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An Unexpected Caregiving Journey - Guest Post with Lance A. Slatton

This month we're pleased to feature Lance A. Slatton, a writer, author, influence and healthcare professional with over 20 years experience in the industry. He is a senior case manager at Enriched Life Home Care Services in Livonia, MI as well as host of the award winning podcast and YouTube channel All Home Care Matters and co-host of Conscious Caregiving with L & L with Lori La Bey. Lance has a big heart, is full of passion, and is making a positive impact as "The Senior Care Influencer"!

Introduce yourself and share about your background. How did you come to be a part of the caregiving space?
When my initial journey began as a caregiver, I never once ever identified as being a caregiver. When looking back retrospectively on my caregiving journey it really began with my grandmother.

While most kids had the benefit of having their grandparents live close by and getting to see them at school functions or at church on Sunday my grandparents lived almost 7 hours away.

It was because of this that when I became old enough to stay at their house I would get to spend 5-6 weeks every summer at their house. It was and is still one of my most favorite childhood memories and experiences.

As I grew older, so did my grandparents. My grandpa ended up passing away from cancer and it wasn’t long after that my grandma’s health began deteriorating. 

The first signs of trouble were noticed by the local police in her small southern community. My grandma starting believing that there were people in her home having a party almost every night and because of this she would call 911.

After calling several times the police reached out to my uncle who also lived in the community. The police made sure the family knew that she couldn’t keep calling them for situations that never happened.

This was the first any of the family knew that there was something wrong. We quickly realized that she had dementia and then the doctors confirmed it for us.

I had already been preparing and studying for a career in healthcare and having a first-hand experience with someone that I loved at such a young age granted me a perspective of what so many other families are faced with was an asset that would benefit me years later.

How would you describe your journey caring for your father?
The care for my father was much like the situation with my grandmother in that it was sudden and without warning.

At this point in my life I was a newlywed and pursuing medical school. That was until we received a phone call one evening that my father either needed to move in with my wife and I or be placed temporarily in a facility to care for a severe wound that he had developed due to a fall he sustained.

As a son and wanting what was best for my dad my wife and I never hesitated to choose to have him move into our home. This decision changed the entire trajectory of my life and career.

The care that my father required was very significant in both the physical needs and the time that he needed. What I mean by this is he required 24 hour care 7 days a week due to the severity of his wound.

This meant at times changing bandages 12-20 times a day and to no fault of his own it could also mean cleaning and irrigating the wound and dressing it with new bandages to only find that moments later it needed it done again. 

My dad had developed osteomyelitis as a result of his wound and ultimately infection. Osteomyelitis means infection of the bone. This infection was continuing to invade his body and with heroic efforts by the surgeons we ultimately had a total of 8 major surgeries all together.

With the nature of his wound and infection we would have nurses, therapist, dieticians, social workers, and aides coming in and out of our home 3 to 7 times a week – but, only for the mandated one hour visit for a skilled need.

This meant that the other 23 hours a day it was left to us to care for him, which we had no problem doing. 

However, throughout those 2.5 years and seeing healthcare professionals almost daily we were never offered any support as a family caregiver. Let me be clear here – I never once identified as a family caregiver. It never crossed my mind or entered any conversations at all during this time. I simply identified as a son caring for his father as I would hope my children would one day do for me if the need ever arises.

Looking back as I occasionally do I am not sure why the healthcare professionals never offered us resources or even ask us if there was anything we needed or if there was anything they could do for us.

Maybe that is how they were trained or better yet, maybe that is just how our system is designed for each discipline of healthcare to stay within their chosen specialty or area?

I don’t begrudge the countless healthcare professionals who did their best for my dad, but through that experience I decided that we should find a way to help provide caregivers and support to other families who may be going through similar situations like we were.

I recently had someone that wanted to interview me and asked me about the regret I have about having to care for my father and not continue the pursuit of medical school. I had never thought about my situation as a regret or my decision to stop pursuing medical school because of having to care for my father. 

I look at it as a benefit. I benefitted in being able to care for my father and having that experience to share with others and the families that we serve and being able to look at them and say that I understand what they are going through.

My goal has always been to help others and I can confidently say that I believe I have and that I am continuing to do so.

The hardest part of my caregiving journey was the feeling of being alone. When I say alone I mean in the sense that my peers were not caregivers for a parent since we were all fairly young still. It was hard to share that experience with someone who has never had to experience anything like it before. 

However, I believe that they also gained a perspective for what family caregivers go through by my experience and it will hopefully help to give them a greater understanding and empathy for family caregivers that they may encounter in their professions.

Tell us about All Home Care Matters and how you have become a leading, trusted voice on long-term care issues.
All Home Care Matters was launched in May of 2020 – right in the earliest stages of COVID. However, we started planning months prior to the official launch. With our parent company we were very involved in our communities throughout Southeastern Michigan. But, as most of us remember the earliest days of COVID people were scared, concerned, and unsure of what to do.

We quickly began noticing all of our normal community events (Support Groups, Dementia Seminars, Games, Educational Talks, Birthday Parties, etc.) were starting to be very poorly attended. We made the decision to put a temporarily hold on all of our extracurricular activities and little did we know shortly soon our state would be shutdown.

With wanting to find a way to continue helping families and caregivers I happened to hear a podcast one night and let’s just say the quality was very poor and lackluster. I mentioned to my wife that we should start a podcast – and as she said to me I knew nothing about podcasts. So I decided to start researching podcasts and to see if our industry even needed another podcast to be offered and I quickly came to the realization that it did and we should be the ones to do it.

The show was initially started with a month’s timeline in mind. Meaning we thought that after a few weeks we would be back to normal again and little did we know that those few weeks would turn into a few years.

I have been asked many times about what the secret it to the success of All Home Care Matters and my answer is not really going to be helpful, but there isn’t any secret sauce.

I think there are a few factors though that have helped in the success of All Home Care Matters and one is that we started the show right at the earliest moments of COVID when most people were having to stay home and maybe found time that they otherwise wouldn’t have had to look things up online or learn about things they previously didn’t have the time for. The other thing that could have helped is I am a firm believer if you do things for the right reasons they always end up working out for the best. 

We didn’t create All Home Care Matters to be a business – it was a filler for what we had already been doing in our communities, but now our community is the world. We enjoy finding topics and meeting individuals who are doing great work to help others and there has undoubtedly been no shortage of request for being on the show and at the same time we are extremely careful on who we have as guest. 

We take great strides in having the highest quality of guest on the show and unfortunately, we have turned down many requests that we feel don’t align with our values.

We enjoy every moment producing All Home Care Matters and we are always looking forward to our next project and finding new ways to help family caregivers and the caregiving industry.

All Home Care Matters is a multiple award winning podcast and YouTube show devoted to helping families, caregivers, and their loved ones navigate long-term care issues. All Home Care Matters was the recipient of the Silver Creator Award from Google & YouTube in 2023. This award is only given out to 0.5% of the over 80 million YouTube channels as was also recipients of the Academy of Interactive Visual Arts Award of Distinction for Film in Health and Wellness.


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