In the past, we have talked about holidays and senior care from the aspect of what to do in the home during parties and celebrations with an older loved one. To change things up, we thought we would talk about it from our point of view.
What happens in the office in the weeks leading up to Christmas and directly after the holiday?
The Great Migration
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we have a lot of caregivers leaving the country. We call this the great migration.
Many of the caregivers are from Africa, so understandably, when they go back home they want to spend some time with their friends and family.
The tickets cost a lot of money so many are only able to make the trip once a year and because of this, they stay for weeks, if not months. Many come back between mid-January and mid-February.
So for the office, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we are working hard on covering these changes. We are communicating with our employees to see who is available to cover open shifts and letting our clients and their families know about the plan.
The Week Before
The week leading up to Christmas is slow. Many people take the week off (or Thursday, Friday and Monday this year). People are traveling, preparing, wrapping and cooking. Plus when it comes to Christmas, people are trying to end the year with a bang to hit their Q4 numbers.
So we don’t have a lot of activity until . . .
The Friday Before the Holiday (Or Weekend)
Most years, we inevitably receive a call from a family who wants their parent to skip rehab and discharge home from the hospital so they can be home for Christmas.
Last year, when Christmas was on a Monday, we received the call on Friday at 2 pm with a family in this situation. We worked hard and had a caregiver in the home by 7 pm. We can move quickly!
The situation can get hectic because families are stressed and hoping for a miracle. When the phone rings we try and come through for everyone looking for services. We are always ready.
Hospital Discharged To Home
What we tell families that are discharging from a hospital or even trying to get through the holidays with their parent who is declining, is to get more hours for a few days (if funds allow for it) and then taper off after the holiday.
Since their parent is skipping going to a rehab facility, they are not getting the recovery time one would normally receive. Under Medicare, one can review 20 days in the rehab facility with no out of pocket cost. Basically receiving three weeks of care, recuperation and strength building.
This allows everyone to know that their parent has a dedicated person available to make sure they are safe, well fed, clean and taken care of. Then once the festivities have slowed down and everything is back to normal, cancel services or lower the number of hours needed per week.
Usually, after family holidays we receive calls from families inquiring about our services. These calls can be relaxed and just families getting information or they are urgent.
What occurs in families haven’t seen their parent in a year and realize that they are declining and need care. So we must be ready to take cases where families want some sort of care to start soon.
Other times, families see that there is a need for care but it isn’t urgent. A family member might be willing to step in for a few weeks and provide care while they are looking for
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