The most beautiful month of the year is here. October’s got it all! – Spectacular colors, the smell of wood fires, pumpkins on doorsteps, flannel shirts, Halloween and so much more! I mean, really, does it get any better than that? The only negative is that it lasts for such a short time. I try to maximize the month as much as possible, but then I get overwhelmed at trying to decide how best to spend the weekend days– should we go for a hike? A drive? Take the kayak out for a paddle? Go bike riding? Just sit on our own deck and watch the leaves float off the trees and meander to the ground? So many choices, so little time!
Fall was my mother’s favorite time of the year, too. Not one for the overbearing heat of the summer, she always looked forward to the cooler days of September and October. We couldn’t wait to go shopping and see all the sweaters and jackets hanging from the racks – forest green, plum, mustard and red – all the classic autumn colors. Our usual gig was to shop, get lunch or stop at the diner for coffee and apple turnovers (depending on our timeframes) and head home to make dinner. We would open the windows to let the cool fall breezes come in and meld with the smell of the roast beef cooking away in the oven – we reveled in it.
Over the years, as age and health dictated a shift in routines for my parents, my mother held fast to a couple of traditions – getting her hair done every week was a must, going out for “coffee” and taking drives, especially fall drives up (NY) Route 22, past Amenia and beyond. Since my mother never had a driver’s license, Dad took her everywhere. They were quite the pair. They did everything together. It was the old-fashioned, traditional relationship – he took care of my mother and she took care of him. So when my mother started to fail, Dad made arrangements for her to be taken care of at home. He did not entertain the thought of having her be anywhere except at home, with him.
With the assistance of a home care nurse and home health aide, he was able to manage her care needs at home, along with some help from my brother, myself, our families and friends. It was still tough, make no mistake about that, but for my father to have my mother there, in their home, meant everything to him and to her. She was able to be around her pictures, dishes, curtains, furniture, knick-knacks and all things familiar.
Needless to say, there are circumstances and illnesses for which home health care services are not enough to safely manage a loved one’s health at home. However, home care is so often the solution for many patients in monitoring chronic illnesses such as diabetes, wound care, and congestive heart failure, among numerous other diagnoses. It can also play a critical role in post-hospital discharges for short-term care after surgeries and illnesses, etc. And, for the patient who does not require medical attention, personal care aides are available to assist with showering, housekeeping and light meal preparation.
Home Care covers a whole gamut of services and situations. And today, there are more and more home care programs emerging to help seniors stay at home, be it a short or long-term arrangement. For more information on these programs, please call Bethel’s Home Care Administrator, Julieta Müller at 914-941-1300 x1320. In addition to Westchester, Bethel’s Certified Home Health Agency now serves patients in Manhattan, Bronx, Queens and Putnam.
In the meantime, enjoy this amazing fall season! Even raking leaves is fun when it’s October!