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East Coast USA, United States
Lowcountry porch sitter. Appalachian Mountain lover. Finger Lakes dreamer.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

We must evolve before we are defined by care levels

Found myself plucked from an eldercare experience framed around a senior in less than adequate health to hovering over an individual in a far more fragile existence this week.  At the same time learning to manage the interests of an individual while drowning in terminology found only in the life span development arena of "levels of care."

Turns out, the routine seems to indicate the experience is consistent with others navigating these same waters. While our experiences are similiar we are a mixed bag of adults attempting, for better or for worse, near or far, to manage the well-being of those closest to us who can no longer muster themselves to stay in the game of life among those who can ambulate.

A myriad of options present themselves to ensure our loved ones find comfort in an unfamiliar realm.  The "old" normal takes a back seat to a new landscape of living with limitations. Some physical, some mental and some spiritual.

While it can seem a solitary experience with a parade of therapists, care plan professionals, case workers, nurses, doctors and social workers arming you with information and the latest of suggestions, one does find oneself lumped in with a group of people with a common experience.  Presenting paper work, notorizing copies, asking questions, soliciting advice to make the best of the situation we find our loved ones in. Bound together by a simple hallway of room numbers and name plates we eventually discover which room a loved one occupies, acquire a familiar tone to inquire "how are things today?" and glean an essence of what life looked like for them before aging and deterioriation stepped in.   Each of us ever clinging to the hope we find a glimpse of the people we once knew before we were robbed of the possibility.

Some days are easy. Others difficult. Constantly carving out time from our own lives to see to it that "our people" have what they need and are aware of their progress or presence ~ whichever is greater at the time.  Putting aside our own lives, our means to earning a living, maintaining relationships and connecting with others are the plates we spin in tandem whilst we also discover the means to managing someone we love in decline.  There really is no choice other than to dive in or stay away from the process.  It really does seem to boil down to the two extremes in general observation.

While the healthcare professionals take on the greatest of burdens of those needing care they must also rally the spirits of the family members when we can't do that for ourselves.  Sometimes the phrase "we got this, you can go home now" is the sweetest of phrases.

What's evident is that there aren't enough options. The categories of classifications are aplenty, but a huge gap remains between what is available and what could be. The cut and dry formula of a senior health care system bolstered by traditional medicine seems outdated; yet, it is far more readily available. What's missing are the nontraditional practices and the acceptance across the board of those disciplines~either as a primary tool or complimentary feature to an allopathic method.  These so called alternative routes continue to break ground in positioning the human being in greater stead.    Whether taken holistically  or applied in a blending of the traditional and nontraditional methodologies it would prove a worthwhile endeavor to explore more options as the rest of us age.

Hope though not in short supply is mighty hard to identify in these waters with oars driven by health care titles, government programs and insurance companies.   It would just seem probable that we mere mortals made up of a dynamic set of particles could employ an assortment of means to improve the human condition. Currently we seem shortchanged by availability.

A better way must evolve. More importantly, we must evolve.

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Life Enrichment is like a travel and learn program...offering infusions that make every day life thereafter far more interesting! ~ Ann-Marie Adams, Reflections on a Meaningful Life