Myrna’s daughter Desiree had noticed a change in her mother. Myrna had been more withdrawn and seemed more confused and forgetful.
She didn’t say much over their weekly telephone calls. With increasing frequency, Myrna didn’t answer the phone at all. It made Desiree nervous living so far away from her mom. She really didn’t know what was going on with her. She made the decision that she was going to find out. She took time off work and arranged a flight out to see her mom. What she found when she got there brought her to tears.
Myrna seemed decidedly different than she ever had before. She had always been socially outgoing, energetic, busy, and meticulous about hygiene and housework. When Desiree arrived, Myrna’s hair was unwashed. Her clothes were wrinkled and stained. Her house was cluttered, covered in a layer of grime and dust. But worst of all was Myrna herself. She seemed… older, frailer, greyer. She seemed fragile and weak, with sunken cheeks.
Myrna was surprised, and pleased, to see Desiree, but she was lacking energy and enthusiasm. Desiree ended up spending the next two weeks with her mom, trying to figure out what was going on and how to fix it.
Myrna had lost weight. She wasn’t eating, apparently lacking an appetite and forgetting to eat more often than not. She was depressed and listless. Myrna said she missed her friends and family. She felt lonely and isolated but didn’t know how to reach and connect. She didn’t understand how to use technology. She had stopped going to work in the community garden because she didn’t feel comfortable going alone. She wasn’t sure she could find her way back home.
Desiree and Myrna visited with the doctor and they came up with a plan. Desiree set up senior care to come in and work with Myrna every day. The aide would come in the morning and make sure Myrna ate breakfast. After breakfast, they would work together to clean up the house a bit, and then do something meaningful for Myrna.
Sundays and Wednesdays: They would video chat with Desiree. Desiree would call Myrna at a designated time when the aide was there to help answer the call.
Mondays and Thursdays: They would walk to the community garden to spend some time working and visiting with her old friends.
Tuesdays and Fridays: Myrna and the aide would work together to read and write emails to Myrna’s sisters. Then they would look at Facebook to see photos of her family. Desiree set it up so it would be easy for the aide to help Myrna.
Saturdays: The aide would drive Myrna to the senior center, where she loved to play Bingo.
Late each morning, after the activity, the senior care aide and Myrna would make lunch. While Myrna was eating, the aide would make a simple dinner and set it in the refrigerator for Myrna to heat up later.
Within weeks, Desiree was amazed at the difference in her mom. No longer sullen and withdrawn, she looked much better — she could tell because she saw so often online! Desiree was convinced that the added structure, healthy diet, and meaningful activity was doing her mom well. Myrna seemed much brighter and less forgetful, and she said she felt much better. She was so happy to have regular contact again with the important people in her life!
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Cayucos, CA, please contact the friendly staff at San Luis Obispo Caregivers.
Call today: (805) 748-2614