Waiting for God

What Does a Community of Care Look Like?

Communities of care of dependant seniors can be simple, or complex. It all depends on the family, friends, and support networks of the dependant senior in your care.  They are each unique.  

Some have many family members involved, other have only one or two. There are many services available for a fee.   Hiring additional support makes a big difference in the quality of care received, which makes a big difference in the quality of life of the community of care.

 

People within community of care raising hands toward a central heart

 

Each has at least a supported or substitute decision maker (e.g., power of attorney) and a medical professional (family doctor or general practitioner).  The medical practitioner will then bring in nurses, and other care professionals, such as a palliative nurse, as needed.

For those whose needs are greater and who have the financial means, communities of care can extend to several children, a hired companion, a few personal support workers, a dietician, a nurse and a doctor.

It is important that the community of care is all on the same page. For example, if people are taking shifts, then each shift will need to document the condition and other important information about the dependent senior so the next person is aware of what is going on.  When a member of community of care is not aware of all pertinent information, care quality quickly declines.

SeniorSynCare is designed specifically with this in mind.

Woman in wheelchair being helped into a car
Seniors in training class doing a side bend while trainer corrects the position of one man.
Examples of Functional Communities
Stella

Stella’s community of care was managed by her granddaughter.  There were several hired and medical services to take care of her.

    • Five PSWs who would be at her place from 9am-1pm and again from 5pm-9pm to get her up, fed and some interaction, and again to feed her and put her to bed.  They were instrumental in making sure she took her medicine.  She was not able to take them on her own (though she swore she could).

    • Palliative nurse who came three times a week to check her vitals and re-bandage a chronic wound on her foot.

    • Hearing aids and glasses – she needed to be taken to the hearing centre and optometrist a couple times which also required a driver and somebody to attend the appointments with her to ensure proper follow up.

    • Her other granddaughter picked up groceries.

    • The family doctor’s office was around the corner, so would make house calls.  Visits were monthly on average as there were several health issues that were being monitored.

    • Stella was popular, so there were frequent social visits from friends and family.

After placed in assisted living facility:

    • A death doula was hired and the PSWs were reduced to one who visited twice per week.  The death doula visited three times per week.
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    • Hearing aid and optometrist appointments required a driver and lucid person to attend appointments with her.
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    • Meals were provided.  The doula would help with meal selection for the week.
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    • Still frequent visits from friends and family.
 
In the last days of her life, her grandchildren, great grandchildren, the death doula and PSW were present.  A palliative nurse showed up to provide morphine at regular intervals.
 
Bob

Bob’s community of care was managed by his life partner.   He was lucid and somewhat mobile so he could take care of his own personal schedule.  He required somebody to feed him and provide him with companionship.  His two daughters would share taking him to appointments and running errands for him.

In the last days of his life, a palliative nurse was present with his partner and two children. 

Suzette

Suzette’s care is managed by her oldest daughter and supported by her two younger children.  She is in an assisted living facility because it is no longer safe for her to live at home on her own.   The three siblings work together to make sure that her needs are met.  The doctor of the assisted living facility was in charge of her care, as well as a palliative nurse for pain management.