Part 4 of a 4 Part Story

Choosing Home Care Before Assisted Living, part 4 of Melanie’s Story

assisted livingToward the end of Melanie’s three week stay in the psychiatric hospital, she expressed her relief and peace. She admitted that she had been exhausted from trying to maintain her home and manage her medications. Discussions ensued about her sons assuming guardianship and she embraced the idea. Her sons were wonderful with their mom. She also welcomed moving to an assisted living facility where her medications would be managed. Her only demand was that she had to have her dog Lexy with her.

We worked closely with a very customer service oriented assisted living to help with Melanie’s transition. She was able to take Lexy. She was given an end unit with access to an outside door so that she could easily walk Lexy. She was even provided one of the nurse call phones so that she could call the nurses station if she needed assistance.

Melanie was the youngest resident. She continued to have a part-time caregiver to take her on outings and errands; maintaining some essential independence. It was nice a few months later to see Melanie at the facility’s holiday party. She was enjoying mingling with other residents and listening to the piano music. She liked her apartment which had been painted in her favorite colors. She loved the food, perhaps a little too much, as she had gained about thirty pounds probably thanks to the pastry chef.

While there were some trying times for all involved during Melanie’s care at home, all of these steps were necessary. Ten months earlier Melanie would not have agreed to guardianship and her sons would not have been comfortable pursing it.

The only thing missing for Melanie was her family which now included four young grandchildren. Her son’s visits still required a plane ride but everyone was making the effort. Melanie even visited them in their homes. Years earlier I was so disheartened when the daughter in law told me that the sons’ best hope for the situation was that maybe, someday, Melanie could live closer to one of them. She defined closer as ‘an eight hour drive away.’

About a year after Melanie moved to the assisted living, Nick and I took Melanie out for a farewell lunch. Melanie was moving to an assisted living facility just twenty minutes from her son Donnie’s home.   We shared a lovely celebration reminiscing about it all. Melanie expressed her thanks to us for standing by her throughout it all. We were grateful to have been a part of it having grown so fond of Melanie. The sense of accomplishment was wonderful. We’ve sporadically kept in touch. Last we heard Melanie and her family were all doing well…hopefully a happily ever after!

Catch up on all of Melanie’s story here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4 (viewing)

 

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Janet Faraone founded a non-medical, senior home care company in 2000; back before Home Care was a household word.  As a pioneer in the industry, she learned the intricacies of helping families navigate the needs of seniors and opened a care management division.  After more than a decade of helping seniors, she and her husband, Nick, sold their business to start a new chapter. Having been a long time friend of Seniors Guide and Home Care Choice, over lunch one day, it became clear that Janet’s wealth of knowledge could be incredibly helpful to our readers.  When she’s not hiking and skiing with her husband and three kids, or volunteering in the community, she’ll share her stories with us in the hopes that they will bring comfort and insight to caregivers and seniors.