requirements are. By having a new caregiver each week, there is extra burden on making sure they are familiar with the specific details of the care plan.  Without this familiarity, mistakes can easily be made. With a medically fragile senior- a mistake can be extremely dangerous and even life threatening.

As for the protection of the senior- this is also extremely important to us.  Capability Homecare uses a process of extensive background checks, reference checks and interviews so that we feel confident that the person we have hired is a trustworthy individual. To further ensure that level of safety- we do random safety checks. We also feel it is extremely important to constantly communicate with the client and the client’s family.  As an added precaution- we have even gone so far as to offer Lifelock to some clients who require live in care.

So it’s your choice- would you rather see your loved one cared for by someone who has taken the time to get to know them and will treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve, or would you rather just have a random person show up to do the job?

Call Capability Homecare today to find out more about our homecare services 425 679-5770.