Senior Care News

How Home Care Helped Harry Laugh Again

Harry was a retired carpenter. A fisherman and an avid woodsman, Harry had rarely been idle.

Harry was a retired carpenter. A fisherman and an avid woodsman, Harry had rarely been idle. He was friendly and outgoing; a leader in the community. He and his wife Bette had four grown children, now with families of their own.

When Harry and Bette retired they had looked forward to years of camping and exploring the countryside. However, fate had different plans, it seemed. Bette was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and quickly lost the strength and vitality she had come to expect from her body. She was frequently out of breath, and utterly exhausted.

Harry tried to support her, but it became increasingly clear that he was just unable to do so. He grew more and more withdrawn as memory lapses and difficulty finding words became the norm. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

As time wore on, Harry and Bette were together constantly. They loved each other deeply, but their interactions had changed. Harry started having a lot of trouble speaking, and a lot of anxiety. He always stayed close at Bette’s side — so much so that Bette felt she never got a break. He would seek her out when she was in the restroom. He started having trouble sleeping. He began waking her up several times a night, urging her to “go home” with him. As much as she tried to remain patient and understanding, the constant need without break was a real challenge.

Bette didn’t know what to do. She felt overwhelmed and powerless. Thankfully, a wonderful friend had a great suggestion — hire an elderly care aide to help out.

Bette didn’t know much about elderly care, so her friend explained. Elderly care is also known as senior care or home care. Professional caregivers come into the homes of older people who need help, and they… well, help. They could enable Bette to preserve her precious energy by washing dishes, doing laundry or straightening up the place. They could take Harry out for walks or drives to get out of the house. They could even engage Harry in the chores to help him keep busy and feel productive again! Because they were professional trained caregivers, elderly care aides could even help Bette or Harry with bathing, incontinence care, or other personal needs.

Bette was intrigued and decided to give it a try. Initially, she set up a caregiver for a couple of afternoons each week — just to help out with the laundry and shopping. Bette was amazed by how well the girl got along with Harry! Harry started helping with the chores and even accompanying the elderly care aide to the store.

Bette could see a big difference in Harry’s demeanor once he was getting out and being productive. He started sleeping better and didn’t seem so sad all the time.

Before long, the elderly care aide started walking with Harry through the nearby park and community garden. They enjoyed the flowers and foliage, and even stopped to pull some weeds now and again. With the extra exercise and meaningful activity, Harry was sleeping better now. He was much more relaxed, and didn’t experience nearly as many episodes of emotional distress as he had before elderly care stepped in.

Harry even began to laugh again! Bette was so happy to see his smile. She was so very grateful that she had taken the opportunity to give elderly care a try.

If you are considering elderly care in Galleria, TX, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.

Donna Wrabel, LMSW

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