I had the best laugh a few months ago and it was all because of a 90-year-old who was calling for a friend.
Herman, our caller, lives with his roommate Kevin, who is 15 years younger and recently retired. Herman is active in his church and works part-time as a greeter at a local store. He loves interacting with people. Kevin is another story. He is depressed and won’t go anywhere since he retired. Herman is most concerned about the decline in his friend’s mental state and often worries about leaving him alone. He believes Kevin’s health is compromised because he feels as if he no longer has a purpose in life.
Herman decided to take it upon himself and get some information about in-home care providers, so he called us at Luxe Homecare. I don’t know if I was helpful or not because Herman told me jokes throughout our conversation and his timing was impeccable. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Later that day, I told a colleague about the phone call. Her comment was “that’s probably why he’s doing so well. He doesn’t take his age seriously.”
I thought about what she said and remembered an article I read in the New York Times a few years ago that posed the question: What if age is nothing but a mind-set? The article covered a psychological study in which seniors were placed in environments that were reminiscent of decades earlier. After several days, the individuals showed improvements in both mental and physical capabilities. In my years in homecare and home health, I’ve met many people who are in their 80s and 90s who look and act younger than some individuals in their 50s and 60s.
Disease, pain and other outside influences can certainly affect how our body ages, but our attitude is a big factor. Some studies have found that having a positive attitude can increase your life span by several years.
Our “Matching” System
At Luxe Homecare, we recognized early on that taking care of an older person isn’t only about helping them with activities of daily living or transportation. It’s about giving them respect, dignity and the ability to live as independently as they can for as long as possible. It is important that our caregivers are well-trained and that they have a variety of tools at their disposal. Of equal importance is how well they get along with the client. We want our clients to feel as if a family member or close friend is in their home. That’s why we use our own proprietary “matching” system. We have found that if our client looks forward to the caregiver’s arrival, their attitude and health can improve.
More Flexibility for Your Loved One
Having an in-home care provider also gives your loved one the chance to socialize more, especially when family members are not available to act as the daily car service. Our caregivers can drive our clients to meet with friends at a restaurant or to go shopping at the local mall. This allows your family member to stay active and keep in touch with those individuals that give them a reason to get up in the morning.
We also provide a car service in the Pacific Palisades area for both ambulatory and non-ambulatory individuals, something Herman has taken advantage of several times.
Getting Back to Kevin…
As for Herman and Kevin, we were able to help improve their living situation. Herman called me just a few days ago to tell me that since our caregiver started working with Kevin, he has seen an enormous improvement in his roommate’s attitude and what he is and isn’t willing to do. Because Kevin feels comfortable with our caregiver, he is always joking around and has even made arrangements to get together with friends he hadn’t seen in months. Herman is thrilled, Kevin is happier and we’re delighted that we could help.