Gordon had weathered a number of ailments over the years: two heart attacks, prostate and lung cancer, and a minor stroke. Yet, when he broke his hip after falling out of his bed at the age of 79, his children felt he needed to be moved to an assistant living facility once he left rehab.
Only Gordon would have none of it. Nor, would he agree to move in with any of them. After all, he was still mentally sharp – he checked his investments daily, kept on top of current events, and felt well enough to continue with his nearly 50-year bridge game at his club. He liked eating at his favorite Italian restaurant on Friday nights, and enjoyed taking American history classes at the local college. What he didn’t want to lose was his independence.
Gordon was also a dog lover and refused to abandon his cherished pets. Though he was now having problems walking them regularly Gordon committed to his family that he would do whatever it takes to stay at home with his little buddies.
Due to concerns about Gordon’s mobility – he was now using a walker – his children made a deal with him: he could stay in his apartment with his dogs if he consented to having a home caregiver come several hours a day, several days a week. She would make sure he was getting around okay and taking proper care of himself (i.e. eating properly and taking his medication). She would also hep take care of Gordon’s beloved cockapoos, Mugsy and Ragsy, by feeding them, ensuring they have clean water and taking them for short walks and potty breaks.
Gordon agreed, somewhat begrudgingly, but very quickly saw the benefits in having assistance at home. She also did his laundry and kept his apartment clean and orderly. She proved to be good company and took him to doctor’s appointments and grocery shopping (although Gordon still drove). She also became a hit with Mugsy and Ragsy, who enjoyed the attention and resumption of their regular walks outdoors.
In addition, Gordon’s new caregiver gave his children a pair of eyes when they weren’t there. While Gordon might need to be moved to assisted living in the future, right now staying at home under the care of a non medical home caregiver is allowing him to remain independent and safe.