I was working as a Project Manager, managing very large multi-year business software installations. My life was forever changed when I was required to become Guardian to my mother. My mother’s Alzheimer’s progressed quickly, but she had a fantastic support network in place. Then suddenly, her husband of 20 wonderful years, passed away. With his loss went her support structure. Becoming her guardian was a task I gladly accepted, after all she had spent her life looking after myself and my brother.
I did not fully appreciate was how hard this process was going to be. I needed to plan the correct level of care, create the best environment, then move my mother half way up the state, plus attend to all the hundreds of other things that are needed. Fortunately, I had some useful resources; my planning background; experience owning rental properties; and a great list of tradespeople to call on.
I started creating the perfect house for her. I had to change several areas, the bathroom, bedroom and flooring. I removed the bath and created a step-in shower, I installed grab bars and raised the toilet seat. I removed the carpets and installed non-slip tiling. I changed the configuration of the bedroom, and numerous other small changes. Finally, the home was ready for my mother. I also planned for the on-going maintenance of the home, it is important to keep the home as a healthy and safe environment.
Then the real work started, planning for, hiring and managing the care givers. Then putting the plan into action, all those steps like checking back grounds, reference checking, developing care plans, creating menus, motivating and briefing the care givers.
Then the day of the move finally came. I was still working full-time but took a leave of absence to supervise the process, there were just so many things that needed to happen at once, and lots to still be worked out. The care staff had spent the proceeding week with my mother in her old home. This allowed them to get use to each other. The moving company started packing non-vital items. Then my mother was carefully and lovingly prepared and transported by the care staff. Finally, the vital items (bed, medicines, medical equipment etc) were packed and transported. The whole move worked well and mother settled very quickly into the new environment.
Then it is a question of managing the care, scheduling and paying care givers, rescheduling and dealing with time off. Monitoring and changing the approach as required.
My mother continues to thrive in her new home, out living the prognoses of all the medical staff.