Caregiving to an older adult with memory issues can feel isolating. But Darcy’s experience has been exactly the opposite.
My dad’s participation in the Adult Day Health Care program has made me feel like I’m part of a larger caregiving team — both in meeting my dad’s needs, but also in looking after seniors in the larger community. I didn’t realize I needed a team until I began caring for my dad six years ago, Darcy said.
Darcy’s dad, Jerry, is physically capable but lacks short-term memory and needs to be shadowed.
I try to do the very best I can by my dad. It’s a difficult job. I constantly feel like I should be doing it with more grace, patience, humor or efficiency. But I take a deep breath and cut myself some slack because my dad is not nagged when he is at ‘the club’, she said.
He is free to make his own decisions there. He can choose how he wants to spend his time and that’s one of the greatest things about it. He receives mental stimulation. He is around people and participating in and observing activities. And, at the same time, the program staff is engaging him and monitoring him for health care changes, Darcy said.
Taken altogether, Person-Centered Care — for Darcy — is about the holistic team approach to taking care of her dad.
We, as a caregiving team, are dividing and conquering his needs — and we’re doing a good job. Go team! she said.