Day 2: Forming a Plan of AttackPosted: April 24, 2012
As told by Catholic Charities Community Services of Summit County –
When Joyce V. came to live with her son and his family, they were not expecting that she was no longer capable of taking care of herself. They knew she was getting forgetful and felt it best that she not live alone, but they were not prepared for the responsibility they were taking on. With three small children, it was a very difficult adjustment for the family to now have Joyce in the household. Her daughter-in-law, Nancy, stated that “we had no plan of attack and it seemed just like that, an attack.”
The family found that Joyce needed assistance and direction with most aspects of her daily care. Due to advancing dementia, Joyce could no longer make independent rational decisions, but still feeling cognizant would often challenge Nancy’s attempts to assist her. Nancy had to assist Joyce with bathing, dressing, and grooming. Nancy described it as a daily struggle, or sometimes a battle. With her husband off to work each day, Nancy felt the burden of care along with holding the family together. In the evenings when Joyce’s son was home, he would then occupy most of his time and energy toward meeting his mother’s needs and demands. The family felt they were in a state of crisis.
The daughter-in-law was in charge of finding an answer to some help issues with Joyce’s care. She could not explain the desperate situation the family was in, and was finding herself becoming depressed and feeling hopeless. Nancy remembered hearing of the Summit (CYO) Adult Day Services program from a friend who was a volunteer. She found the number in the phone book and set up an appointment. Upon touring the program, she was pleased with the care options and activities available to meet her mother-in-law’s needs. Soon afterward the family enrolled Joyce in the program. Once enrolled, the family situation greatly improved. They knew the program provided motivational activities for Joyce and felt assured that she was safe and well cared for. The program allowed Joyce to stay in the care of her family. It provided her son and daughter-in-law with a break and time to focus on their needs and those of their children. Her daughter-in-law then started attending the caregiver support group that Summit ADS offers. Nancy stated that so much stress has been relieved from their situation. She commented that taking her mother-in-law in was a very rough adjustment and would not have been able to continue without the support and services of the Adult Day Services program.
Joyce attended the Adult Day Services program from September of 1997 until March of 2001. At the time of her case being closed, Joyce’s confusion and care needs had escalated to the point that the family needed to place her in long-term care where she passed away a short time later.