I walked into mom’s west wing at the care home. A crowd of staff at the nurse’s station. Shift change debrief time. Mom wasn’t in her room, not in the common area, not in the dining area. I found her at the end of a hall sitting alone on a chair in the corner, elbows on knees, chin in her hands. I found a chair and sat down across from her making eye contact after a while. Apparently deep in thought, she didn’t seem interested in looking up. Finally we connected and there was a flash of something akin to recognition. I noticed she was sitting on a pad and her pants were soiled.
This happens. One shift is wrapping up and staff need to be at the debrief on time. Tuck a pad under her and the next shift will pick it up and provide cleaning care. Intellectually I acknowledged all this, while emotionally I had found mom alone at the end of hall needing care. It lands hard.
The next shift care-staff were soon around and all was resolved and fine. Mom’s spirits improved and we took the walker outside into the sunshine. We connected in a meaningful way as the curtain of dementia seemed to part slightly as we chattered. Me randomly and she with the gibberish the last stroke left her as a stand-in for language.
The mobile dentist service had a cancelation and we were notified mom could be squeezed in on short notice. I had questions. Firstly, mom has no teeth. Just upper dentures. Why dentist? Is this a money grab? Later I learned this oral inspection was a good idea. And we heard some things about mom’s gums we didn’t know and so it was all good that this worked out.
One of the investment funds is up for renewal and decisions need to be made this week.
A typical week, yes?
Questions I asked myself:
> what is the west wing contact person’s name and number?
> what is the dental service’s contact info? when was mom’s last dental visit? where’s the report?
> mom’s (labeled) bottom dentures went missing. does insurance cover this? where’s the insurance document? have we checked it / updated it lately?
> what did we decide the last time this investment fund came up for renewal? has anything changed or is it OK to do-again?
Four years ago when we were caring for both mom and dad as dementia came to visit gradually and then like a sled on a slope, we wrestled with organization. Email attachments were everywhere. We siblings were in different countries, different communities and mom ‘n dad were in Manitoba, Canada. We found tools to sort ourselves and keep track of things. Most of these tools assumed you were a project manager or similar. Some of us were not!
This is how Simplify Caring began. Our goal is to solve two things.
Keep everything safely organized in one place.
Make it strong, secure but super intuitive, logical and accessible for all computer experience levels.
Simplify Caring is built for teams who did not choose to be a team. You didn’t pre-qualify or sign up for this team. And yet, here you are. May as well be organized and keep everything safe.