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Personal Care for Seniors: Great-Grandma Mabel's Experience at Home

By HERWriter
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Caregiving related image Photo: Getty Images

Great-grandma Mabel didn't go out much but then she didn't want to. And she didn't have to.

Mabel still lived in her own home and was fortunate in that most of her family lived in her small town. Her children and several of her grandchildren visited her every week.

They'd been raised that way. It was the most natural thing in the world.

And it seemed the natural thing to do, as time went on and Great-grandma Mabel needed more help, to take care of things. If asked about this, any of them would have been surprised at the question. They'd have groped for the words to explain what seemed to them just a part of life, and would eventually have said, "We're her family."

Mabel's daughter did her shopping, some cooking and housekeeping. Her sons kept the house was in good repair. The grandchildren were entertaining and helped her feel young.

This was a form of personal home care, family-style.

Their pleasant arrangement ticked happily along for many years. Then Mabel had a stroke.

The family was in a quandary. Decisions had to be made. They chose the only alternative that made sense to them.

Mabel's children and their spouses took turns at her house, so she was never alone. This worked for awhile. But Mabel disliked her lack of independence and her children began to wear down.

The thought of moving her out of her home was more than they could deal with. So they got creative.

They suggested an emergency call button she could press if she needed assistance, but Mabel was against it.

More brainstorming. They signed her up with an organization to provide meals. They connected with another organization that provided caregivers for a few hours at a time.

The caregivers would help Mabel dress, and make herself ready for her day. They would do some housekeeping, and make sure she had what she needed.

And so began the second phase of another kind of personal home care for Mabel, making use of resources in the community.

Mabel didn't much like the caregivers who came to her house at first. They were strangers and she perhaps felt they were a threat to her independence. As time went on though, they weren't strangers anymore, they were friends who came by every week to visit.

And maybe she was realizing that rather than threats to her independence, they were guardians of it. Because these caregivers were there to assist her with daily life, she was able to remain independent longer than would otherwise have been possible.

Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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