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Aging Thoughtfully.

Aging Thoughtfully.

WE DON’T PLAN TO FAIL.  WE FAIL TO PLAN!

“This wasn’t how it was supposed to go!  It happened so suddenly…Everything kind of went downhill at once…”  These are words I have heard from seniors for 2 decades now.  As it turns out, nobody goes looking for Home Care Solutions when things are going smoothly.

There’s an old Donald Duck cartoon I’m reminded of in which Donald’s nephews Huey Duey and Louie find themselves in a wild, heart stopping misadventure.  A serene day on the lake fishing becomes the ride of their lives.

They take a wrong turn on the river and wound up pummeling down a waterfall and narrowly escaping the clutches of death endless times.  In the end their lives are spared.  The young animated ducklings find themselves upon smoother waters searching for some perspective. This is when Huey turns to Duey and Louie and says:

“If I had known we were going to survive, I would have had a lot more fun!”

When you talk to 95 or 100 year olds, you may hear similar sentiments about their lives.  Their near death experiences.  Their years of service in the military. Their enormous losses or biggest wins.  Their great, late spouses.  Often tales are shared of second or third deceased spouses.  Or they can share tales about the one that got away.  That magical guy or doll they always pined for but never ended up with.  Wars got in the way.  Life flew past.

Generally speaking, I don’t hear actual ‘regrets’ from our cherished centurions.  I hear general wishes about how they would maybe have liked to have taken more chances.  Gotten on that cross country motorcycle trip or somehow just enjoyed the wild ride, a little more wildly.  Just like Huey had wished.

Life holds within it a million options with exponentially millions more  outcomes.  We all end up in the same place.  And when we get there, will we have lived a life that fell short of embracing in it’s entirety the marvelous journey that life really is?

As you may imagine, in my line of work I hear heart wrenching stories on a near daily basis.  The often start with one of those painful statements.

As we age, we step from one plateau down to another.  Falls seem to hurt us more when we are older.  The steps are steeper.  The ice more slippery.  When we have hospitalizations, we are told we need rehabilitation.  The healing process is slowed by age.  There’s no guarantee we will fully recover.

My sweet son Henry demonstrating the Grand Plateau of life…

If aging is a walk, I’d like to crawl.  But life goes by in a heartbeat.  We let our guard down, we never see it coming.  One fall becomes a series of falls.  A stay for rehab welcomes an exposure to an unforeseen illness.  Months of setbacks.  All the while, wishing to return home.  To be with our spouse, our cat, our dog. We make elaborate efforts to reverse the aging process.  But our age still increases, and along with it, we heal more and more slowly each year.

Aging is not for the faint of heart!  While this all seems like terrible news, it’s not.  We still have choices.  We can age at home.  We can recover at home.  We can stay 24/7/365 at home.  Some of the best therapists, nurses, caregivers, and even doctors I’ve met work exclusively in private patient homes.  As access to these care providers increases with technology and thoughtful services like Always There Home Care: (we have a 24-Hour Home Care Hotline 614-HOME-CARE).  The option of staying home for seniors in Columbus continues to improve.  Home modifications, stair lifts, and most importantly: CARE AROUND THE CLOCK!

Here’s a dirty little secret.  We provide care at facilities all over columbus.  It’s not our core business, but it represents about 10% historically of the care that we provide.  The answer for WHY we provide care in facilities is easy to answer.  IF you’ve stayed in a facility and felt you didn’t get nearly enough care, or you’ve visited a facility and heard the buzzer at the nurses station.  You’ll come to understand WHY we provide care in facilities.  It’s needed.  It’s sorely needed.  Facilities are LEGALLY OVERWHELMINGLY UNDERSTAFFED.  If your loved one requires one-on-one care, they won’t receive it at a facility….unless you call us to supplement the care.  We don’t recommend putting your loved one in a rehab without an advocate.  We are patient advocates.  Here’s another secret…Facilities don’t like us.  We are however, a necessary part of receiving proper care in a facility.  We flag down nurses, we alert administrators, we ensure our senior clients receive the care they are expecting when they are in rehab.  We aren’t there to make friends, we are there to provide attentive care and advocacy.  You can read more about this by searching our blogs.  Or you can call us to provide one-on-one care and advocacy for your loved one.

Ben Smith is the Founder, President and Chief Caregiver in Charge at Always There Home Care.  He’s been working with families for 20 years including 5 years of Hospice management, and 20 years of end-of-life care.  Call today to arrange a free in-home care assessment with Ben for your family in Columbus, or a FaceTime call if you are out of town.  Try us on our Home Care Hotline: (614) 466-3227.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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