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Anyone know what options there might be for getting social interaction supplement (some one to visit and chat with my mom) while Mom is in step-down from ICU? She's close to me, but is in a hospital 45 minutes from any other visitors, my sister and her sons (also close by) are not helping, my daughter lives in another state, and my out of state brothers are incommunicado anyway. My mom LOVES to interact-- and I am WHIPPED after 2.5 weeks of her in ICU, etc. Are there candy stripers or pink ladies in hospitals anymore? HELP!

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Regarding the above comment, I agree as an only child we seem to be the ones our parents want to see. They tend not to be satisfied with substitutes but if you can get them to accept others, it will allow you time to refresh yourself for this isn't a sprint but a long term race you are running. Sometimes if you introduce the substitute demonstrating you approve of them, they come around and accept them too. It tends to take time. I must admit I wasn't totally successful in this. Being an only child the bond to your parents and their bond to you is very strong. My father would not decide even minor things when in the hospital unless he could talk to me about it. He wanted my opinion on everything. Good luck.

Elizabeth
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I completly understand. I am now an only child advoating for 2 elder parents who are in Nursing Home care. Dad was rushed to the E.R. for a re-occuring UTI, he has a hard time speaking and hearing and is bed/wheel chair ridden. Mom has dementia and lots of anxiety. Dad is stablized and Mom is ok and calm but I'm pondering if I need to split myself into fours for Mom, Dad, my own household and myself. When I go, I feel like I should stay longer but I cant. When I dont go I feel rested but in the back of my head I feel guilty.

To answer your question, the hospital may likely have a "volunteer sitter" for your Mom, this will be great if your Mom is open to this type of help...neither my Mom or Dad will accept outside help which totally drains me down but somtimes I must be the one who accepts the help and I highly encourage you to do the same. Best wishes and well regards.
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Hey there...they usually have sitter lists at hospitals that could be helpful to you...although you have to pay for the sitter, it is really worth it to have some free time back. Most of the sitters go beyond what they are hired to do because they become attached to the parent...some will tell you what they require as pay, I told them what we could afford to pay, and that is what they ended up taking. I have had sitters for over two years now, and they are doing an excellent job. You must check in and let them know who is boss periodically though.
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Maybe they could making some suggestions that could help you. http://www.vaaaa.org/agencies/

Completely get the frustrations when other family members don't fill a part in the care but don't dwell on that adding to your stress,
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Does she go to a certain church in the community? Usually if you go to the Peacher/Pastor/Priest, you can explain the need for vistors and they will go, as well
as ask members of the church to visit.
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I understand your need for a break and I think it is so sweet of you to care so much about your mom to get her some "company". Please don't think I'm raining on your parade but may I give you a word of warning. Be careful who you allow to interact with your mom. I hired someone to be a companion for my mom, through an agency no less and it turned out to be a huge mistake. Yes, my mom and I had "issues", no our relationship was not good like you have with your mom but NEVER in a million years did I expect to, in the end, see her will not only leave me out but the caregiver got most of the stuff I was promised. Not that any of the stuff really mattered but it still was a shock to see what had transpired behind my back. (Yes, mom was in her right mind.) The lawyer said he was working on 7 cases involving caregivers/companions "taking over" elderly parents. After going through this nightmare, I'm making it a mission to at least give food for thought to others about being careful who they deal with, especially for a vulnerable parent. Good luck to you and your mom!
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I would try to get the out of state children to phone her regularly for nice long
chatty phone calls. If she attends a church they normally have people who will visit the sick and spend some time talking to them.
Lastly the siblings that near by and even those 45 minutes away need to factor in time for their mother. Yes they have other responsiblities but in 2.5 weeks they should have reassigned some of their other family duties to afford them a chance to see their mother.
I am concerned that being in ICU for 2.5 weeks didn't make them understand that a person in ICU is experiencing a serious medical issue.

For yourself, try to go as often as possible but you can't help her if you go down.
Once she is improving try to substitute some phone calls for day long visits. But knowing someone cares for her, as you do, is as important as much of the medical treatment she is receiving. She is lucky to have you.
Elizabeth
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I don't remember who I applied to but thank The Lord I did. I got my answer thru "Elderly Services" here in Florida. I'm sure there are similar programs wherever you are. They are providing "respite care", so that I can get away knowing that someone is with Mom. If you don't find anything, create a meetup where you get together with others in the same circumstances and help each other out. You will be able to find volunteers there and also thru any local congregation. I'm Jewish and try to be careful of evangelists but have found many people of different faiths who just like to chat with older people about their cultures and experiences. "All One", I say.
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Have you spoke with the social work or patient advocate at the hospital? They are usually full of good information and options available. Ask about home health providers that would have companions available for this very thing.

Best of luck!
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