Case Study | A Couple In Trouble: Too Late for Home Care
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
An older couple married for 63 years were still living in their own home without support, care or assistance. Aged 87 and 83 years of age, they had been refusing help from their two sons and daughters-in-law; they insisted that they ate well and did not require assistance.
Despite these assurances, the sons were very concerned about the health and wellbeing of their parents and they sought to improve the situation through their Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian roles. Their trusted financial adviser referred them onto DR Care Solutions to discuss care options.
The couple would not let anyone enter their home. Visitors were met and entertained under the carport outside the home. The husband was living with dementia. The wife, his primary carer, was suffering cognitive decline, and was generally unwell and had a serious skin condition. They appeared dishevelled. Their clothes were dirty; their fingernails were long and dirty; and they looked under nourished and unwell.
The sons had been purchasing food which would go uneaten. Despite his condition as a diabetic, their father was living on biscuits, lollies and ice cream. Their mother, also a diabetic, was living on frozen peas, beans and corn. The parents were sharing each other’s medications and eye drops.
Vigilant neighbours called the fire brigade on several occasions as fires were started from the oven and microwave.
The stress and strain of the situation on the family was enormous. They were unsure of what to do next.
The Care Solution
DR Care Solutions was engaged and within two weeks, DR Care Solutions:
- Undertook a comprehensive care needs assessment of the husband and the wife.
- Developed a Life Plan© for each person, with clear care recommendations.
- Considered the sons' request to organise Home Care so their parents could remain at home together. Our assessment revealed that Home Care was not an option and that DR Care Solutions had a duty of care to place the couple in respite care with a view to permanent care.
- Addressed the sons' concern as to how to convince the couple to try respite. We discussed with the couple the possibility of having a ‘holiday’ from washing, cooking and household tasks. That worked!
- Arranged an ACAT assessment through My Aged Care and commenced the search for the RIGHT Aged Care Facility for the couple. DR Care Solutions ran a comparative report outlining the top 10 Aged Care Facilities to assess: suitability to the couple’s care needs with the husband having high care needs and the wife low care needs; the ability to accommodate both the husband and wife so they remained together; availability; and proximity to the sons' residences. The search was narrowed down to four facilities.
- Toured the four facilities with a daughter-in-law. After long discussions and weighing up the pros and cons, a facility was selected. The couple was relocated from the home to the Aged Care Facility within 14 days.
A month later, a visit to the couple proved that we had found the right facility. Both were clean and doing well. They looked bright, reasonably happy and even appeared to have put on weight. They were in a secure environment in a large double room with a kitchenette, and were actually participating in some of the activities that were scheduled. This was a great outcome and relief for the family. They now know their parents are safe, secure and being well cared for.
For more information, please reach out to Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions for an initial discussion on how to set up the right care, support and assistance for your loved one, at the right time and in the right place.