Executive Director Beth Deems of Brookdale at Admiral Heights discusses assisted living options.
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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.
And welcome to answers for elders radio. Everyone, I am here with the lovely Beth Deems from Brookdale at Admiral Heights. Beth, welcome to the program thank you, Suzanne. You know, I’m glad you’re here because we’re talking about senior housing this month, in the month of May, and it’s a big month now for families to start thinking about I know I’ve read a statistic ones that June is the busiest month for moving, usually for is for senior living. Is that still the case? Would you say? Well, it’s April now and it’s definitely picking up. We’re definitely seeing a lot more people needing our services. Yeah, and and that’s the thing that I think, you know, they think about, let’s put mom and dad’s house on the market in the summer and will you know, we’ll make that step. But obviously there’s a lot of seniors out there, Beth, that are maybe just want to downsize and they’re sitting there in the in the family home, you know, their family home. That maybe what two thousand square feet house and it can just be too much anymore. And so tell me a little bit first before we talk about I know your service does independent and it does assisted living. Tell me a little bit about what is a typical senior that may seek out to come to see you in the independent living side. To start sometimes they have a house that’s too large for them or they recognize that they are eventually going to need more help. And then some of them just want the freedom of the services that we offer. Huh. Or Independent people can have a car, they can have pets, they but they don’t have to cook anymore because we offer food from seven in the morning till seven at night and you can come down any time and you don’t have to go at an established time or anything like that. It’s just a matter of an easy yep, any time between seven and seven. We have a salad bar. You can have breakfast. We make Waffles, we make omelets. We have a wonderful menu with every day at least five different entrees on it that you can choose from and you can come anytime. We also offer activities transportation if you don’t drive. Our community is within walking distance of BARTEL’s meat market. The Admiral Theater is right across the street. We have wonderful resident restaurants within walking distance. So it frees people up from that mundane daily housekeeping stuff that you have to do, the cooking, and a lot of residents that’s one of the first things we see. They quit cooking and they store they living think that they want to still cook at this is what I’ve learned. This is interesting. Oh, I’m glad I have a kitchen because I still want to cook for myself. Fine, if you want to cook for Yourself, fine, but here’s what I find. They get spoiled, like, why do you want to go to the store hall groceries upstairs deal with, you know, things you don’t really need to when all you have to do is go down and whenever you want and have a meal that’s already done for you and the food is phenomenal. I see a lot of seniors, though, that are still in their houses that maybe their spouse has died and when that happens, all of a sudden it’s really hard to cook for one. So they sort of quit cooking and they start living on TV dinners, which is not good for you. They are full of sodium, they are not healthy and that’s when you start to see some of their health decline. They may not be taking their medications correctly. But when they come into an independent they they don’t have to cook, they have energy because they don’t have to be doing that. They don’t need to do housekeeping. We offer housekeeping once a week, that we do their linens and change their bed once a week. That’s a big chore. Sometimes it’s a huge chore. So we offer all those things and it frees them up to be able to do the fun things they want to do. And obviously, you know, the socialization piece when you talk about you know we work a lot with Evergreen Washelli is, as you know, on the program and you know we talked about the the spouse of someone that passes away. It is such a huge transition for a sometimes, you know, we know of couples that have been together for sixty, seventy years and to look at that individual that’s never lived life, you know, really and without that person and then trying to find a sense of purpose. which purpose is socialization, it is activities, it’s ways in which they can feel like they make a difference because they’ve likely in many cases been that person, that support for that other person. So that’s such a big deal to have that kind of community to move into exactly. And we also know that socialization plays a key role in our longevity of our life. The more contacts you have with people, the longer you will live. It’s very important. And sometimes seniors that stay in their home, they lose their spouse, they become more and more isolated and that it they it’s also proven to show that it slows down dementia. Hmmm. So yet and and that’s so important. So obviously, moving into accuse me like an independent part. The other big pieces is that you’re really as a if. We’re seeing that right now a lot of younger seniors, where we didn’t before. We’re seeing that seventy five eighty year old. That my mother’s age. No way she would even talk about anything like that. We’re starting to see that with the seven eighty five, you know, seventy five eighty year old senior that says I’m going to do this before I need to, because I need to take care of my own you know self, I want to make sure that I’m in control of where I’m going to be in my aging years. So this gives you, you know, these seniors, an opportunity to bridge into that new lifestyle. Exactly. And then once you’re there, and I have to tell you, it’s not just the seventy five year olds I have. Half of my community is ninety and over and I still have some ninety plus year olds driving and independent. So it gets it gets its supports them to be able to do that and to be able to enjoy their life and not be having to spend all their time doing chores. And then and then we also have assisted living. So as you age and you need a little more help, we have all of that. We can help you with bathing, dressing, medical management. We have a nurse there five days a week and she’s on call, so she can always be available. So as you age and you might need a little bit more help, we have that there for you so you can stay with us. So we are talking to Beth Deems. She is the executive director of Brookdale in Admiral Heights. Bet Tell me a little bit about where you’re located. We are located on the corner of California and Admiral Way and we are at twenty three, twenty six California Avenue in West Seattle, and one of the great things about our community is that you are right downtown West Seattle and you can walk just about anywhere. So what are the things a family should know about if they’re considering going to assist a living? What are some things they should be prepared to answer? Questions answer and questions that they should ask you guys. I think they should ask about the services that are offered, because some Brookdales do have different services. Admiral Heights is independent and assisted living. Other Brookdales do also have memory care. So ask about what services are provided and there’s obviously no cookie cutter and are because every senior is unique. Yes, Henry Programs in union and every Brookdale is a little bit different. Some of our Brookdales are private pay only, some Brookdale’s are income qualified and we have some that take Medicaid as well. Cake explain to me what income qualified is to our listeners, that means if you have a lower income that doesn’t qualify for Medicaid but it’s not enough to pay that you can actually get a lower rent and it’s based on your income. HMM. So we do have some that that work with seniors that are sort of in that middle. They don’t have enough to pay for the assisted living, but they don’t qualify for Medicaid, right. That’s that’s important to know. That’s important to them. So tell me a little bit about, you know, just overall. If somebody was going to come to you guys, and let’s just say I’m interested in, you know, this whole process. What are the things I think would you say would be a good candidate to live in a community and a retirement community? I think it’s a person who still wants to be active and enjoy life, but they made me need a little more help, like they can’t really cook for themselves and food and nutrition are so important. So a person who maybe is they’ve lost their spouse, they’re living off of TV dinners and they may be had a fall, MMM, and so you see that they’re starting to need just a little more help, maybe to have more people around there. Becoming increasingly isolated because maybe their friends have died. As we age, a lot of our friends die before we do and we don’t have the ability to go out and make new friends. Sure there aren’t. We don’t know where to find more peers they have friendships with. So I think those people that still want to remain active and enjoy life. My community is extremely active and they love to socialize, they love to have parties and so many communities today even have happy our like every we do every Friday, and they and they absolutely love it. I love that. And so, obviously for you guys, you know, for our listeners out there, a lot of us have an adult, you know, part that maybe digging their heels in, because I always say it’s what they know today. It’s that fear of the unknown. HOW CAN A in? You know we only have about a minute and a half left, but what kind of things could you say to your parent to ease that fear? I think to talk to them about that. You really want to make sure that they’re well taken care of and that they don’t have to move when there’s a catastrophe. May Be better to do it before something really bad happens, a fall and a hip fracture and things like that. It’d be better to move and prevent those things from happening. And also, I think, a way to help them feel more comfortable as to bring them into the community and have them come for some activities and join, and we love it our community, to match them up with a resident that we have that has similar interests and so that they can come and have a meal and come to activities and kind of ease their way into it. I think that’s so important. So, Beth, how do we reach you? Well, you can reach us at two thousand and six nine, three eight, three nine, six four and the receptionist can take your information and we would love to come in and have you tour and have you come for a meal. We would love to just have you back again and we just looking forward to hearing all about Brookdale and all the great things you’re doing. And how many communities does Brookdale have and are where are you located with the different communities? And we have a community in federal way to coma, Renton, Bellevue can more, Kirkland. You reach all words everywhere over Puget Sound. Brookdale actually has one hundred communities in the United States. We are the largest senior living option. Okay, thank you so much for being on the program bath. Thank you, Suzanne.
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, 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 embarked 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. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, 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.