Thank you for your interest in supporting the important services that Guiding Lights provides caregivers in Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Orange, and Wake counties. It costs Guiding Lights $.43/minute to provide care to caregivers in our community. While you consider how you would like to help, read a few case studies of those we've helped:
Linda called regarding her mother Harriet, who is 91 and lives with her. Linda is her mother's sole caregiver and has been such for over ten years. Harriet has dementia, and was recently hospitalized for five days with cardiovascular issues ( a possible stroke) and an infection. She is home now and Linda expressed being overwhelmed, and incapable of providing all that her mother needs in her weakened state. Linda is not comfortable leaving her mother alone at this point, even to go on a short errand, and so is feeling "trapped." She repeated several times that they have no support system.
It is Linda's desire to keep Harriet at home verses moving her to a facility; she requested of Guiding Lights(GL) suggestions for in-home care options. The option was given her to call appropriate agencies herself or to have the Referral Specialist(RS) make the calls. She opted for the latter and permission was obtained from her to share her information with agencies.
Three vetted home care agencies were contacted by the RS. Representatives of each of these contacted Linda within 24 hours. She made a choice and within several days, she had a caregiver rendering help to her mother and providing relief for her. With Linda's most pressing need being met, the RS informed her of other GL services, such as the Sharing Suite, support groups, the Volunteer Center for Caregiving, training seminars, etc. She also shared that Nicole Bruno, Exec. Director of Guiding Lights, was appearing on a local TV channel program called "Heart of Carolina."
The RS followed up within ten days; Linda expressed how much she enjoyed the television show and how much she learned about resources from Nicole's presentation.
Further follow-up was made within two months. Linda still had the caregiver; she was able to leave her mother with the caregiver in full confidence that she was in most capable hands. Harriett very much liked the caregiver and was at her peak capabilities in her care.
Naomi called Guiding Lights (GL) to seek help; on her first call, she was crying so hard she could not articulate and hung up abruptly. She called again moments later and was able to relate the following: her parents from Florida were visiting her. She shared that it was difficult to get her dad out of bed and going in the mornings and that because he was developing "bedsores," it was important that he stay clean and that he move around. At this same time, Naomi's son graduated from high school and the family had a celebratory vacation planned to take place in less than a month. Naomi feared that her dad could not go and thus the vacation might have to be cancelled. She cried several times as she talked about the trip. The Referral Specialist (RS) also had a son who just graduated from high school; she and Naomi talked about their sons' colleges and future dreams.
The RS obtained permission from Naomi to discuss her situation with several vetted agencies/facilities in search of a solution. An Assisted Living facility was able to take her dad within thirty days. Until then, a medical Adult Day Care facility could take him every day, six days a week. Additionally, a home care agency provided a caregiver for 2-3 hrs each morning to get him up, bathed, dressed, and fed before going to the Adult Day Care.
Naomi's dad was placed in the Assisted Living. The RS made several follow-up phone calls and was told that everything went smoothly. Naomi related being stress-free and totally satisfied with the care being rendered her dad and that he was happy. Their special vacation occurred as planned!
Mary called Guiding Lights (GL) and shared that her husband, Harvey, had very recently suffered a stroke while undergoing surgery for an aneurysm. The stroke rendered him a paraplegic; he also lost the use of his right arm. Mary was forced to quit her job so that she could care for Harvey at home. Their financial status quickly deteriorated; Harvey's social security disability was used primarily for medications; they had very little money for food, bill paying, clothing, and the necessities of life.
Mary also had concerns for Harvey's mental and emotional wellbeing. He is only 59, was always very social and active before the stroke. That is currently missing from his life. With permission from Mary, the Referral Specialist (RS) called a GL vetted pharmacist who took the time to examine all of Harvey's medications at no charge, in his home. She was able to recommend alternative, less expensive medications, to be recommended to his physicians. She also contacted appropriate pharmaceutical companies to attempt to get some of his medications cost-reduced. She continues to work with Harvey on an ongoing basis.
The RS then contacted a vetted Durable Medical Equipment (DME) business and talked to them about Harvey's desperate need for a wheel chair accessible van. They were familiar with a used van and agreed to research it. This is underway.
The RS contacted InterFaith Council in the town where Mary and Harvey live. They provide financial assistance, clothing allowances, and daily meals. Mary is connecting with them.
Contact information for a home-based customer service company that provides means for earning extra money was provided Mary. Hospice of Wake County was contacted to see if Harvey qualified for palliative care. He did qualify and is receiving care. The RS also connected with a local non-profit home care agency who were willing to provide light housekeeping, meal preparation, running errands, etc.
Many hours were dedicated to providing help to Mary and Harvey and the time continues as new needs present themselves. They express their appreciation and credit GL for their new-found life.
Susan called Guiding Lights (GL) expressing distress about her situation. She is currently long-distance caregiver to her mother and her significant other, who might have dementia. Susan has experienced several deaths and serious illnesses in her extended family recently. Her job is very demanding. She shared that she remains on the verge of crying most of the time and gives in often. She related that she had a very negative experience in the past when she attempted to help her mother long-distance and is fearful of a recurrence.
The Referral Specialist (RS) informed Susan that a therapist would be providing free time and counsel in the Guiding Lights (GL) Sharing Suite the following week and invited her to sign up, which she did. The RS talked about GL programs, support groups, available information in the GL Lending Library. She kept the appointment with the therapist and took several caregiving books with her. She was given a GL tote bag with multiple resource brochures, etc. She attended the suggested support group.
In follow-up calls by the RS, Susan credited GL with helping to put her life in order. Her mother's significant other died and she was able to handle the situation with calm. She was most appreciative of all the assistance that alleviated the stress in her life.
Professional Caregiver Story
The local Hospice called Guiding Lights (GL) to see if we affiliated with a "mobile" notary who could go to the home of one of their patients to witness the signing of POA documents. The patient was dying and wanted the papers signed immediately. The Hospice representative had no clue where to start looking for such and that this patient was receiving care from their organization at no charge due to his limited finances.
The Referral Specialist (RS) researched three local cities. In making calls, she was directed to a vetted bank representative who had worked with a mobile notary in the past. The RS contacted the notary who sympathized with the situation and agreed to do it immediately and free of charge. The family actually changed their minds, but the notary was understanding. The RS asked her if she would be willing to be vetted by GL so that her name could be given out in the future. She agreed and also agreed to provide any service she rendered free of charge. The Hospice representative expressed great appreciation for all that the RS had done in such a timely manner.