CarePartners Living has a variety of cottage communities catering to those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Kelley Smith discusses how these cottages create an unconfined, non-medical atmosphere where senior loved ones facing these conditions can get the care they need while still being treated like adults with respect and dignity. Links for the communities can be found here.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio, and welcome everyone back to answers for alders radio and I’m here back with Kelly Smith. Kelly, welcome back. Thank you so much for having us. You are so wonderful. Well, we love you and we certainly love your concept of what you do for Alzheimer’s and I really wanted to take this segment. We talked a little bit about the Alzheimer’s walk. I want to take this segment and talk about just zero in on the cottages. Okay, because you have such a unique, wonderful concept. Thank you. We’re very proud of them. Yeah, tell us. Tell us a little bit about the cottage, the cottage footprint. The very first cottage is that care partners owned was the cottages of Mill Creek, and you learn as you go. So then we have to build Mary’Sville, and Marysville we said, you know what, we need an outside area, you know, for the residence to be outside, and it was a huge hit. So every time we build one, we learn and we make them better and better and better every time, and now we have seven communities that all cater to folks with suffering from different forms of dementia and we are considered a specialty community. And the footprint of the cottage is perfect. Residents can visit the cottage next door, they can be outside, so they don’t feel like they’re restricted. No, they’re not restricted. It’s not a hospital, it’s not a nursing home. They don’t feel like there’s somewhere that’s more. What’s the word I’m looking for? Confine, confide in medical yeah, they’re still getting the care they need, but they can still feel like they’re adults. We got to treat these people like they’re still what they are. Absolutely, you know, they’re still grown ups that deserve that respect and that dignity and nobody wants to have somebody following them around twenty four hours a day. Drive me nuts. So again, it’s that opportunity for them to be themselves, make new friends, have things to look forward to and also have activities and things set up there actually help them feel successful in a lot of memory care communities. What these folks don’t need? Yea, the music’s great. Have the musical guest commit is wonderful, but what they need is to feel needed. So maybe they helped us set the table. Maybe we give them a little chorge to do around there that are important to them, that make them feel like they’re part of the community. Yeah, yeah, and I think that’s you know it. When it’s Christmas time, they get to help decorate. That’s right. Yep, they get to do things. So it’s a it’s a home. They can fight these exactly. And you know the thing that I love about that? I love that about that because, you know, I look back at my mom, when I took care of my mother, of course I didn’t. I did some many things wrong. Didn’t he hello right here, but I thought for sure she would do I was devastated when she had to move from assisted living to skilled nursing. To me, that was like the death sentence to her and I was so upset and and I remember that feeling of a my God, she’s going to just be so depressed there. Do you know what? I was so wrong, because she got to feel needed. She felt like she was the low one on the rung, you know, when it came to assist a living, because she couldn’t hear right, she couldn’t, and she so she felt like she was had the least amount of skill set. And you know, but when we moved her to skilled nursing, she was helping other people. There you go. She felt like she was needed, that she could take care of people and she loved it and she loved the extra amount of detention that she got, which was I thought was really interesting because again, we as a adult child, may think, oh well, this is what Mama wants. She’ll want the real big, fancy schmancy place that’s like a cruise ship, you know. Noope, nope, nope, nope, no. Sometimes what you have to do we ask families a lot of questions about their loved one. Yeah, and it’s not just about care for all license the same right. So, yes, we have an obligation to keep mom dry, keep mom clean, make sure meads are on time, she’s eating healthy food. Yeah, we have an obligation there. However, there’s more to a person than whether or not they’re clean, whether or not they’re dry. So what we try to do is figure out ways that we can nurture that soul of that individual. And so we asked people a lot of questions about their mom or dad, grandma GRANDPA. Will tell me who they are, and I want to know who they are because dementias what they have, it’s not who they are. So who are they? And the more we know, the more we can get him acclimated but also give them a good quality of life. Yeah, and you know, that’s that’s it. It’s about quality, you know. It’s about having that ability that they feel like I belong here. Yep, and that’s home, like we talked about in our previous segment. You know, it’s finding that connection. So when you do that, you, I’ve heard, what do you? How do you bring that process in? You you ask them about their life story. Yeah, we have a paperwork that they take home if they decide on our communities. We got some things we have them fill out. Okay, every community is going to have paperwork, right. But the thing that do we do during the interview process is they’re telling us about their loved one and what mom’s doing. Now, we get it. We do that all day. Right, your mom’s unique. Tell me about your mom. I want to know what she is a social person in the past, because if she wasn’t, she’s probably not going to be real social now. How do we? How do we work with that? Did MOM and Dad Travel? Did she work outside the home? If so, what did she do? How many siblings do you have? I also want to know when did she lose her husband? If he’s gone, are there triggers that upset her? How do we how do we avoid those, but also what do we do to to help her feel better when those triggers do happen, because it’s the whole person, not just happy stuff but also the sad stuff. How do you know? What you need to know to make sure, again, like you said, their dignities intact, their quality of life is the best it can be. Well, and I think one of the things that you’re talking about is what’s their highest values? Yeah, you know what’s most important to them? Yeah, if they are, you know, somebody that has always cared about certain causes or certain things that they’re passionate about. Yeah, those you want to make sure that they have some sort of presence of. Well, exactly, it’s like if you ever developed dementia and I get the privilege of helping you out, one of the things I want to do is make sure that we keep you involved with the Orchid Conservatory, because we know that’s important to you. It’s those little things, right, right. So we are talking again to Kelly Smith, who’s a vice president of sales of care partners living and Kelly, tell us about your locations of your cottages. We have cottages in Marysville, Mill Creek, Renton, Edgewood, puo up this coming, Covington is coming, university place and and lacy. We’re also building a brand and spoken Renton is gorgeous. That’s our latest one. If you get a chance to see it, you’ll be impressed. We’re very excited and certainly you know take just if you have a loved one that’s been diagnosed with with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s not too soon to start looking for that future of where they want to be, because it’s the decision early. One of the things I think that’s really you talked to us about, is sit down with your loved one, if when they first been diagnosed, and say you know they’re probably is going to come a time when you’re going to need care, the more care than I can give you. So let’s make a plan so that you are part of that today of where do you want to be, what what do you want to do, and take a look at what the options are, and I think that’s something that I think is so valuable. It may be years down the road, but at least we know what the dread and again, we’re not going to see everybody. The majority of folks with dementia will stay home with their loved one because they’ll be okay in that environment. But again, if you’re the one taking care of your loved one, find out now what’s important to them. Right again, knowing things about your friends is one thing, knowing things about your mom is very different, and sometimes parents don’t want to talk to their grown children about their preferences because they’re afraid if you say it out loud it’s going to happen. That’s not true, but I want to know. I want to know what’s important to you. Well, you don’t want to burden your kids, you know, like so Marm or dad, even though if they might have memory issues or something like that, they stick. They don’t realize to the degree of what memory issues that they do have and their number one thing is I don’t want to burden my kids. You know, I’m sure that that’s the story we heard all the time. Yeah, but again, not burning it. Burning your children can also be where you actually are honest with them. About what your desires are at because the biggest burden I see children have isn’t taking care of their loved one, it’s the worry of taking care of them wrong. Amen on that one. Amen. So all of your cottages, I know that you have like a maximum of them, only like sixty residents. That’s the biggest. That’s the biggest community we have. The smallest one is forty for a cottages, and the smallest footprint for memory care in our communities is twenty eight. I believe that in the see that’s amazing because you really have an intimate home environment exactly. Each little cottage only houses so many people. So again, it’s them getting the opportunity to participate in family like meals, outside activities, things like that that bring them back to where they felt safe. HMM, and that smaller environment rather than feeling like you’re in this big home care. You know, our care home is helping them feel safe. It’s that it’s a smaller environment. They can negotiate those easier, they can learn their way around, it becomes home faster and there’s a reason that they’re built the way they are, that it’s a proven fact that smaller environments actually help them be more successful. Absolutely, and and you know you guys are growing like crazy. You’ve got to communities going on in in Pierce County, Yep. And then I got on your website last night and I see he knew. Now have a didn’t know you’ve had a property and spoken yes, and we’re building a memory care over there. Maplewood gardenssars over there and it’s a beautiful community right there on Gun Zaga. That is so awesome and that great. I love it. They’re awesome, great, great people. So and in closing, we what is like. When is the right time to start looking for? To be honest with you, the minute mom’s been diagnosed, I think that’s the time to sit down and talk to her about her wishes. If she says please, don’t ever put me in a home, don’t do it. Find Home Care that works, and there’s plenty of places and I think you’ve got some of them listed on your website. The other thing we tell families is just because you’re looking doesn’t mean you’re moving mom. All you’re doing is gathering information for when the time comes you feel she would be better served, sure in a community surrounded by trained professionals and again, the other thing we told families to look at is the financial piece to make sure it’s something that can be sustained without without breaking everybody in the family. Yeah, financially so, but just getting information doesn’t mean you’re moving. It means right, just learning right. And you know, the cost of Alzheimer’s care or any kind of health care is just crazy. It’s nuts. So one of the things that it with this advanced planning is to understand that piece, to understand that you’re going to have to probably private pay no matter what you’re doing, if you’re going to go into a care situation for a good you know, year to two years. Right, would you say? Yes, some of them can even be longer. But again, that’s a question families have to ask right find out about that financial piece and make sure that anything that they say about that is in writing. Perfect. So, Kelly, how do we reach you? You can check us out at care partners livingcom and check out the the the virtual tours and and the different communities and if you have any questions, there’s there’s a way to contact US online. Perfect. Thanks so much again for thank you for having us. Thank you. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders. Radio to contact care partners Living Coe to care partners livingcom
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.