From the Publisher’s Desk: In-home care, hospice, respite care

By Bruce Schlabaugh

BrucecolormugwebYears ago, my wife brought her mother home to live with us when it became abundantly clear that she was no longer able to live on her own.

Driving from place to place was out of the question. Her refrigerator and pantry were full of past-expiration or junk food. She couldn’t remember if bills were paid or if she’d taken her meds.

Her mother, Helen, lived in Wisconsin and when Natalie visited her, she packed up her things and brought her back to Colorado Springs. She loved it here but her dementia was getting worse. She forgot when she had her last meal, forgot how to play her favorite game, Skipbo, and gradually was sliding down hill.

Natalie needed some caretaking help so she used a care agency that relieved some of the pressure. A daycare provider also gave Natalie some respite time for herself because caretaking had become a 24/7 job.

As  stressful as day to day care was, there  was the added situation of all her siblings providing advice but yet no one was really willing to help. Later Natalie came across Pikes Peak Area for Aging. Specifically she met Kent Mathews who started her true education process.

She learned about the psychology of caretaking. She also learned about respite care and also about therapy for caregivers at the CU Aging Center. She found out she could have an assisted living facility take care of Helen for a week so she could get a much needed vacation.

An awful lot goes into caretaking for a loved one. We hope to shed some light for our readers in this month’s special section. There’s a handy pullout section for our readers. Medicare usually provides substantial hospice assistance to patients needing hospice care.

The Colorado Springs senior health care community provides wonderful coverage for those people caring for loved ones at home. Eventually we realized that Helen really needed assisted living but for the first few years she was treated to loving care in our home by Natalie and several in-home care providers.

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