Relationships matter when dealing with aging and dementia

By | 2015-03-03T09:09:56+00:00 March 3rd, 2015|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

By Gail Shaw, Home Services Care Coordinator –Gail

It’s exciting to be celebrating our 30th anniversary. During this time, we have formed many relationships with individuals, families and other organizations. These relationships have helped our Home Services Program grow over the years.
Family caregivers have found that it is not always easy to get their loved one to eat, bathe or even leave the home. These same family caregivers may find themselves worn down.  I’m frequently asked by families, who are looking to bring a caregiver into their loved one’s home, if having a St. John’s Caregiver will really make a difference. I always find myself saying that sometimes having a non-family member can get someone to do the activity in question. You don’t know until you try having a Caregiver come into the home.
Over the years, our Caregivers have formed relationships with Clients and their family members that have led to some pretty positive outcomes. One family was having problems getting their 88 year old mother, Marie, to bathe. Jody had become frustrated at not being able to get her mother-in-law to bathe and change her clothes. St. John’s was asked to come in and assist the clielderly-holding-hands1ent with bathing, dressing and getting her fed before taking her to the St. John’s Adult Day Program. Everyone knew that bathing would be a big issue for the Caregiver to accomplish.  It took a couple of weeks but the Caregiver was able to persuade Marie to bathe one time a week with the Caregiver’s assistance. This outcome was able to happen because of the caring relationship established between the Client and Caregiver.
Another client, Virginia, had been a very independent business woman but now in her nineties, she found she needed assistance to be able to maintain independence in her home. Over the past several years, she has used a team of St. John’s Caregivers to help her stay in her home with her much beloved dog. Her Caregivers are devoted to giving her the care she needs.
The Care Coordinators also develop relationships with our clients and family members. We spend time meeting with other agencies and businesses to gain information and insight as to what additional services could be beneficial to our clients. There are also workshops and seminars which we attend to increase our knowledge on topics such as dementia, hospice care and elder abuse.
So when families call to inquire about how to encourage mother to eat or how can they go about finding a ramp for their parent, we can give them information or direction on how to find what they are looking for.
As we go about celebrating our 30th anniversary, we are looking forward to creating even more relationships out in the community.  If you know someone who could benefit from having a relationship with us here at St. John’s Community Care, have them contact us at 618-344-5008. We would love to be part of a life changing relationship with them.