Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Caregivers for caregivers
We just had a visit from Dr. H. the eye doctor, to the house, to do exactly the sort of eye exam HP would have in his regular eye doctor's office, to which he can sadly no longer get, with recommendations, diagnosis, all that. And twice a week Emil M. the physical therapist to the stars, comes in to work with HP, always ready with new ideas, and there's the dentist, Dr. Y, who set up an entire dentist office in our living room and proceeded to do an urgently needed filling, and always his terrific Doctor Pamela B., who is there for us, spends as much time as her patient needs, never rushes away. This is the A team for care for HP, and without them it would be impossible for him to be at home.
All these services are provided by law in nursing homes, but are relatively new in private homes. That and the shortage of home health aides, is a big reason why many people can't be maintained in their own homes, no matter how much they might want to be there.
So this is a paean of praise to the homecare professionals, a cheerful and inventive group of people who are really working the high wire act of the medical world -- no backup on site, bring your own equipment, make rapid decisions based on what you see when you arrive, deal with the family's abilities or lack of them, support everyone, be in someone's home without intruding on their life.
If there is a life after this one and if there are rewards and grades given for how you served your time here on the planet, then people you will see with crowns studded with diamonds and emeralds and rubies and other such nice stuff are probably the homecare section of the Elysian Fields!
The picture at the top? mosses gathered from the woods behind the house, transplanted to our house in a homemade wardian case consisting of a pottery plate and an old clock mantel, flourishing away in this environment, new surprising plants appearing.
Just seemed like a great metaphor for our homecare pros, and for us!