Written by the Caregiver of an Aging Veteran
By the time my father was 80, he had already been diagnosed with dementia. His memory would continue to decline, according to the doctor, but we were told that with the right focus on mental exercises, he could delay those losses and continue to live a full life as long as possible.
We tried to be there to support him and give him the instruction and tools that he needed in order to have the best opportunity to keep his memories alive and his mind strong. The problem was that we couldn’t be there consistently. He was living alone and there was no one there to encourage him properly, to let him know that what he was doing was right. That’s when I decided to contact home care for the elderly to try and see what options were available.
I ended up contacting a home care agency that could provide the right elderly home care for him, someone who had a great deal of experience working with dementia patients. This individual, a woman in her 50s, had a host of brain exercises, games, and activities that our father would find interesting and possibly even fun. I had never considered hiring elder care for him because, honestly, he was tending to his own needs just fine; it didn’t seem all that necessary.
Once the elderly home care provider started showing up and working with my father, we all saw a marked improvement in not only his attitude, but his ability to track a conversation and understand what was being said. He still had issues with remembering something that happened the previous day, but the decline began to slow down.
The most important thing for us was that our father manage the best that he could. We were unable to be the right support for him at that time and we were relieve when we hired Teresa, the woman with all that experience. It’s been three months and our father continues to fight off the ravages of dementia. It’s a slow decline, he knows and we know, but we should have listened to the doctor from the beginning; the right support, the right elder care, really does make a difference.
Today, we have to be grateful for what our father still has, and the support that he gets from a compassionate, caring woman who does this as her job.
For more information and to learn about VA Home Care, contact Veteran’s Home Care at (888) 314-6075.