When Lisa Barco’s father finally realized that he could no longer care for his wife, who had been living with Parkinson’s dementia, they first explored in home care. “At first, we tried having someone come to the house during the day while my father was at work, but soon my mom started wandering during the night and my dad was becoming sleep deprived. As she continued to deteriorate, we knew it was time to find full-time care,” shared Lisa Barco.
“We found Our Family Home online but didn’t know much about it. Once we learned about the personalized care and residential home environment, we decided it was the best place for mom. I live in Florida, but knew that my mom was best suited to be in Columbus near my brother and close to my father. While it was difficult to be away from her, Our Family Home worked to build my trust from the beginning.”
If you’re considering care out of state or in a different city, Lisa has kindly offered the following advice to consider:
- Explore the environment: From our initial meeting with Our Family Home, we fell in love with the concept. Every time we went there, it was clean and smelled nice. The decor made it feel homelike and festive during the holidays. We wanted a place with a real living room and kitchen.
- Observe the interactions with staff: Most importantly, look to see how the staff engages with residents. At Our Family Home, we always felt that the workers were friendly and peaceful. I didn’t hear stress or agitation in their voices. They were even-keeled and kind to all of the residents.
- Choose an environment where the staff is accessible: The staff at Our Family Home has been attentive since day one. A nurse drove to Coshocton to meet with mom in her home to understand what her needs would be before we moved in. While she was with Our Family Home, they provided real time information and updates on my mom and I knew I could call or text any time. When she could still converse, they would help her to phone so we could talk and send cute photos. I always felt like the staff was personally involved.
- Know what a typical day is like: As we were choosing a home for my mom, we wanted a place where we knew she wouldn’t be in bed all day. At Our Family Home, we loved that my mom would be around other people both residents and staff. The 5:2 resident to caregiver ratio assured us that someone would be there: supporting her, chatting with her and making sure she was clean and safe.
- Most importantly, find a place where your loved one will be loved: What I loved most about our experience was the love and care the staff provided for my mom. They treated her with respect and dignity. I realized this most after seeing how hard they were hit by her death. They treat the residents as family. In her passing, I was reassured that she had a family all the way until the end.
It was never easy to be away from my mom during this time, but the staff at Our Family Home made it easier. I would recommend this scenario to anyone. The level of care is much greater, in many cases, than what you can even provide in your own home. With memory disease, there’s a point where there’s a frustration and sadness on both sides. It’s harder and harder to cohabitate peacefully. At Our Family Home, they know the disease and didn’t expect any more that what my mom could do.