Many times home health care is only thought of on a "We've Got to Do Something Now" basis. As we baby boomers are getting older and are now on the receiving end of the spectrum it is important for us to look for ways to make our lives simpler and more convenient not only for ourselves but for those who might be caring for us.
I remember when I was caring for my mother. We all knew she would be passing on soon but we were given three months to make memories and enjoy having her in our home. Now, do not think for a minute it was easy to take complete care of mother, but it was absolutely wonderful to be able to care for her and if I had it to do over I'd absolutely do it again.(If I were able) I learned many things I'd like to share with you.
First I learned I could do it. I needed the support of my husband and daughter but with their help I could give mother the care she needed and deserved. The old saying "There's no place like home" is so true. I found mom's real NEED was a home environment where those who knew and loved her were caring for her.
I learned I needed to take care of myself, taking time to relax at least a few minutes a day. It was not easy to get away and it was even harder to want to get away, but it was necessary to get good rest, eat good meals and get away once in a while. I found there were friends, church acquaintances and even mother's friends who could and wanted to sit with her for awhile. This served 2 purposes. We were able to get away and she got to enjoy new faces and things to talk about.
Last I learned I needed to use every convenience available to make my work easier. Mother had moved in with us about 5 years before her passing and at that time we just needed a toilet seat riser, a couple hand grips and a shower chair. Then, it seemed like over night, we needed a walker, a lift chair, a hospital bed (which was a blessing),disposable incontinence products, anything that would help with eliminating some of the laundering needs. One of my favorite aids was a hair washing basin I could use while she was in bed. The portable toilet made it so much easier for mother as she got weaker.
To make a long story short we spent our time together filled with smiles, giggles, happiness and sometimes tears. As time went on and mother was alert less I began writing down everything she said when she was awake. I am so thankful for those scribbled notes I made because I am able to go back and remember what was important to her those last days.