Ivy Palmer - Care Advice & News

Care in the Community

An elderly lady we used to see out and about in the community always used to cross a busy road with her head lowered. She never looked whether the road was clear to cross and we always used to go out to ensure she was ok.

Her son then visited the office, realising it was the same lady he was obviously very worried about his mum but was unsure what help was needed, or how to approach his mum telling her she now needed support at home. He was concerned she wouldn’t let anybody into her home. He knew his mum would reject any help as she is a very isolated person, has no friend’s or visitors and spends most of her time in bed, not bothering about herself.

Elderly care options

We discussed different elderly care options for her and decided we would trial 1 hour per week and say it was a ‘cleaning visit’. Depending upon how she would take to this, we could then move forward to more care visitis when we felt she was ready and trusted carers in her own home.

On our first visit with an experienced carer, she declined any help, so we encouraged her asking if she would like a cup of tea. We sat chatting to her, hoping to gain her trust and confidence, however the carer was asked to leave her alone. We did not give up…so we asked if she needed any help around the house. She said the hoovering needs doing and our carer did this for her. She was very grateful for the help and asked if we could come again next week. We said we would be delighted to!

After a few weeks, we then increased her calls to two visits per day, seven days per week. She welcomed this with very little anticipation however she was refusing to get out of bed, or wanting anything to eat or drink, (we no longer saw her out and about in the community). Her son said she was suffering with depression and was really worried. He was not living close by and needed somebody to check on her. We also noticed her medication was all over the place and she was self-medicating herself and we were all worried about her overdosing.

We arranged a GP visit and a medication review and continued our home visits even though she did not really want them. However we knew it would give her son peace of mind that someone was keeping an eye on her. We arranged for the medication to be re-ordered each month and we collected it for her on a monthly basis. We now administer the medication for her – keeping it continually under lock and key so she cannot access it.

After a couple of months we informed her son that his mum was now calling office asking for help with closing a window. As an experienced home care agency we knew it was a small step to her acceptance of care and we knew we had hit a milestone when she called the office asking where were her carers. This was great news!
We then increased her calls to three visits per day, (morning, lunch and evening) and she really looked forward to the carers visiting her now and welcomed them into her home.

Our carers have changed her life

A year has passed and our carers have changed her life. She is up and dressed each morning, making her own breakfast and cup of tea, enjoying her time with her son when he visits and going out for lunch with him. At our last review, we couldn’t believe the change in her both personally and mentally. She was listening to the radio, smiling and tapping her feet to the music. We commented how pleased we were to see her up and about and looking fabulous, she laughed and thanked us. She said she had even made her bed and washed up too!

We now see her out and about in the community… and can’t believe how well she looks. She is doing her shopping, holding her head up high, wearing a warm coat and a hat…it really is lovely to see her out again.

We emailed her son letting him know we had seen his mum walking to the shops. She appeared to be happy having the sunshine on her face and we were so pleased to see that her health and well-being had improved. We also informed him that she now loves the carers visiting her, and hoped this was a great relief to him.
He replied

Yes, the contrast compared to this time last year is wonderful – we even had lunch out last week. She walks and eats with real seriousness and pleasure. Thank you Independent People Homecare for everything”