Home Care Providers Help Families Negotiate Challenges

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elder man living in careIn January 2005, Molly Borders realized that her family needed help. Her mother, Frances, was suffering from dementia. Although she had been recently discharged from the hospital, she was unable to safely return to her home in Chevy Chase and was living temporarily in an assisted living community. Molly’s father, Bill, was still living in their family home, but he was clearly overwhelmed. The Borders’ home was filled with over 50 years of accumulations. Papers, boxes, bags and mail were piling up everywhere, and the couple’s antique furniture was in need of repair. Molly, who lived next door, knew that her parents needed more help than she could provide alone.

Care for You, a local home care agency, was called in to organize and clean Bill and Fran’s home. They also provided companion care for the couple, which included nutritious meals and cleaning and laundry service. As they began to get the situation under control, the family was able to make necessary care decisions. Fran would remain in assisted living where she could receive the care she needed. Now they needed to prepare their long-time home for sale.

Working with Bill and Molly, Care for You began the enormous task of sorting through all the possessions in the three-story, 4,000 square-foot home. The work covered the entire property, including a garage, wrap-around porch, and lawn. Items in the couple’s storage facility in Gaithersburg also had to be sorted. Possessions were sorted into four distinct categories: trash, donation, estate sale, and those that Fran and Bill would keep. Staff members arranged and monitored the move of items to the assisted living apartment, and also cleaned out Molly’s basement. Care for You then held an estate sale with both homes’ goods. When the process was complete, staff cleaned the Borders’ home inside and out to ready it for sale while unpacking and settling Bill and Fran into their new apartment. After seeing the work that Care for You had completed at her parent’s home, Molly decided to have them do landscaping work at her house to add the same curb appeal.

Only a few weeks after the house sold, the family faced several new challenges. Fran and Bill’s car was wrecked, Bill quit driving, and Fran fell and broke her hip. During this difficult time, Care for You companions continued working with Bill, adding transportation to their list of services. They also helped Fran through the rehabilitation process, helping her to remain orientated and working to reduce her fear. When Fran returned to the apartment, companions stayed with her every day and night until nursing care became necessary.

Molly sums up their experiences: “I look at where we were a year ago, and I don’t know how we would have made it without Care for You.” She continues, “The difference with Care for You is their people. They really do care. They connect emotionally, as well as do whatever physically has to be done. I knew that I could count on them.” Care for You remains in touch with Molly, Fran, and Bill, and its Lawn and Garden Division continues to maintain Molly’s yard.

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