Kelley Smith at CarePartners Senior Living joins Suzanne to talk about the most common questions she’s asked every day about Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Kelley explained, “People want to know what a normal day looks like. You may go in for a tour and see people sleeping on the couch. Depending on the time, they’d probably be doing that at home — and this is their home. Don’t expect there to be parties every time you visit, because the job isn’t to entertain the residents constantly, it’s to keep them in a homelike environment where they feel safe and secure. There are all sorts of activities from doing somebody’s nails to playing a card game, or something else that’s entertaining. But the most important thing is not that mom needs to be entertained, but that she needs to feel needed. CarePartners learns as much about the residents. One family sat us down, told us all about their beautiful mother who moved into our Mill Creek community. The activity girl ran down and got all these vases, and all these gorgeous flowers, because the mother was a flower arranger. She now does all of the flowers at the community. That’s the kind of stuff you’ll see in dementia communities. It’s not always cupcakes and popcorn balls. You need to meet these folks where they’re at, at the moment.”
Sometimes mom wakes up and see her husband — but she remembers what her husband was like 30 or 40 years ago, not the old man in bed next to her, and she doesn’t recognize him. Another common thing is that grandma will fixate on a teen grandson, and he doesn’t get it, and thinks grandma’s being weird. Do you look anything like grandpa when he was young? In her mind, Mom will go back in time. Certain things don’t make sense to us, because in their mind, they’re back to 32 again, and you should be about 12. Rarely, they don’t recognize the spouse. Most of the time that’s the only person they recognize as their disease progresses. But when it seems Mom can’t remember your name. Kelley says, “I’m gonna tell you right now. I think, in their heart, they always know who you are. I think that’s why things get calm after a visit. I think that’s why, even if they don’t recognize you, just your presence can be good for them. Don’t give up on them just because they’ve hurt your feelings. Think about what they’re going through.”
When families get to this point, and ask how can they best bridge my loved one into a community of care such as CarePartners, they ask what their first steps should be. Kelley advises, “The first thing they should do is start checking things out before it becomes an emergency. The problem with memory care is, by the time we get folks, there’s either been an emergency, or we’re about to have one. Make your decisions sooner. Start doing some research a little bit beforehand. Pick out communities that you like. I would pick out one or two, not just one. And the reason is, what if the time comes when mom needs to move, and they’re full? So check out a couple of places, make sure you like a couple of them. Ask the right questions. And then as far as your loved one goes, you’re gonna know, and a lot of times if you’re taking them back and forth to a doctor, the doctor at some point will make a recommendation, and it’s time. We’ve never had a problem with anybody really refusing to move in. You know, that’s not really a problem because most folks are either they’re ready for memory care or they’re happy that assisted living is going to be a bridge.”
In the next segment, Kelley and Suzanne talk about the CarePartners Bonded Pairs program. Kelley explained, “One of the situations we realized we’re having is that kids were coming to mom and dad, and separating them because one of them has Alzheimer’s. We think we should go put Mom in this place. And dad’s like, “I’ll be darned if you’re going to take mom from me,” and mom doesn’t want to be taken from dad. So what we came up with was the Bonded Pairs program. And at our Mount Lake Terrace community alone, we’ve kept over fifty couples together that would have been separated. It not only saves money, but saves heartache. You know, if dad and mom can be in assisted living together, and she’s not going to get up the middle of the night and wander down the street, she’s fine. So why are we pushing these issues and trying to separate these folks? The biggest concern people had was being separated.”
View Episode Transcript
*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 is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider part on the answers for elders radio show. And thank you all for tuning in to answers for elders radio. And we are so excited that football season is here and I wanted to let everyone know that this is not an ordinary show. What we do. Yes, we are always here to provide resources and answers for our seniors, but we have a very special senior that needs some answers and some help and and due to the fact that it’s kind of the season on top of it, we’re in really extraordinary times everyone and as a result, I hope that you’ll sit down with us and listen to a very special story about a special senior that is in all the twelve lies, and to do that with me, we have a very special guess that we’ve kind of pulled out of his retirement. The Voice Talks Mr Steve Abel. Steve, welcome to answers for ALDERS radio. So thank you and thanks for having me. And since I’m a senior myself, I can appreciate all that, all that you do and all the information that you give out. And, of course, you know, we’ve had a chance over the years to visit at senior centers around the areas, who always happy to help and answer questions, and if we can tell talk football, a little bit of football on top of that, than it’s a great day. Well, we are going to talk about a very special senior, but I would love to start a little bit about because we are all now kicking off the season and certainly this weekend is the big game that the seahawks will finally get to see our seahawks. And of course you’re still the voice of the Seahawks, which we so grateful that we still get to hear you. We do miss you on TV, though. I bet that’s kind of weird. You’re in a different place in so many ways, aren’t you? We really are. You know, when the when the pandemic really took off here in the northwest, we decided early on at the station that that I would anchor from home for a couple of reasons. First of all, we set a number of our people home and work from there, as you saw, with everybody, although all the broadcast companies did the same thing. I have a little more incentive to do that because Sharon has lupus and Rheumatory I’ve writis. So those kinds of pre existing conditions and we’re both in our S, you know, we’re we’re kind of in that category that if you’re out there and you’re not careful, then you liable to bring it home. So I’ve follows a good suggestion and one that I readily took from my general manager, to just come home and stay home. And so I anchored for three and a half months from my dining room here on a house thing and, you know, had the camera set up and I’d go in every day and turn it on and sit down with my computer and pull up what the stories were in prepare for the newscast and all that. And what it did outside from keeping me and my wife safe, is it gave me a sense for what life would be like after I retired. I knew I’d be home a little bit more, in which end this was certainly the case. And during the whole time we’ve, you know, all been kind of stuck at home. Go to the grocery, go to the drug store, go to doctor’s appointments, where I’m ask that’s about all you really feel safe that you can do. So I was really kind of prepared for the time that retirement came around at the end of June and when my last show came I went back from my last broadcast from back in the studios, but other than that I haven’t been back to Cairo except to clean my death scout. So it’s been it’s been a kind of a revelation. I you know, I worked so many years doing shows from noon until midnight and then doing football on the weekends and having two full time jobs that that this has been great and I’ve had much more opportunity to spend time at home with Sharon and and so far, so good. We’re both still healthy well and that’s what’s most important. And you know, I’m in the same categories you are and it’s kind of interesting how you’re kind of paralleling you know as well, because I haven’t been in the studio as well for about three and a half months or longer, like probably five months, and I was just telling Joshua, our operations director, that I miss everybody there at the studio because certainly you know you go in and you have the same routine and you fit, you know where where you have stopped. That supports you and it’s a different feeling. But it’s a nice way to obviously know that you’re safe and to know that, you know, our organizations, just like Cairo and like Salem media, they’re very concerned about keeping everyone safe and that is really, really important and and certainly we’re blessed to have that kind of support, for sure. Yeah, well, indeed. And and I’m the same way. I mean I’m when I retired from the playing football, as every football moss, you know, what you miss is a locker room. which a miss is your teammates in the friendships. Why? The same thing over for Cairo, you know, when we were tired. You know, there’s some of those people I’ve been working with for more than thirty years. That sx porter, one of our great reporters. Reporter, he’s just starting his thirty eight now. I finished thirty eight, my occasion starting is and he’s liable to be there longer than thirty eight. So, you know, good on him that way, and I hope he is. But he’s such a great reporter. And you know some of those friendships. Debbie Horn I’ve known forever, but we’ve also had a number of us who’ve al who’ve retired, all within the last six months and people that I do with a while. So you know, hey, things change and I’ll be forever grateful to all those, the folks at Cairo, many of whom are no longer the certainly the ones that hired me or no longer there. But right, it’s been a great run and now it’s time to know, to enjoy all that hard work. I’ve found now that it’s really nice having somebody pay you for not working. I think that’s a really well, really great deal. And you know, on top of that, Steve, you’re kind of getting ready for it. Unusual football season in so many ways. You know, when we corresponded in email, that was the first thing that stuck out for me. You use the word unusual in with quotations and mount around it. I’m sir, preparing for the seahawks season has got to be overwhelming right now. Well, it’s what it is. Is Different. The preparation hasn’t changed. I mean I still kind of approach games the way I did when I was a player and how I look at how I look at statistics and how I look at at some game few and highlight films and right just how I prepare and how I do my spotting boards. It’s very much like when I played. So in that respect it hasn’t changed much. Obviously, all the circumstances around it if really changed. I U for instance, I will. I’ve been to about five or six training camp practices, but I was kept, as most of us were, from the press, and frankly there weren’t nearly as many of press as in years past. But we were kept up on the berm there at the VMAC. For those folks who’ve been to the VMAC or of watch practice or seeing video of the practice, there’s a big burm and they usually have a couple of thousand fans fit up there. Well, nobody absolutely empty now, so I was up there almost by myself, but I was able to watch practice and that was good. I didn’t get the opportunity to go down and talk individually to the players and coaches as I usually do. So that part is known. But you know, you just have to do that. The bubble around the players is so strict that I believe if anybody can make it through the season, the NFL can. The way they’ve got this set up. It’s an amazing proposition to keep the players in the staff and the coach is healthy and to keep walling up, quite frankly, from you know, either bringing something in or or getting something from each other. So, you know, I’m grateful for all of that. I think what’s going to be really bizarre, really strange. Well, first of all, this Sunday the team opens in Atlanta against the Falcons. I will be broadcasting the game from Seattle. We’re not traveling with me. Right, the team is going all again, the bubble will fly with the team. They will be, you know, in closed in a hermetically sealed plane and are her metically sealed locker room in a hermetically sealed hotel and nobody is going to get close to players. So that’s all a good thing. But we’re not traveling. I’ll be going with our entire broadcast team to century link and we will have our booths set up with big TV monitors and we will call the game off of TV monitors kind of, you know, in real time. And and then no sound. You know, the only sound out here is through my headsets of the of the fake crowd noise coming from Atlanta. So, my goodness, that part is going to be interesting. Now the following week, when we open it holds may be interesting. Yeah, Oh, and when we when we open it home, then on Sunday night against the Patriots the following week, we will again be there at the stadium, but we’ll have no fans. So we’ll have pumped in crowd noise and a lot of people down in the field, but but noose fans in the stands. So it is, in that respect, most unusual, but it’s still, when you get right down to it, it’s football and it’s it’s holy. Will get through the season and it’s going to be great to have it back right and you know, with the it with the whole history of the team, in the evolution of this team. And then the main reason why we’re having this show today is that we have a very special fan that’s been there from the beginning, and I certainly I was going to the game. The matter of fact, I used to go to games when you played and I used to go with my father. He was original season ticket holder. I know, can you believe that? And so here here we are today. But we have a special fan who is Mama Blue, and Mama blue sadly has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The good news is. They say it’s treatable, but she is going to be going through a quite a regime of Chemo and surgery and certainly we’re here to not only ask everyone for their prayers for her complete recovery, but also we are trying to raise funds to help her get through this. You know her challenge, help challenge and you know on top of the pandemic, which is all these different types of situations. And so, Steve, I would love to have you Sara a little bit. We have about one minute left in this segment, but just the last minute. Tell me a little bit about your thoughts about Mama Blue. Well, you know, it’s not a funday in the fall at the stadium without seeing Mama blue and I go down to the field every game before the game, talk to players, talk to coaches. Obviously not this year, but there she is in her seats where she always is, where she has been for all these years. She says, I’d all of us has had all the players. It’s it’s that’s what Sunday in Seattle feels like. So we you’re right, when we do come back we want to talk more about Mama Blue and how we can all help and and I’m looking forward, at some point down the line, not anymore this season maybe, but next season and seasons beyond, to be at the stadium with Mama Blue, just like the rest of the fans. Well, we are too, and so it’s coming up next segment. We’re going to share a little bit about Mama Blue, about her history with the Seattle seahawks and why so important. He is such a pivotal member of the fan base, and so we’ll be right back right after that. Answers for Elders Radio Show with seas and Newman hopes. You found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcast like this to help you find qualified senior care experts and areas of financial, Lego, health and wellness and living options. 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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.
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