When Monika McGeown joined the Right at Home CareGivers team, she soon brought enjoyment and a renewed vigour for life, to her first Client
At 95, Jo Abbott was used to doing everything herself. It wasn’t until she definitely couldn’t see, that she reluctantly realised she needed help. Her no-nonsense, practical approach came as a result of having been a midwife, run a chicken farm and a piggery. Mostly by herself after her husband had died. But even fiercely-independent 95-year-olds need support now and again.
Initially, Jo engaged a PA to assist her with booking medical appointments, dealing with correspondence and keeping her home running as smoothly as she had always liked. A series of falls, and increasing ill-health, though, led to Jo being hospitalised. A frustration for someone so spirited and active. However, it transpired Jo was forgetting to take her medication – in spite of adamant assurances and protestations she had been taking everything.
This is when Jo was introduced to Right at Home, and the concept of homecare support. This would facilitate her fierce need to stay at home, where she can maintain her ‘keep calm and carry on’ way of living, with her receiving the care she needed. Her CareGiver, Monika McGeown, was new to care. After a careful selection process, the two women embarked on their new adventure together.
Monika began by visiting Jo in hospital, where she could liaise with the medical staff, Jo’s local GP and her pharmacist. It was through spending time with Jo, and her friend of forty years, Val, that Monika realised Jo perhaps needed more than she was admitting to herself. They agreed to increase the care package from 6 to 25 hours, weekly, to facilitate Jo’s self-expectation.
When she returned home, Monika set about supporting Jo to enable her to remain independent at home. A review of her home was made, and guided by the Occupational Therapist, home-aids were added, allowing Jo to do as much as she can, as her mobility declines. She now has a number of grab handles, a raised toilet seat, walking frames and a hydraulic bath seat which Jo says is ‘great fun’ to sit in. Much laughter can be heard by the ‘girls’ at bath-time, with her new seat! Monika also arranged a review of Jo’s medication. Her revised tablets are now given to Jo in a blister pack, as opposed to the safe-lock bottles.
As well as the regular cleaning, medication administration and food preparation, Monika and Jo have established a perfect weekly routine, together: Whilst Jo is being pampered at the local hairdressers, Monika whizzes to the supermarket. When she collects a freshly-coiffed Jo, they either go to a garden centre or café, showing-off her fabulous new look over a light lunch and coffee.
With Monika’s assistance, and care, Jo has improved considerably.
It is clear how matching a CareGiver with the Client’s needs, makes a huge difference. As someone who had never worked in the care industry before, Monika has consistently gone the extra mile, which has brought a new lease of life to a lady who has worked incredibly hard and experienced much loss in her life. The two have carved a wonderful relationship beyond the planned care-visits. Jo says she cannot imagine life without Monika, and trusts Monika as if she was her own family; she looks forward to spending quality time with ‘My Monika’.