Strategies

“Dad is not managing his diabetes – how can we get him into a nursing home right away?”

There was a lot of knowledge – and opinions – and tension in the room. Mr. Davis was in hospital after being found in a diabetic coma by the cleaning lady. The social worker was ready to discharge him, but the family had other ideas.

After hearing all the opinions, I met with Mr. Davis himself. He seemed embarrassed by the fuss he had created, and freely admitted that he had neglected his diet and personal care. I walked him through his day, covering every single detail from dawn to dusk, to see where the challenges lay. He admitted fears of being alone at night, dislike of grocery shopping, and loneliness that he hated to express in case his children felt guilty. We developed some plans which he asked me to document in a report and help him present to his children.

At our meeting, I presented our plans:

  • upon discharge, hire an agency to provide fulltime care, homemaking and meal preparation
  • obtain a Lifeline personal alarm for 24-hour phone support
  • use Lifeline for medication reminders – if Mr. Davis does not call in at certain times to say he has taken his insulin, the Lifeline system calls with a reminder
  • implement a blister-pack weekly supply of medication via the pharmacy
  • investigate ‘meals on wheels’ or other meal delivery services
  • begin daily exercise
  • gradually reduce the care agency hours as these positive changes take effectMr. Davis, who had always made his own decisions, took full ownership of these plans – ‘his plans’ – and took great pride in showing his children how well he could cope at home – his home.

WHAT IT COSTS…

All ElderCareCanada services are billed at an hourly rate, on a fee-for-service basis. In this case, the family paid for a 2-hour strategy session, and a 1-hour meeting in hospital with the father and hospital team, and a 5-page report. The fee for the strategy session was later rebated by one of the daughter’s Employee Assistance Program.

No contingency or retainer fees are charged, and ElderCareCanada does not pay or accept commissions, contingency fees, kick-backs or gratuities of any kind. Clients are encouraged to check their employee benefits package, as these services may be covered under their Employee Assistance Plan.

OUR CLIENTS SAY…

“It’s stressful and scary to watch your parents become vulnerable and in need of help. Obviously we want the best for them, but it’s hard to determine what “the best” is, especially when the parent(s) and children don’t all see things the same way. So it was reassuring to be coached by an objective, compassionate outsider who’s handled similar – and much worse – situations many, many times. Pat helped all of us by level-setting our expectations, analyzing the pros and cons of different alternatives, and acting as mediator. She came up with creative solutions that were tailored to our father’s needs and values and that we could all be comfortable with.”

Leigh Davidson, IBM Executive