All I have is PRAISE the Homestead caregivers attending my 90-year-old mother!
Since she’s in assisted living, I didn’t know she could be in a hospice program. But I recently began needing more help than Assisted Living could give, in ushering her into her final stage of this life.
Thankfully, they pointed me toward Homestead Hospice in Cartersville. It has changed MY life (and of course, my mom’s!), in facing what was (and still is) ahead.
In particular, on a daily basis, cares for my increasingly disabled and diminished mother. With the exception of maybe my sister (*maybe!*!!), is the one individual I trust is caring for Mom as well - or better! - than I do.
Knowing is there lets me have HOURS each week, where I do not worry or stress out. Before she took on my mom’s personal, emotional, and spiritual load, I was increasingly stressed and anxious. In that way, is saving not only my mom every day, but me, too!!
Turning to for advice is a comfort too; you never know if you’re doing something right, planning correctly, or acting in your loved one’s best interest, if you don’t have someone like , who KNOWS every aspect of her: bodily care, eating habits, mobility, daily pain, worries, preferences. It’s like having a sister who is here every day, in the trenches with me. But more experienced, calm, and caring.
On weekend days or holidays, my mom questions, “Where’s ?” Like she doesn’t quite believe me that it’s just me today, no . A very standoffish and shy woman, my mother has taken to like I’ve never seen her do before. She does not make friends easily (or at all!) nor does she engender closeness with anyone outside of her brothers, daughters, and one son-in-law.
But she has allowed in. She trusts what says, much more than what I say. Back before December, when she could talk more, remember, and try to be funny, Mom would talk to my husband about , “She thinks she owns me!” (That is my mother being funny, indicating familiarity, which she, an aloof person, has rarely done.) Then she would laugh and say, “I just do what she tells me!” and tell about how she’d had a shower, or gotten her hair combed, or had this outfit picked out for her.
What does, that no one else really does, is *see* my mom, and do the things my mom would have done in “before-times.“ Things she nor I could not explain that need doing. sees them, and does them for her (for me!) Like it were her own mom, her own home.
When I come in each evening, has : arranged my mom’s closet; put away laundry; swept up her crumbs; heated food that arrives cold; arranged meals so that my visually-impaired mom can see them and access them; washed up dishes and countertops; found proper outfits to wear; changed incontinent diapers; made over the bed properly for my mom; brought and placed/picked up pads; encouraged Mom to drink Ensure if she hasn’t eaten well; fixed snacks for her if she hasn’t eaten well; arranged the bathroom, canes, walkers, etc so my mom can easily access them; made ice and put some in her drink; made sure she *has* a drink she can reach; checked the oxygen tank and tubing; and done one thousand unspoken other things, before she plumps the sofa cushions and heads out to go care for yet *another* person!
You can train and pay someone to do tasks, but not to *care*. Or to take on the responsibility of looking out for someone’s comfort and preferences when they themselves are no longer able to express them.
definitely lives up to the root of her name: charis, the kind of love that *acts*, not just feels. She puts that active love into her every day’s work, which is clearly a *calling,* not just a job.
Likewise, we are so fortunate to have Nurse . When my phone rings and I see her name pop up, my first response is to panic. “This is it. This is what we’ve dreaded!” Nurse immediately lets me know “Mom is fine…” so that I can calm down and hear what she has to say.
That is so thoughtful, that her first words are reassurance. Then she will give me an update on what she is seeing in Mom & recommend next steps, and make it happen.
When she comes (at least twice a week these days), I know she is not just doing perfunctory actions; she is actively looking at my Mom in every way, over all her ailments, with the goal of keeping her as pain-free as possible.
Just today, she came out a third time this week, because Mom’s wound was “leaking,” and so she could wrap it herself. She spots things even before I do, like edema-swollen legs, weight loss, increasing dementia.
You cannot know how reassuring it is, to have a medical professional checking out my mother - one who *knows* her. Mom has had great doctors since I moved her here four years ago, but honestly, they did not remember her from one appointment to the next. I had to “quarterback”, make calls for my mom’s care. Having Nurse has not only lessened the pain and symptoms from Mom’s many ailments, but has been a blessing to me, to turn over to a professional her overall care map.
Nurse is quick to involve a physician when needed, to recommend medicines and treatments, and, as I said, see my mom regularly, in order to notice what she is experiencing. She has met with our family and the care team at the Assisted Living facility, to sort out how to best care for Mom.
She is energetic and interactive with my confused, hard-of-hearing mom. Nurse is a bright spot in Mom’s day when she sees her. Nurse is never not cheerful, uplifting, empathetic and reassuring.
I don’t know if you teach/train employees to be like and Nurse , or whether we just really lucked up when we sent these two. Friends who have gone through the decline and death of their parents often talk about hospice being “angels” but I never knew to what degree that would be *true* for us.
(Well, my friends haven’t *all* had great hospice experiences - which makes me appreciate our angels more!)
I am forever telling *other* people, friends and acquaintances, about *all* the ways and Nurse (and social worker ) are fantastic at their jobs, and are saving my life right now, as my mother’s is slipping away.
How grateful I am to them. How lucky we are to be assigned under their care. How they go above and beyond what anyone would reasonably expect. How my mom, a shy, standoffish prude, has taken to them and is as excited as a child when she sees them. How she, untrusting of everyone, trusts and Nurse .
And how smart Homestead is, having hired intelligent, responsive, and truly caring individuals, each of whom is clearly *called* to do this work!