Recovering From a Serious Fall: Caregivers to the Rescue

Posted on August 16, 2013 by ECR Louisville in Blog, Caregiver Education

It is now being called “The Ice Storm Of The Decade.”  In Columbus, Ohio, there had been freezing rain all day, and nearly an inch of this stuff had accumulated by the time evening rush hour had hit.  Everything outside was covered with ice, and nearly half the county was without power.  The temperature was a few degrees below freezing, so sidewalks, parking lots, roads, and driveways were all solid sheets of ice.

I had made it to my girlfriend’s house after work without incident and was getting ready to go inside and warm up.  I parked on the street but then realized that if I left my car on the street, the windows would be a frozen mess in a matter of minutes, so I decided to make room in the garage and pull the car in there. Unfortunately, things didn’t work as planned.
On my way to the garage, I carefully shuffled down the walkway to the driveway, and then I immediately lost my footing and fell.  As I fell, I heard a couple “pops,” and realized right away I had broken a bone.  I was able to crawl into my girlfriend’s car, and she rushed me to the Urgent Care.  After a few X-rays, the doctor came out and told me I had broken two bones in my foot—my fibula and my tibia.  The rest of the evening is a bit of a blur, as the RN on duty injected me with some serious pain meds, so the next thing I remember is waking up the following morning and heading to the Orthopedic Surgeon.  The doctor did some more X-rays and put a heavier, more durable cast on my foot, then informed me I would have to have surgery the following Tuesday.
So what did all this mean?  Well first, I would be in a cast for at least the next 6 weeks.  Then if all healed properly, I would graduate from a cast to a cane, have some physical therapy, then hopefully be back to normal in the next few months.  But until that time and as long as I was wearing this cast, I had to get around using crutches, I could not put any weight on my right foot, and I absolutely couldn’t drive.  This is not exactly how I had my next two months planned.
Once everything started to sink in, I began to worry.  How would I get around?  How could I go to the store?  How could I go to work?  I couldn’t even get to the pharmacy to pick up my pain medication!  Sure I had family and friends that could help, but I didn’t want to rely on everyone to do things for me all the time.  After all, no one wants to be a “burden” to his/her loved ones.
What happened to me happens to thousands of people every day.  Many people end up in a similar situation after an accident or a sickness prevents them from living their life.  But what makes my story different is the fact that I own a company called “Homewatch CareGivers.”
Homewatch CareGivers is a company that helps people in their own homes.  Most of our clients are elderly or disabled, and all of them need some form of assistance living independently.  Whether it’s help with bathing, getting to the store, or giving medication, our Caregivers go into peoples’ homes and assist them in remaining independent.
As you can see, my worlds are now beginning to converge.  For 8 years, I have been running a company that cares for others, and now, I am on the outside looking in.  I am requiring help from my own company!  I have to admit that in the beginning, I was nervous.  I’m 40 years old and perfectly healthy.  Do I really want someone coming into my home and helping me?  How would my Caregivers react to helping the owner of the company?  Would this be as awkward for them as it would be for me?
I went to Mount Carmel West Hospital for my surgery, and after the surgeon put a few screws in my foot, I gradually woke up from my anesthesia-induced sleep.  After a couple nights in the hospital, I was released at 9 AM on Thursday.  I called the office, and they sent Betina to pick me up within 20 minutes.  She took the company car and took me home.  Walking on crutches was still new to me, plus the after effects of the anesthesia still hadn’t worn off, so I really needed that extra assistance in getting from the hospital to my home.  Once I got home, Betina went to Walgreen’s and picked up the medication the doctor prescribed for me, then returned to my house.  She helped straighten up a few things, made sure I was comfortable and safe, then reassured me that I could call the “on-call” cell phone if I needed anything at all.
Never before had I felt so helpless.  Here I was sitting in my own house unable to do most anything other than sit and lie down.  Yet in the back of my mind, I felt an overwhelming sense of comfort.  I knew that if I needed anything, I could call Homewatch.  I also knew that Homewatch would be sending another Caregiver to my house soon to help clean, do laundry, and go grocery shopping.      
 

The next week was truly enlightening.  For 8 years, I had been running a business that helps others without ever fully understanding the impact we have on peoples’ lives.  Of course I always knew we were providing a valuable service to those in need, but until this point, I never completely realized how much of an effect Homewatch CareGivers has on shaping peoples’ lives.  You see, we aren’t just a company that provides a laundry list of services.  The services we provide are just a small part of what we do.  Our brochure says, “Homewatch CareGivers provides piece of mind.”  Until this incident, those were just words.  Now I understand the meaning of this, and I also understand the value of the services we do provide.
Even on the few days I didn’t have a Caregiver, I still felt at ease because someone was always calling to check up on me.  “Jon, did you eat breakfast?  Do you need anything from the store?  Do you need someone to pick up your son from the bus stop?”  It was quite clear that everyone from Homewatch who called was genuinely concerned about me.  I wasn’t just some “client,” I was a person, and I felt as if everyone really was concerned for my well-being.
Words like “caring,” “compassion,” and “piece of mind” are thrown around a lot, and we use them quite often when describing our services.  But until my accident, I never fully grasped the meaning of these words, nor did I ever truly understand what Homewatch CareGivers does.  Even as the owner of the company, I wasn’t able to appreciate the good we can do and how we can change peoples’ lives for the better.  My experience has taught me that we are not “just another homecare agency.”  Helping people with activities of daily living is a means to an end.  By providing the services we do, we make people feel more secure and at ease in their own home.  Knowing someone is out there and really cares makes all the difference in the world.  I’m not exaggerating when I say I will certainly heal more quickly because of the help I’ve been receiving from Homewatch CareGivers.  My mind is at ease, and I can relax and let my body heal, because I know I am in good hands.  My laundry will get done, I’ll have meals prepared for my son and me, and the floors won’t be slippery or wet so I’ll be able to get around safely on my crutches.  And most importantly, I know there are people who genuinely care about how I’m doing and are doing everything in their power to help me recover as quickly as possible.
I’ve been “selling” Homewatch CareGivers’ services for the past 8 years, and I have just now begun to understand what it is that we really offer.  Every person on our staff, from our Caregivers to our Scheduler to our Director, has that “caring” component inside them.  This “caring” component isn’t as common as one would expect, especially in the healthcare field.  During my brief stay in the hospital, I was well taken care of, but I always felt like a “patient.”  Doctors and nurses were giving me medications and checking my vital signs, but it was clear that I was patient #80 on the 6th floor.  Homewatch CareGivers, on the other hand, made me feel just the opposite way.  I wasn’t a “client,” nor was I the owner of the company.  I was someone who needed help, and everyone gathered around to help me.  Not once did I get the sense that our Caregivers were doing what they do for the money; each and every person on our staff seemed to love what they do and were motivated by nothing more than making others’ liver better.
Eventually my foot will heal, and I will once again be able to walk, drive, and do the things I always took for granted.  But long after my foot has healed, I will still be a changed man.  It has taken an unfortunate accident to make me realize what Homewatch CareGivers really does.  We are not just another company, nor are we a business that provides a list of home care services.  Homewatch CareGivers provides people with confidence, piece of mind, dignity, and independence.  These are all intangibles and impossible to describe on a website, in a brochure, or on a sales call.  Only because I experienced our services firsthand am I able to fully grasp what we are capable of accomplishing and how we can change a person’s life forever.

 

About the Author

 

   Homewatch CareGivers is the largest, most experienced international provider of full-service in-home care for people of all ages – including seniors, children, veterans, the chronically ill, and those recovering from medical procedures.  We invite you to visit the Homewatch CareGivers website (www.homewatchcaregivers.com) where you can read articles related to home health, Dementia Care Tips and home care news; or download PDF home care resources. From health care coordination and hospital discharge planning to home care transportation and daily living assistance, let our family of caregivers care for yours.Changes in skin coloration are a normal part of the aging process. But many people find brown spots, also known as “liver spots” or “age spots”, to be unattractive. These spots that often appear on the back of the hands are caused by sunlight exposure or chronic bruising of the skin.                       
If you have unwanted brown spots, dark spots or dark patches spreading on your face or other places, and you want them to vanish completely, giving your skin lasting clarity and beauty, then you’ll want to treat your brown spots with our Miracle Cure.
Epilators like Silk Epil from Braun remove hair from the root, and so they are similar to waxing, as waxing also removes hair from the root. However, you may get more in-growths if you use these machines, so you should scrub your body with a pumice stone while bathing to counter this problem. You need to give more details about the brown spot. Is it a freckle or is it a mole? How big is the spot? If it is a mole, you should visit a dermatologist.
Prevention is the easy part—apply sunscreen to your hands, arms, face, and scalp (if not covered with hair) every day, whether you plan to go outside or not. You see, sun damage comes in two forms: UVA and UVB. Ultraviolet A rays are known as “aging rays”; UVA sunlight makes up 90-95% of all sunlight that reaches the earth’s surface. It penetrates windows of houses and cars; it gets through clouds; it’s present 365 days a year. Even more troublesome is the fact that UVA exposure is “silent”. You don’t get a tan or sunburn from UVA exposure. UVB rays, also called “burning rays,” cause tanning and burning of the skin, so you know when it’s happening. Enough said? So from this day forward, you’ll apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30?      
 

A laser generates and intense beam of light. This beam brings energy to a specific site, through a small hand piece connected to the laser. The laser light is absorbed by oxyhemoglobin (bright red blood cells carrying oxygen) and melanin/pigment (black or brown pigment found in the skin) causing decomposition or destruction by heat of unwanted cells while leaving healthy cells intact.
Microdermabrasion is another way to remove brown spots. By gently abrading the skin with ultra-fine crystal particulates, microdermabrasion can reduce unwanted pigmentary changes and age spots. It can also benefit our acne patients.
The face, neck, chest and hands are the most popular areas to treat. A progressive series of 5-8 treatments are gently performed 2-4 weeks apart. Peels are often combined with microdermabrasion producing even better results.
Laser is the best way to remove moles. It is good that you have visited a doctor since moles can be the symptoms of other problems. Since that is not the case, simply get them removed through laser.
Sunscreen, protective clothing, and sunglasses help prevent further sun damage. Exposure time in the sun should be limited and seek shade when outdoors. Try to avoid outdoor activities between 10 am and 3 pm, when the ultraviolet rays are strongest. See a dermatologist yearly for a skin examination to check for any abnormal moles or skin cancer.

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