This poignant story about a former client with Alzheimer’s disease illustrates how our caregivers’ unique skills and attitudes can change peoples’ lives.
“I believe I will live a longer life since I have your service.”
These are the words of Deb, a Homewatch CareGivers client with Alzheimer's disease, after the Homewatch CareGivers team had been caring for her for about two years.
Her husband Jim had realized two years before that Deb's condition had worsened—she was continually despondent, crying every day, not wanting to eat, easily frightened and intolerant of many things, including loud noises.
Husband Jim chose Homewatch CareGivers with the hope that someone could simply “be there” in the house with her while he a worked his second shift job.
The deep experience that Homewatch CareGivers had with Alzheimer's disease made our team believe we could make a difference in the lives of this family. When Homewatch CareGivers’ dementia specialists started, they used proven best practices and approaches with Deb, meant to make her feel more “like the boss.”
When Deb heard loud noises, her caregiver would calmly and reassuringly redirect her to Breezy, the family dog that Deb liked. Caregivers sought to slowly build up Deb’s confidence and ability to interact.
The caregivers started with simply asking Deb about skydiving, a hobby she took seriously earlier in life. An excited ‘spark’ came across Deb's eyes, as though no one had asked her about it before. Deb would become more and more confident and animated about sharing this subject, her esteem obviously growing as Deb began to feel like an expert.
The caregivers engaged her further by asking to see her skydiving photo albums, which she did very proudly. They suggested that she take them through other albums too, which she loved. After a couple months of time with Homewatch CareGivers, Deb actually would start saying things like, “You know, I think I can do anything!”
Deb had, in the end, robustly redeveloped her interpersonal skills and confidence compared to the start of our care. Deb's testimonials included “If I didn't have your services, I would be alone and being alone is scary.” Deb also said, “I believe I will live a longer life since I have your service.”
Sadly, the words in that sentence forebode a sad conclusion. Deb’s husband Jim's health suddenly became very acute. He had to quit his job and was forced to place Deb in a care facility, due to finances and his inability to care for Deb himself. Deb passed away a few weeks after her Homewatch CareGivers services stopped.