In our homes, we are specially trained to be caregivers with knowledge, wisdom and skill in handling dementia (related to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, strokes or other forms). We also understand that our residents may have other diagnoses, including certain conditions that cause behaviors.

Despite this training and compassion, I’ve been noticing another issue that presents itself to us on occasion. Sometimes a resident has unfinished business in his or her life.

1327That unfinished business may involve not having reconciled feelings over participation in a war. It may be a broken family relationship, or the death of a loved one that has not been fully grieved. The resident may have no one in his or her life that loves them unconditionally, that is, someone who loves them just for who they are, warts and all. The elderly person may have lived in systems where people only loved them if they acted or behaved in a certain way.

This emotional baggage often presents in the form of clinical depression, extreme sadness, angry outbursts or behaviors, inappropriate sexual behavior, failure to thrive or not having a desire to live life to the fullest. Our best efforts may fall short in some cases, but is there anything we can do to help?

Our staffing is much higher than in the nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We create a real home for our residents, not an institution. For that reason, we can provide psychosocial comfort, a big word for saying we provide love and acceptance to each and every resident regardless of who they are or how they lived their lives previously. In short, they become our family members.

That is the ComfortCare touch.