For all of our stories, we have changed the names and details to protect the identity of our clients. While the persons may not be exactly the same, we maintain enough of the details to ensure the same general idea.
Mr. D liked to say he traveled the world for work. That was his joking way of saying that as a soldier he was deployed all over. Even at 93 he could still tell you stories of buddies he had met in Japan as they rebuilt the damage from World War 2. He could tell you about the times he finally came home from service many years later after honorably completing his service.
What he never spoke about, though was his time in Korea during the Korean War. Yet, his family knew about it because through the decades, bouts of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD brought back haunting memories of his time there.
His family told us that these events became more frequent as he aged, and as the medical problems mounted, this would “throw off his equilibrium.” For example, if he didn’t sleep, he would start to have hallucinations and memories of the war. These events were often made worse when he was alone and as he grew older, his friends, unfortunately, began to pass on. Soon he only had one or two friends left that he could talk to.
The story of Mr. D highlights three ways that Adult Day Health Centers (ADHCs) can help care for our aging veterans.
1. A Place for (Grand)Dad.
As our loved ones age, those they knew for years and decades begin to pass on. On top of that, the opportunities to make new friends are limited. Their mobility is limited, they may have needs that don’t allow them away from the house for long periods of time, and physically, the challenge of getting to a library, community event, or fair may just be too much. ADHCs provide the opportunity to mix and mingle with those in a similar age group. Often times, veterans will often have similar experiences, and places like Baker Wellness that are veteran friendly can foster that experience for them.
2. Taking their Medicines.
In the story of Mr. D, we learned how important it was to make sure those medicines are taken at the right time every day. According to a Mayo Clinic study in 2013, 70% of Americans are on at least one medication with almost 25% on at least three. For our aging veterans, this can be a difficult situation to manage, especially when medications have to be taken at different times. Medication management is one of the major offerings that separate Adult Day Health Centers from regular Adult Day Cares and other care giver services. We have medical staff on hand to monitor medication giving as well as making sure that our clients are taking medications as prescribed. If there are changes that need to be made, our client’s physician can reach out to us and we can make appropriate changes.
3. Experience with PTSD and Emotional Issues
In their service to our country, our veterans suffer wounds that we often do not see. At Baker Wellness, we are fortunate to have multiple staff members who have years of experience in caring for those with psychiatric or emotional issues including PTSD. This helps ensure that these episodes are cared for in a dignified and caring manner while ensuring all of our client’s safety.
Mr. D continues to have a vibrant life, one that we hope continues to be blessed with preserved health and the love of his ever-present family.
What we would like to know, is how we can help you and your family? Leave a comment below or send us a message to tell us how.