Pat Reid is referring to an Assisted Living in Temecula CA
called Pebble Brook Senior Home Care. Contact them 951-303-0253
interviewer: So we are here with Pat Reid. So Pat, can you tell us why you started working with the elder? What got you interested in that field in the first place?
Pat: Well, my greatest mentor is my grandmother who lives in Canada, or did live in Canada. I was really interested in her ad, she aged and she was a great model to me as to what old people go through. She was a great example and a great mentor for me.
interviewer: Tell me something about your background in social work and the kinds of work that you have done.
Pat: Well I got my degree in social work when I was 33. I started working in two local nursing homes and worked with the elderly with seniors for above 25 years. The reason that I work for them was because of my passion for seniors and elders. It has been engraved in me and it is something that I have always wanted to keep doing. I don't think you can stop at the age of 65 and stop caring.
interviewer: And you helped with funding living situations and housing situations?
Pat: I do. When I have gone into houses or to senior apartments, I would do and intake to find out exactly what the problem and needs were. I also like to talk to the family to find out what their picture is because sometimes it is not the same and sometimes it is. We have to find out what they really want. My goal is to have good food for the senior. There are many things that could happen to make their quality of life a lot better than it is. That could be finding a home care personnel to be with them, a VNA nurse to come in two to three times a week, or having them go to daycare so they can have some kind of community that eyed for other people especially if they are living alone.
interviewer: It seems that the problem of isolation comes up a lot with elders.
Pat: Whether you are living in your own home, in senior housing, or rented apartment somewhere, you are not as agile as you were when you were younger. It is hard for you to get out and meet new people. At this time in your life, oftentimes, all of your friends have already died or quite sick. So you either have no friends left or have very few but you can't get to them. That's a big problem and I think this causes a lot of depression. I think a family has to be really involved with their parents when they see them get to the stage because it is a lonely place to be.
interviewer: And I gather one of the other problems would probably be some of the things that people find they no longer able to do the things they used to do like driving or cooking for themselves. What kinds of other issues come up for elders that are especially important?
Pat: There are many but the main thing that I want to do is to help them maintain their dignity, and find out what it is that they want to do. Do they want to be driven to play BINGO once or twice a week, would that help looking forward to something or would they like to sign-up for a group that goes out to dinner at a restaurant once a month for seniors where the prices are really reasonable so that everybody can go. Getting to the doctor can usually get them SSTA van but they do not know I must know that. I think they have a need but they do not know where to go to get that need or even get any advice for that.
Pat: There was a lady that was living independently and after spending some time with her family, it was very clear there is some type of dementia going on. A nursing home was really the only answer for her in a special part of a nursing home. That may sound scary to some people but for the lady that was going through it, it gave her a lot of security. We visited different nursing homes and there is a man that she liked a lot, she was there for three years. She was a neat lady and an author from Temecula CA, she taught and founded a school for children with autism. She had a lot of background and she never forgot that. I remembered asking her one day, If you had one wish for Christmas, what would it be? The lady was Jewish but she knew Christmas and answered, to sit in front of a fire and watch children open their presents. I remembered saying, I got a fireplace and I got children. So I called her power of attorney and her cousin and I said this is what she would like for Christmas, may I take her home for Christmas? I will pick her up at the nursing home and bring her back at the end of the day. They thought it was great, they sent a present for her to open up on Christmas morning. She did sit in front of a fireplace and watch my children open their gifts.
Pat: That was unusual, I cannot take them all home. It just happened to be her wish. So that's one of the examples.
interviewer: It seems like a lot of elders would like a lot of life experiences to share and maybe not the opportunity to share them.
Pat: I think that the reason they don't is that they have no one to talk to. If they are at home, I think that it is important that they are involved somehow in some type of community. Some people want to go out and meet new people and other people are too shy, they might have a medical problem where, this is not good for them.
interviewer: Could you talk about that little bet when someone comes home from a nursing home and how that works?
Pat: I have worked with a lot of people who have fallen and broken a hip, they need to be in a rehab center for maybe three months. Usually, that is a nursing home but that is a different part of the nursing home. They get a lot of physical therapy and physical therapy will also go back to their home to see how their houses are set up so that it might be safe for this person to go back home. I'm the one that is usually bridge with working with the family or working with the person who is in the nursing home to make sure that this is going to work with them and that they are not going to end up back in the nursing home because they fell again. That is great if they have a chance to go home which is all they wanted to. If there is any chance that they could be safe, we do all that we can to get them there.