Accepting Change in Order to Stay in Your Own Home and Not go Into a Care Home
We see and support all sorts of people, from all walks of life. We intimately understand that there is no “one size fits all” when advising living adjustments - each case is unique and must be carefully and thoughtfully considered. Most recently, we were contacted by an elderly couple who lived independently on the farm cottage they had known all their life.
This cottage had been with them since the very beginning as a young married couple, through the long summer days and longer winter nights. The farm fully encompassed their lives; they’d lived and worked there for years, raising a family in the cottage. Full-time farmers, the farm and cottage was the centre of their universe; their family were other nearby farmers, their friends the local villagers.
For the past eight years the wife has had a diagnosis of dementia. Thankfully, this was a very gradual onset, during which time her husband acclimatised to taking on new duties, doing more and more around the house and grounds. Yet, as things slowly but steadily worsened, it became apparent that support was vitally needed. With a natural inclination to live in isolation on the farm they knew and loved, the gentleman began to find it difficult to stay on top of basic activities like washing and cooking. Whilst pottering in the garden still brought the couple unbridled joy, they had to admit they could no longer run the house independently.
As is the case in most situations, neither the husband or wife saw a care home as an option - preferring the idea of staying in their beloved family cottage, close to the coast they so often ambled along, drinking hot tea from their flasks. Walking slowly on the farm grounds was still something they enjoyed, and though the idea of a support worker had initially felt intrusive, they became fond of and familiar with the care they received.
As the dementia symptoms worsened, the wife began to need increased attentive, hands-on help to support her with personal care and medication. Taking time to explain the level of care we’d recommend, we outlined our suggestion of introducing a care agency - detailing the benefits and answering all and any questions slowly and patiently. As the couple adjusted to this change, it became clear that the next step was live-in care. Still adamant and determined to stay in the cottage they’d grown old together in, the couple sought our help and we came up with an easily adaptable plan for live-in care.
Today, the couple still live in their cottage, which we have helped to flexibly meet their changing needs. They spend their evenings together on the recliner sofa which the wife, now largely immobile, sleeps on every evening. The walks along the coast look slightly different; now with a carer and a wheelchair and plenty of stops, but this ritual is still enjoyed. The gentleman continues to potter around the house and garden, bringing his wife the best cuttings to make her smile.
We’re proud to help life continue peacefully in this treasured family cottage; a testament to lifelong partnership.
At Independent Living Advisers (ILA.life) we provide advice on moving an elderly person and make suggestions to help the process. We refer suitable people to help elders with support to prepare for downsizing and to be ready for a move. For more information on support services offered by ILA visit Household Support Services for Elderly in Kent,Surrey,Sussex (www.ila.life)