Neva and her family knew one thing: they wanted to keep her mom Jodie at home as long as possible.
From Dream to Reality
Jodie | February 9, 2018 | Family Care Client
Jodie had been living in her own home with her boyfriend but when he left because of an illness, her children began to see that their mother was not well either. She was showing signs of dementia, such as not showering or brushing her teeth, not eating or leaving the stove on.
From a large family of seven, at first Neva and her sisters cared for her mother, starting in June 2015. Neva had cared for someone in a similar situation before and knew it was going to be difficult, but still thought that they would be manageable if they shared the load. But it was hard on them, not just the physical part of the care, but the emotional stress and worry of caring for a parent.
“I was always worried about the next phone call,” Neva said.
By January of 2016, they knew they couldn’t continue as they had. They met with the Aging and Disability Resource Center in Dodge County and chose Family Care for their mother.
“Things started to change right away,” Neva said. “No one could have dreamed it could go this well.”
She said the care team was so respectful of the family and of her mother, finding out what her life had been like before she had dementia, how her mother’s dementia impacted all the siblings, and talked about caregiver burnout. Neva said they were protective of her mother and didn’t want just anyone to care for her, especially providing personal care and hygiene.
“They listened and took everything we said into consideration,” she said. “They didn’t control, but worked with us. They let us know everything that was available and were always there, no matter what.”
At first the family continued to serve as Jodie’s support, but by July they were at their wit’s end. Neva needed to be out of town to care for her daughter who was preparing for surgery, her sister was unable to help due to caregiver stress, and their mother was deteriorating. Jodie had lost weight from not eating and was down to 113 pounds, she was barely moving, and would not let them change her incontinence products.
Neva talked to Brenda, Jodie’s care manager, and within about a week, the family had support in the form of in-home care workers. The caregivers met Neva’s high standard for her mother’s care.
“Care Wisconsin stepped up to the plate right away,” Neva said. “In the back of my mind all along the way I was always waiting for the issues, but they never came. Everything always worked out.”
The family could come and go while the paid caregivers took care of their mom. They would also spend time with them, taking their mom for a drive to the lake or for ice cream. Though it was going well, Neva knew that eventually it would be best for her mom to move out of her own home because she would continue to decline, making things like showering and lifting in the home difficult.
She talked to Brenda again and they worked alongside Jodie to talk about a new goal of moving into assisted living. It was important to Neva that her mom was still able to voice what was important to her. And as it had previously, “Everything fell into place for the best interest of my mom.” Jodie was able to move into a facility that Neva had looked at a while back.
Her mom has gained weight and is now up to 128 pounds and is adjusting well. She is able to take part in the activities that they have on site and even has taught the other residents a little bit about her past hobbies.
She was a talented artist and used to be very involved in Native American culture. She also had several looms, and beaded belts that told stories. Recently she was able to teach the other residents how to make dream catchers. Neva enjoys the time she has with her now because it quality time, not as stressful as it was when they were caring for her.
“She’s safe, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. She has everything she needs,” Neva said. “If something major happens, I call Care Wisconsin and we can make changes. I have 110% confidence in Care Wisconsin.”