While all care settings try to differentiate themselves Assisted Living, Home Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, Memory Care, Hospice Care, Residential Care, Elder Care all offer the same thing – CARE!
What varies is the degree of caring you get and feel as both a resident and as a staff member or provider. Both resident and staff feel better if they know each other and have some kind of a progessional or social relatioship. That is why continuity of care and having a relationship is so improtant.
Going further physical care could be described as just doing the task like giving a shower. Caring might be the added small talk about a common event that makes both people share the moment or have a relationship of sorts with the physical care.
In fact there is a significant difference between doing the physical task of giving a shower and then giving a shower combined with a friendly discussion of recent events, recent visitors, or activities both care giver and resident have experienced in the day to day life. That later is emotional health and goes a long way to change physical care inot caring and maximize emotional health for both caregiver and resident.
We believe this is a small part of starting to explain the power of relationships, the humanism needed for and involved with in care and caring.
This distinction applies to “care” in all care settings Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Home Care, Hospice Care, Medical Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, Memory Care, Elder Care, Respite Care, Hospital Care, Residential Care, and all of the care settings.
What is “skilled” care vs custodial care.
Caregiver is a skilled position even if some do not describe it as “less skilled”
Insurance companies constantly try to define custodial care as something less, of lower value, lower price than “skilled” care. In fact, people pay more attention to the caregiver than the insurance defined skilled views of the nurse or doctor. the reason for that is trust and continuity of care. When, not just if, something happens in the day to day life of a frail senior who needs assistance the only skills that will matter are the skills of the person the resident can get and that in general is of the caregiver. The caregivers interpersonal skills, compassion, caring are used every minute of every day to provide feeling good, comfort, redirection and to help empower the senior to remain positive, active, productive and feeling good. That in fact is a skill. Call it patience, compassion, good family values, faith in God, but whatever you call it that is indeed what the senior needs and wants.
Words and ideals we all value highly
Caring is therapy for someone who needs assistance.
What is the “Value” of not getting “care” from the controlling Caregiver? How can a senior who needs assistance really monitor and protect against this? Care Setting and the leadership being hands on, day and and day out, from top levels of ownership down to the caregiver is essential and the only way to provide care with caring?
The alternative might meet a physical care need but at what emotional cost. These images of the controling caregiver are firghting to most seniors.
Scolding and Control are not caring
Cost to the Senior of a Controlling Caregiver
Patience, interpersonal skills, and familiarity with dealing with a person who is older and has many complex medical issues that are unlikely to resolve is a skill. Unlike dealing with a child where cure is likely and possible in this case cure and getting younger is much less likely. Seniors know that but no one including the senior will say that. It is ego dystonic, to say you want to die or accept getting old even though we all do it every day. God or a higher being can play a role and does increasingly play a role as we get older and more disabled. As humans we need things to believe in and God and the best interpersonal skills you can find are the first line treatments for all that ales you.
Emotional health and Feeling is the final expression of all disease.
Patch Adams, in Movie Patch. If you treat the disease you win or loose but if you treat the person you win no matter what the outcome!
No matter what the label Alzheimer’s, Chronic Pain, CHF Congestive Heart Failure, Arthritis the end result will be I don’t feel good. Doctor are trained to look only at the physical part but the many levels of social and emotional therapies are often over looked or discounted. Be it due to physical pain, depression, fear of the future all diseases are expressed the same way. You feel bad. Doctors cant describe it, define it, or study it but we all feel it and can understand it. Indeed, your doctor is uniquely positioned to help you balance cost, effect, side effects, incidental social and implementation and even financial consequences of all the physical and emotional or social choices that are available to you. If you were a doctor you would know the physical stuff and if he were you he would know the social stuff but when both of you have a relationship and know each other continuity of care, caring and the best outcome are possible. That outcome is feeling the best you can given your unique, individual, set of physical, social, and financial illnesses. While many try to be “case managers” including elder law attorney, social workers, nurses in fact there are only two real choices you since you are the most aware of your social and emotional health or how you feel and / or “your doctor”. I use the term “your Doctor” going back to a time when continuity of care was the standard. Hopefully this blog and your examples can help others value people in our lives.
Some People incorrectly under value those who keep the Family, Social System, and Frail safe. Mothers, Teacher, Doctors Caregivers.
-A mother who works all day to care for the kids and husband and arranges the social system. Not easy, but not values by dollars.
-a Teacher who listens, stays after class to help someone who is behind so they are not embarrassed to catch up or get a head.
-a care giver who calls and visit when you go to the hospital. or is available to look after your kids and your grandmother because she can it helps the bigger system out.
-a doctor or lawyer who goes beyond the standard description to help you understand the system and potential related costs.
All of those examples are things that are “not needed”, not valued in dollars, but are often provided to take physical, “less skilled” care to the highest level of care and include caring.
Comment to help others see the value of people in their lives.
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Dr Shawn McGivney