Many caregivers for loved ones with dementia know the feeling of uncertainty and helplessness that often comes with the diagnosis. The weight is even greater for those who are managing it all alone, and the yearning to ensure your loved ones are receiving the best care possible can be overwhelming.
Tim Jones knows this feeling all too well. He gradually noticed that his wife Jackie was exhibiting signs of dementia. Last March, he realized just how serious her condition was. As he was taking a shower, Jackie unexpectedly drove off with the family car. He searched for her on foot and by car with the help of their neighbor, Shelly, but she was nowhere to be found.
The next morning, the sheriff’s department contacted Tim to say that they found Jackie and had taken her to the ER. Jackie was in good spirits, but confused, bruised, and had a broken arm. For weeks she was attended to around the clock. “She was alive – thank God – but often had periods of anger,” Tim recalled.
It was at this point that Shelly’s sister Kelly recommended Pacific Gardens Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, and, after visiting, he agreed to have Jackie placed there. Tim and Jackie don’t have family near, so Shelly and Kelly had been “his angels” throughout this trying time.
Tim visits Jackie twice a day – bringing ice cream and a cookie each time – and even a rose in the morning during good weather. He plays piano for the residents and deals High Card in the evenings. Jackie gained weight and her health improved since living in the care community. “She recognizes me every time I visit,” said Tim. “She takes her medications regularly, and the caregivers and med techs are great.”
About three months after moving in, Jackie began having digestive issues and had yet to be assigned a provider. A frustrating trip to the ER made Tim realize that Jackie couldn’t wait any longer to receive primary care. Pacific Gardens recommended Housecall Providers, and from that point forward, Tim and Jackie’s lives changed for the better.
Housecall Providers Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Barbara Sutton became Jackie’s provider. “She is beyond outstanding and thoughtful,” Tim said, “She’s very sincere and has an answer for all my questions.” Tim appreciates how attentive Barbara is to Jackie, and that he is also consulted regarding his wife’s condition. “After her visits, I feel like Christmas has arrived,” Tim said. His only regret is not having Barbara Sutton as Jackie’s provider prior to that one morning in March.
Tim’s appreciation of Barbara and Housecall Providers is immense. And while Tim feels certain that all Housecall Providers’ clinicians are at the top of their fields, he is grateful that it was Barbara that took on the role of caring for his wife.
“I say a short prayer each morning at the church next door for Jackie and others,” Tim said, “and I make a point to include Barbara.” With Housecall Providers in his corner, Tim can rest easier knowing that he and his wife are in such good hands.