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Case Study: Keeping Spouses Together

This case study is courtesy of My CarePath who regularly work with families where one spouse needs aged care whilst the other does not. 

Nora is 80 years old and is happily married to her husband, Keith.  They live in their family home in Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs and have two very supportive children-a daughter in country Victoria and a son interstate.

Keith has been providing considerable care for his wife for some time with private help required for cleaning and household tasks.

Nora has significant medical problems and has had a number of hospital admissions following respiratory problems and after having a number of falls.

She also has increasing cognition problems and has been losing weight due to a reluctance to eat, despite Keith’s efforts to cook appealing meals, then gently coaxing Nora to eat.

With the increase in these difficulties, Keith has found it challenging to manage Nora’s care at home and feels he is probably unable to continue to provide safe care for her. Nora will require high level care and Keith is finding this quite confronting, especially since Nora maintains that she is coming home after her most recent stay in hospital.

Nora lacks the insight to understand how difficult everything has been. In order for both Keith and Nora to come to terms with the need for residential care, a period of transitional care has been provided. This will also give the family some time to make final plans and decisions.

At this point, Nora’s son, Patrick contacted My CarePath for assistance and advice for Nora’s residential aged care placement.

As Patrick lives interstate and can’t get to Melbourne very often, Keith was Millennium’s main contact.

Millennium researched several appropriate high care options for Nora, based on her care needs and financial affordability, as well as the most important factor: the aged care facility needed to be close to the family home, so Keith could still feel close to his wife, even when they weren’t physically together.

As Keith no longer has a car, Millennium offered the personal service of driving him around to inspect several aged care facilities.

Following Keith’s difficult decision of choosing a facility for Nora, Millennium organised all of the necessary paperwork for her admission and followed through with the placement until Nora was physically settled in her new home.

Nora and Keith now spend more quality time together as husband and wife, instead of “carer” and “patient.” Nora has made some new friends and Keith is no longer exhausted from caring for his wife and is able to keep up with his hobbies again, which he thoroughly enjoys.

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Article posted:Aug 1, 2019
Category: Finding care

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