Authored by Giovanna C. -- In our family it was a long time coming with my mother, we knew at some point she would meet a level of care needs that our family simply could not provide, and that she would need a safe, reliable, and comfortable senior living option. It’s tough when you realize that your mother needs assistance, you try your best every day to help them, but it comes to a point where you just can't provide for everything they require.
My mother is 83 years old and has dementia and was always taken care of by my father who was always able to keep her on track with her condition. However, around a year ago our family unfortunately lost him and the responsibility of care for my mother fell to me. I had to go to my mother’s place every day and maintain her and her home. It was a lot of tiring work, but I was willing to do it to ensure mom was safe and happy.
In an instant, something happens to your family and it makes the decision about your mother's care concerns clear. Recently I was admitted to the hospital and could no longer take care of my mother, I was indisposed. Going to her home every day wasn’t an option, I was going to be in the hospital long-term. Right away I had to find another situation for her where she’d be safe, I had no backup options for her. I was my mother's primary caregiver, and I knew while I was away if she had any issues, I couldn’t be there to support her. Finding quality care where I knew my mother’s needs would be met and she remained happy was hard to find, I cared for my mother because I couldn’t leave her on her own and who else would do it? There are so many care types and options it can make anyone’s head spin, let alone trying to find who’s the best of the best for your loved one.
I really got lucky though, as soon as I was hospitalized and needed to find care, I had remembered hearing about Homecare Hub a month prior. I called the number given to me and was put into contact with one of Homecare Hub’s care coordinators. I got a lot of information about their Shared Living Homes, and it sounded great. The care coordinator I spoke with was very informative and really took the time to talk with me and explain many details of the complicated care process, which was amazing. I felt comfortable with their Shared Living service right from this first conversation. I was able to move mom in within 4 days with the help of Homecare Hub – all while I was at the hospital – this was an enormous relief to me. Knowing my mom was in a safe space with 24-hour care allowed me to take care of my own health without the constant worry.
When my mom first moved into her Shared Living Home, the staff paid careful attention to things that my mother enjoyed. I was asked about the types of food she liked, activities, and more so they could get to know her personally. My mother now has 24/7 dedicated and quality supervision and great food that she enjoys. Best of all, after her living there for quite a while now I’m still updated regularly on how my mother is doing with texts and video calls and I am able to visit her whenever I would like.
Mom was very adamant from the start that she wanted to live at home, in her home that she’s lived in for 40 years, where she raised her family. Due to my mother’s dementia, when she first moved into her Shared Living Home, she always said she wanted to go home, but at times she didn’t know where home was. It took her some time and there were a few rough spots, but the staff at the home had a very calm and comforting presence. The staff in the home were dedicated to my mother’s needs and took their time reassuring her.
I always hesitated to go visit my mother at her new home once I was out of the hospital. I thought if I were to visit her, she would cry and want to come home with me, but the first time I went to visit her she was really okay. I was shocked, she said her hellos, gave me hugs, said her goodbyes and it was really unusual for her. I know deep down she really likes it there and while she may utter the occasional "I want to go home", I know she’s comfortable, happy and safe.
She is receiving Long Term Care services in a home, one with a backyard and porch where she can relax; it’s just like the house she used to live in. When I visit her, she’s often sitting outside with the staff and she really enjoys it. It makes me feel comfortable to know my mother is in that situation. My mom isn't in an institution where she would be in her room most of the day and often makes me think if she were in a long-term care home how often would she be able to relax, let alone relax outside. I don't think my mother could be living in a better situation for her where she is right now mentally, it’s a positive environment to be in. The House Nurse Connie has taken care of my mom like her own mom, and I can see their strong relationship and connection when I visit – It warms my heart to know that mom is being looked after by a dedicated, consistent, and passionate person. Connie takes care of my mom the way I would take care of her.
Since my mother has been in a Shared Living Home there’s a high level of relaxation for me now. I no longer have that sense of urgency every day to prepare food and bring it to my mom because she never cooked for herself. I no longer need to worry about her wandering off and getting lost. I no longer need to worry about her overall wellbeing. Every single day for a year I would go to her house, I even had to move closer to her so I could be by her side. Now that I know the Shared Living staff are taking care of her I can relax, I can take a day off if I wanted. Now when I go visit my mom, I can actually be her daughter and enjoy her company rather than taking on the caretaker role - this has really strengthened our relationship.
Overall, I am so relieved that I found Homecare Hub and Connie during a time when I was burned out; I knew mom was safe and that I could focus on myself. More people are turning to Shared Living services in the post pandemic world, but I still wish more people knew about these services and how much of a relief it can bring, especially when in crisis.
The above post was authored by Giovanna C. The Homecare Hub team is thankful to Giovanna for her kind words and blessed to have connected with them during these challenging times.
Maggie Clapperton is a social worker and content creator at Homecare Hub.