Recently, we had a client (we will refer to her for purposes of this writing as ‘Hellen’) who contacted us about her forthcoming release from a Skilled Nursing Facility (*S.N.F.). Hellen’s sister is her lone family advocate. While her sister had encouraged her to call us, it was like pulling teeth for Hellen’s sister to convince her to finally do so. Her sister, knowing Hellen lived alone and that she was MISERABLE at the S.N.F., knew Hellen had to come home-but would require plenty of care.
Once we spoke, Hellen was able to open up about her experiences over the last 30 days. (30 Days in a S.N.F. seems like a prison sentence more than a recovery) Over the phone, Hellen broke down while talking about the emotional toll being in a facility had on her well-being. She was lamenting the quality and temperature of her food. She shared emotionally charged recounts of her lack of attentive care in the wee hours of the night. All this while RESIDING at a “Skilled 24-Hour Nursing Care Facility! (see our blog here about 24-Hour Care vs. 24-Hour MONITORING which demonstrates the difference between the two). It also seemed to Hellen that the amount of time she had to stay at the facility was overkill. Her strength and recovery had made a plateau and she was so depressed, she knew she had to GET OUT!
Mostly, Hellen was very emotional about the fact that her entire day consisted of laying in a bed or sitting in a wheelchair. When asked specifically about these details, Hellen advised us that aside from the 3o minutes during which she was getting Physical Therapy she was laying in bed watching television. This doesn’t take into account the nearly three hour ordeal it was for her to sit in line outside of the dining hall in a hallway along with scores of other wheelchair bound residents; until it came time for turn at dinner.
Hellen didn’t like having to wait for great periods of time when she had to use her alert button in order to get assistance to the bathroom. Bathing? A completely horrifying experience for her, and never at a time of Hellens’ choosing. She said her bathing experiences made her feel like she was a car at the carwash. She had no dignity. She did not like getting help in this fashion from caregivers she didn’t know or trust. Bathing at the facility was a nightmare.
During our conversation with Hellen we determined her needs demanded care around-the-clock assistance. Her high anxiety, depression and inability to help herself to the restroom would require someone who could safely assist her whenever she needed a steady hand. Building an effective plan of care is like threading a needle on a moving target. Considering her typical bathroom visits of 1am, 2am, 3am…Anytime.
While we can make our expert recommendations and offer an appropriate level of support, we must also work to stay within a budget. Against our recommendation, and after ample education about the process she may face in having to go home…Hellen remained reluctant to have someone come to her home. She wanted to forgo care altogether and see how she would fare going it alone at home. Confident that our assessment was accurate and that Hellen’s capabilities involved a 90% assist, we advised our team to stay on call and on the ready for Hellen’s first day home.
“GOOD THING THIS ISN’T OUR FIRST RODEO”
Hellen’s discharge home Sunday got her home by 1:00 pm. By 3pm she had called our 24-Hour Home Care Emergency Hotline (614) HOME-CARE 466-3227. While we are not a Medical Emergency Service, we were expecting this particular emergency. Our team was ‘on-the-ready’. When Carrie arrived under 30 minutes later (NOT OUR FIRST RODEO), we had to rush to assist Hellen with a bathroom assist. Hellen was immediately comforted. Carrie stayed. We began around-the-clock care 24/7 and over the next two weeks kept Hellen safely attended while her strength increased.
As we originally advised for Hellen, we stayed around-the-clock for two weeks. We have stepped back down to 16 Hours a day and for now it’s working miracles. Hellen is in the place of greatest comfort and she really really enjoys are team. What’s of greater comfort to Hellen is knowing that she can dial care back up to 24-Hour if she ever needs to.
This is why we RELY upon our 24-Hour Home Care Hotline! This is also why EVERY SINGLE CLIENT gets immediate access to us 24-Hours a day, 365 Days a year!
*(S.N.F.) is not only the acronym for Skilled Nursing Facility, it is also the audible sound that is made when someone is crying.
**our Non-Hospice Active D.N.R. have access to us 24-Hours a day by calling (614) HOME-CARE 466-3227