Thursday, April 11, 2013

Respite care: a saga

Client #1

A 70 year old female client is in need of a weekly volunteer visitor to give her paid live-in caregiver a break.  She has lung cancer that was diagnosed in May 2012.  She has decided not to have treatment.  She has a long history of emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  She lives in her lazy boy.  As she cannot be left alone, she has hired a live-in caregiver.  The caregiver needs a break once per week for 4 to 5 hours.  This client would also be interested in a volunteer who could provide therapeutic touch or any relaxing alternative therapy to combat anxiety.

Visit #1

Client was alone, her companion/roommate was doing errands. He was a tenant in a previous residence, he lives with her here to help her out. She is prone to breathing issues. He arrived home at 3:00. Client is hard of hearing. She'd forgotten I was to visit. She turned the TV off after a half hour, which was at very high volume,  and she told me her life story. We talked about me giving respite to her companion, who can go out and do errands or go have coffee at Tim's with friends.

Client was about to light up her cigarette and I told her I couldn't stay if she was going to smoke.
It was freezing, with windows open to get out the smoke. She is on oxygen. She has cancer in one lung; emphysema in the other. She cannot walk far and uses the commode beside her chair, no matter who is in the room.

Visit #2

I arrived at 1:00. The companion, I spotted lighting up a cigarette in the living room. She told him to smoke in the Muskoka Room. This is a room off of the living room where we were sitting.
He put out his cigarette after a few drags, then she sent him off to get gas, ASA, a prescription, etc.
She had the TV cranked up, I had to yell for her to hear me. We watched 3/4 of an hour of a bash 'em talk show.



He lit up a cig again. I left after a half hour.

Visit #3

All is good with the client. I explained that I was respite, she thought I was just a visitor. 
When I arrived this time, roommate was having a nap. She turned down the TV, thankfully.
She has a woman who comes and does her hair. She has a respite PSW who comes weekly to help her shower, wash her hair and get cleaned up.

Visit #4
Client's sister was there. She will be there for a month. After a half hour I left. It was a 35km trip.

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