Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Feelin' Lucky?

I'd called the CCAC recently to arrange for some assistance with Nana's care. The first order of business, of course, is an in-home assessment of a new client. Luckily, even though there was a waiting list, I managed to snag an appointment within a week. The assessor kindly went through her list of questions, diligently took notes and was happy to announce that Nana was fortunately eligible for two hours of assistance from a PSW per week.
While I do appreciate that budgets are tight everywhere and that we all have our jobs to do within some pretty slim restrictions, it seemed almost more trouble to try and figure out how to fit two hours of help per week into a schedule already overflowing with appointments, daily caregiving 'musts' and the unexpected for both Nana and Grampa George.
Nana's dementia means that space and time often meld into one. This means she might get up at eight am, wondering if she's missed dinner on a sunny Monday morning and get up at eleven am the next day announcing that she hadn't slept a wink all night, when her snoring was long and strong over the monitor in her room, since midnight the night before. That makes it very difficult to fit in help from a PSW with Nana's morning routine, when she needs the most help but certainly any help is better than none at all.
My biggest concern was that Nana's mobility was not considered an issue even though we must walk with her whenever she's not sitting down. I'd been especially worried since she's had two serious falls over the last year and a half and some very close calls recently.
The weekend after Nana's assessment, she had another serious fall. It meant calling 911 and a ride with her to hospital in the ambulance. Luckily she only sustained extensive bruising, several broken facial bones, stitches to her forehead, and bandaging of a three inch cut on the upper arm that couldn't be stitched. We were in hospital from one am Sunday and discharged at nine that same morning. The care was quick and kind, helpful and much appreciated but everyone who helped us felt that two hours a week of help at home was not nearly enough, given the circumstances.
Luckily, now that I can truthfully say that Nana's had a fall within the past 90 days, we may well be eligible for a few more hours of care per week. With any luck, whenever our trusty PSW is there, I'll be able to take a leisurely stroll to the bathroom to answer nature's call instead of running in and out with my fly undone for fear that Nana's wandering the house without an escort when I'm not looking.

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