October 16th, 2010 at 2:11 am
Bookmark and Share

Home Health Care: When Additional Help is Needed Part 3

by Kathryn Kilpatrick, M.A. CCC/SLP

At a recent presentation one of the participants heard many of my stories on ways to engage people with hearing, vision, speech and memory limitations. He was already doing some of the ideas, but learned some new activities that might help his dad enjoy a better quality of life. He asked a very pertinent question. “Who is going to be me for me?”

First of all, I feel we all should create a lifestyle care plan, recording our interests and what might appeal to us if we had some limitations and could not create them for ourselves. Person-directed care focuses on meeting the older adult where they are, based on their interests and preferences, not those of the person providing the care.

The gentleman I have talked about in this blog series (Part 1) loved to do puzzles but the ones in the newspaper were too challenging. His spelling was poor and coupled with word retrieval problems, he would spend a lot of time frustrated trying to do what used to bring him great satisfaction.

His wife was quite skeptical when I introduced a book of puzzles I created for stroke patients decades ago. They progressed from simple to complex. Since he was able to readily copy words, I gave him some fill-in puzzles to try with his caregiver. After he became familiar with the format, he needed less assistance and when I left a few for him to try on his own, his wife told me he actually picked them up often and worked on them without any help.

With a forty year career in speech-language pathology and the author of many products as well as articles and blogs for EldercareLink, it would not be a surprise to anyone that my interests include words spoken, written and shared. In my lifestyle care plan there will be suggestions that will include doing some kind of word games along with the many other things I currently enjoy in my free time. What about you?

Person-directed care is becoming the focus of health care providers in the home, in independent and assisted living, in rehabilitation programs and in nursing homes. What matters to your loved one? That is where you should begin when you consider how you might like to engage that person in activities. Share that information with those who are providing care. Think what you might want if you were in a similar situation. Communicate it, create a lifestyle care plan and be proactive. Articles with additional information: Maximizing Your Home Health Care Experience: Part 1 Part 2

“The secret is keeping busy, and loving what you do.” Lionel Hampton

Posted in Dementia, In-home Care, Support | No Comments »

Leave a Reply