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The Fall Call

Wednesday March 07, 2018 - Jennifer Prell
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Gramps on his 91st birthday with Anna Wilson, RN and owner of Alta Vista Manor (near Sand Diego, CA)

We moved away from our families to pursue career opportunities. The years flew by and we had our own children. We traveled back and forth to visit with grandparents during most holidays. Soon, we aged, our kids were in college and travelling became challenging for our parents. We lost Grandma to cancer a few years back, but that’s another story. Gramps learned how to cook, well…make cereal, and do laundry. He lost his drivers license and needed to hire someone. A young woman working in his complex was hired to drive him around and make sure he got fed. Initially, 12 hours a week was sufficient. He wanted to stay in his own home. When the time came that he needed more help, we found another caregiver that could share the week and cover him 24/7. This arrangement worked out well, but his “companions” did not bathe or dress him. We discussed the next step with them and made sure Gramps knew that a fall would mean moving out of his home. One night, we received the call – a fall had occurred during the night on his way to the bathroom. Although, it was just a broken wrist, it meant help was needed for dressing, bathing and toileting. The two caregivers, who were like daughters, could no longer care for him or lift him so it was time for a change. Now the challenge – we live 2,000 miles away! Fortunately, we found an organization similar to Elderwerks to help us navigate to a wonderful place for gramps to live.