By Liz Mulford - Friends of the Four Homes of Mercy
YOU have provided an essential emotional outlet, education, and medical and therapeutic guidance to our families whose previous experience with their disabled loved on have been only on visits to them at the Homes, or only on short stays at home.
Challenges you have made far easier have included:
What to do when their impaired, no-verbal loved one was crying for long periods of time and one’s attempt at comfort was not working?
How/when to encourage the loved on to feed himself/herself?
How to transfer the loved one safely from bed to wheelchair without injuring either the loved one, or one’s increasingly elderly back?
How to provide stimulation when, because of logistical challenges-like stairs, one could not even take the loved one outside?
How to deal with the gnawing fear that one was not doing things ‘right’ or enough things to prevent regression of skills?
How to deal with the frustration of one’s own exhaustion and isolation?
Throughout Covid, until their loved one could be returned to the Homes, family members, initially bonded by the family support groups at the Homes, vented to, consulted with, and shared experiences with one another through WhatsApp. Having support from others who truly understood their frustrations and challenges made an enormous difference to them and all in their families. Frequent group meetings (via zoom) with staff provided additional support and therapeutic expertise. Now, to the joy of all, most residents have returned and the Family Support Groups are again able to meet at the Homes.
Thank you for all you have done to lighted some very heavy burdens.
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