Acting as carer for someone you’ve pledged to spend your life with is entirely natural, but throws up an array of emotional and physical challenges. And since Parkinson’s disease is progressive, those challenges were only going to become tougher.
John’s family is spread across the world, but they keep in touch. It was their decision to contact Consultus, hoping that we could provide a Live-in Carer to help John look after his wife. Our Care Consultant discussed the type of care the couple would like, and we assigned a carer with experience looking after people with Parkinson’s and dementia, to help with personal care, toileting, mobility and general cooking and housekeeping duties.
We arranged a two weekly rotation of bookings made up of a core team of carers who got to know the couple over a period of time. That helps with familiarity and feeling at ease. It also meant that we spotted another change. John’s ability to understand what was happening to both him and his wife was deteriorating. With the help of our carers and several family members, John was assessed and diagnosed with vascular dementia. Our team did all they could to help him remain as independent as possible and still involved with the continued care for his wife.
Sadly, John’s wife passed away and, as is so often the case in such circumstances, his condition worsened. We continued to send the same carers to John, aiming to provide continuity of support and minimise his confusion at this extremely difficult time.
As John’s dementia progressed, the need to provide more help during the day and overnight became apparent. We placed a second carer living in the home, to support the daytime carer by covering the night time. Dementia can be very alarming, for the person with the condition and for their family and friends. By providing familiar and experienced carers giving emotional support and personal help, John was able to remain in his own familiar home environment.