Through the Caregivers Eyes
Artful, Sensitive, Caring
One of our clients was looking out the window and watching the snow. He spoke of the fun playing in the snow as a child. Our caregiver came in the next day with two buckets of snow and two pairs of gloves. The two of them proceeded to make a snowman, snowwoman, and snow cat. They put it in the freezer for our client to look at and smile for the rest of the winter.
We had a client who used to be able to stand and cook. She was one of those excellent cooks whose cooking was the talk of the town. As she aged, cooking became more difficult, and eventually she could not longer cook. Our caregiver got her recipes, and they cooked together. The caregiver chopped and pan fried, the client put the spices in, tasted, and let her know what it still needed. They invited the family to dinner the way it used to be. How happy the client was. It was just like the old days.
Clients Continue to Help Others
Our client loved knitting. We matched her with a caregiver who wanted to learn to knit. The two of them had so much fun learning and comparing their projects.
Another client, a darling Italian man in his 90’s, kept saying he had nothing left to live for. We had an Italian woman, was also in her 90’s, who was saying the same thing. We asked both families if we could bring them together for coffee since they had so much in common. Both families agreed. We approached each, stating that the other was very sad and could use a friend. They both agreed to meet once only to help the other. The Italian man insisted on going to the Italian bakery and brought her some pastries. They sat, drank coffee, and spoke Italian together. They each had something to live for; to help the other. They had a nice relationship, calling on the phone and visiting each other.
Natural Disasters and Emergency Contact Assistance
October 31, 2011 is now a distant memory, but on that day many people were suddenly “hit” with a severe snowstorm that caused widespread loss of power and the need for natural disaster assistance in New Jersey. Heartfelt Home Care took care of our clients most vulnerable to the power outages. Staff brought water, blankets, food, special “flashlights” attached to a headband, and assisted with evacuation plans where needed.
Part of the Heartfelt Home Care service is to assist with many emergency response needs of our clients. However, many family caregivers are surprised to learn that they can place the name and emergency phone number for Heartfelt Home Care on the Lifeline list of emergency contacts when needed. This is a real benefit when family members live long distances from the older adults. We can be a first responder and keep family well informed.
We remember a client with Alzheimer’s who lived once long ago in Mountain Lakes and loved that time of his life. Our caregiver took him once a week for a picnic lunch at a lake in Mountain Lakes. This made him so happy. He was again able to sit by the lake and eat, or watch the children at play made his day.
We took four of our female clients who were feeling lonely to lunch. They said only a person from their age group would understand what it was like when the boys came back from war. They enjoyed chatting and comparing their stories. They also made some new friends and kept their relationships going by phone.
Helping Families During Difficult Times
Our client was on the phone and the caregiver heard her telling someone her social security number. She grabbed the phone and asked who this was? They hung up. She quickly contacted the daughter and the daughter contacted the bank. Our caregiver’s quick response blocked the withdrawal of $35,000 which was already in progress.
We had a World War II Army nurse, who was living as though life was business as usual. She was progressing with her Congestive Heart Failure. The children had confessed that she never told them she loved them. We spoke to her about how proud she must be of her children. She said she was. We encouraged her to tell her children. She did just that, and her adult children got what they needed from their Mom before she passed. They knew it was us who had encouraged her to do this, but they were thankful because it was what they wanted all of their lives.
Excellent Matching Caregivers to Clients
One of our caregivers brought her laptop to the client’s home to so they could figure out what birds they were seeing out the window. The caregiver would put the bird seed in the feeders and the client would report what the birds looked like. They had a great time, learning more about the birds. They also looked at Google Earth to show our client her home. She was fascinated but wanted to know when they came to her house to take the picture! Technology has much improved. This then led to an interesting conversation of how Newark, NJ was with dirt roads! Hard to imagine I guess on both sides of this conversation!
We took one of our clients out to take pictures of nature. Each week, they went to a different place. This was her passion, and she sure had fun going out with a little bit of help to do so again. Renewing her old hobby was her passion.
Life Review and Remotivation
For one of our clients with frontotemporal dementia, all she wanted was to go to Medieval Times. We took her there, and she got the rose from the knight. It totally made her day!
Another client with early-onset Alzheimer’s who used to be a science teacher was having a lot of difficulty with her memory of the present day. Her caregiver took her to the Liberty Science Museum. She was so proud of herself, because she knew every snake whether it was poisonous or non poisonous. At this time she could remember what she knew a while back, when she was a teacher or in school. She had a great day!
New Jersey Is Our Home Too!
Proudly Serving Families In:
With parts of Essex, Sussex, and Passaic Counties
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NJ State License #HPO152900