Maureen, living alone in her late 80’s, had recently returned home from an extended period in hospital. Like many older people in her position, she was understandably worried about returning to her own home after weeks in hospital and losing much of her independence. Upon returning home, Maureen’s worries turned into anxiety, worrying about anything and everything.
Maureen’s home care journey began after suffering an ongoing bout of infections. Her family were worried that she was losing her mobility, independence and not staying hydrated. They thought she might need the support of a home care assistant.
Enter, Yasmin Choudhury, a Care Professional with years of experience in the care sector. She’s been visiting Maureen 4 times a week, 3 times a day to give her the help she needs.
A typical day for Yasmin and Maureen usually involves support with medication, preparing breakfast, making lunch and helping her get comfortable in bed in the evening.
When she initially left hospital, Maureen wasn’t eating much at all. Only half a sandwich and a small cup of soup was all she could manage. A dietary deficiency is a one-way ticket to hospital readmission – something Maureen really didn’t want. Yasmin, being fully aware of the dangers of this, knew she had to bring it to Maureen and her family’s attention.
Problems with nutrition can be common among those needing care and approaching the conversation can be very challenging for care workers. Some people are very set in their ways and it can be difficult to bring them round to a new way of thinking. Caring roles require a certain level of finesse to get people on side and avoid hostility or refusal.
Unlike conventional care work, as private home care professionals we can’t force someone to change their ways. However, if the client becomes at risk, it’s our job to be honest about it. Caregiving requires diplomacy, patience, social skills and a gentle persona.
Yasmin sensitively talked through what could happen if Maureen didn’t eat or drink enough, gently encouraging her to eat a bit more each day. Gradually, thanks to Yasmin’s efforts, Maureen’s appetite started to improve. She began introducing more food and larger portions, much to Maureen’s delight.
This act of kindness kick-started a series of positive changes in Maureen’s life that would turn things around. Over time, her confidence began to return and with it came a warm, fun, calm person with a rejuvenated outlook.
One day, the pair were talking and Maureen mentioned that her granddaughter used to come by to treat and style her hair, however more recently was unable to visit. This got Yasmin thinking about what she could do to help. Luckily Yasmin remembered there were spare hair rollers at home. Bingo!
The next time she visited, Yasmin brought the hair rollers with her and got to work washing and setting Maureen’s hair. This became a regular event and their relationship has absolutely flourished. They’re fantastic friends now; Maureen shares her personal stories, trades funny anecdotes and is enjoying food once again.
The good times don’t stop there though, as mentioned briefly at the start of this story, Maureen’s family were concerned about her lack of mobility. Remaining physically active and taking care of mental health are both essential for physical and mental wellbeing. Throughout their time together, Yasmin had been encouraging Maureen to do more. Whilst initially she was resistant, eventually Maureen opened up and asked if they could go for a walk together.
Things started slowly, with Maureen relying on her trusty walking frame for support. But, as her confidence grew she became less reliant on the walking frame and gradually transitioned to a one handed walking stick.
Their defining moment came when Yasmin arrived for a regular care visit and Maureen was sitting with her trainers already on, ready and waiting to walk. Yasmin was taken aback; amazed at the progress Maureen had made since she started her care visits. A lady that once struggled with anxiety, now has her trainers on raring to go. What a transformation!
Maureen is now content and happy making the most of the things she can do, achieving a real sense of wellbeing. Walking over to the neighbours, enjoying the gardening, hoovering, even doing the dishes. It’s ‘Magic Moments’ like this that really bring home the Radfield ethos; helping our nation age well and remain connected to the things that matter most.
Thanks to Yasmin, Maureen has reclaimed some independence. She’s calm, relaxed and gets a daily confidence boost with her regular care visits.
If you would like to find out more about Radfield Home Care and how you can join the team, you can visit www.radfieldhomecare.co.uk or contact your local office.
Get in touch with your local Radfield Home Care office today and find out more about the support we offer and the difference we can make.