Five Ways to Build Trust with your Out of State Memory Care Team

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.

Visiting a Person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Visitors are important to people with Alzheimer’s. They may not always remember who the visitors are, but just the human connection has value. Here are some ideas to share with someone who is planning to visit a person with Alzheimer’s.

  1. Plan the visit at the time of the day when the person is at his or her best. Consider bringing along some kind of activity, such as something familiar to read or photo albums to look at, but be prepared to skip it if necessary.
  2. Be calm and quiet. Avoid using a loud tone of voice or talking to the person as if he or she were a child. Respect the person’s personal space and don’t get too close.
  1. Try to establish eye contact and call the person by name to get his or her attention. Remind the person who you are if he or she doesn’t seem to recognize you.
  1. If the person is confused, don’t argue. Respond to the feelings you hear being communicated, and distract the person to a different topic if necessary.
  1. If the person doesn’t recognize you, is unkind, or responds angrily, remember not to take it personally. He or she is reacting out of confusion.

 

To read the full article, click here: http://www.alzheimersweekly.com/2013/11/visiting-dementia-holidays.html
(Source: Alzheimer’s and Dementia Weekly)

Meet Philip!

Employee Spotlight: Philip Owens
Team Leader

What do you do for Our Family Home?

I am a team leader with Our Family Home. In this role, I work with our care team and residents and help ensure that their needs are being met. More specifically, I help make sure that our reports are completed, medication is being managed properly and coordinate menus.

How long have you worked with Our Family Home?

It will be two years in January.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

The residents. I enjoy interacting with our residents and engaging in conversation with them. I’m grateful for the things I’m learning at Our Family Home and the continued communication between the owner and the caregivers. We’re close.

What have you learned working with the residents of Our Family Home?

I have learned to have patience working with Alzheimer’s residents. It’s a different kind of care, where you can’t just walk into it. You gain a different experience working in this environment.

How does OFH give residents and families more good days?

We give residents more good days by going above traditional care standards. And, definitely our ratio. The 5 to 2 ratio is a good care system. We spend 12 hours a day with our residents, therefore we build trust, understand their needs and adjust our behavior based on their personalities.