• Colleen Duewel

Bringing A Loved One Home

Weighing the pros and cons of having a family member return from a retirement community can be challenging. On one hand, being able to see and visit a loved one in person is invaluable. On the other, someone must be responsible for shopping, cooking, administering medication, doing the laundry, and ensuring home safety.

For one family, the choice was clear.

After a series of hospitalizations and the sudden and unexpected death of her husband last fall, Randal moved his mother to a local assisted living community. Initially she enjoyed the company of other residents and appreciated having meals and activities in her community. However, once the pandemic started residents were asked to stay in their rooms. On phone calls, Randal could tell his mother, Mrs. A was getting lonely and depressed.

Randal asked us to help bring his mother home. We arranged for a safety evaluation of the family home, hired movers and medical transport to bring Mrs. A and her belongings home and recommended a local home care agency to provide daily assistance with meals, housekeeping as well as bathing and dressing. We also arranged for physical therapy to help Mrs. A regain strength and for a house call practice to visit Mrs. A in her home, mostly through telehealth.

“We were fortunate to have my mom’s home still available” said Randal. He realized that the costs of having caregivers in the home was roughly equal to the monthly cost of assisted living. Since Randal works from home, he is also able to be there to engage with her every day. “Though this isn’t the right choice for everyone, it certainly has been the right one for us. Seeing her play the piano again in her own home made it all worth it”, he said.

Since each situation is different, we help families evaluate their individual situation, weighing the financial resources, health conditions and existing sources of support. Whether a family decides to bring a loved one home or explore ways to bring more social engagement to a person in a retirement community, we make sure we improve the quality of life for each client. That might be doing a porch or window visit with someone in a community or setting up all the resources someone needs in their own home.

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