On Father’s Day weekend, with the state of Washington scheduled to open June 30 after 15 months of the pandemic. Kelley Smith talks about how COVID has affected seniors and updates us on various CarePartners Senior Living openings and remodels at various senior living communities. For 450 days we’ve all dealt with the pandemic, but what about our loved ones? Seniors are watching their restaurants go out of town, changes to the Seattle atmosphere, their friends may have died of COVID, they don’t get to see their family members, with COVID restricting socialization.
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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 everyone to answers for elders radio. And we are here on a glorious June weekend here in the Greater Seattle area and coming to you on Father’s Day weekend, and certainly it’s a very big weekend in the Pacific, northwestern around the country as we honor our DADS, but we’re also doing some major things getting ready for the state of Washington to open up on June thirty and I think one of the things that we want to talk a little bit about is what does that mean in the senior community, specifically in senior living communities, and how do families interact? And we are very, very fortunate to have with us today Kelly Smith from Terre partners living and Kelly, we’re so glad you’re back. We missed you last month, so thank you back. I know it’s so nice to be here today. You are so busy right now. It’s kind of crazy with your new communities opening up and all the different things happening. First of all, before we start, what’s happening with care partners right now? Well, coming to is been taking deposits. We’re touring at that beautiful community, gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous to all at the starting to fill up, which is very exciting. That’s some really neat families living here. Now we’ve got spokane. Should be licensing and actually beginning our statiuty to doctor the TV end of the summer. That building is coming up like wildfire. We just did a remodel of the spoke and assisted living and of doing an open house of July, which were so incredibly excited about. We have an actual elvis coming to entertain our troops. Yeah, we’re just we got a lot of fun things happening, a lot of growth in the company, a lot of very exciting things happening, and I’m just my usual silly, stupid self just running around having a good time. But we’re really having fun with this. But watching, watching the lives were changing every day, is what I live for. So we’re having a time doing it. Yeah. Well, you know, it’s really amazing to see you guys evolved because in spite of the pandemic and in spite of all the challenges that we’ve had in the last more than years, fifteen months. You know, I did a workshop last night and learn the fact that’s just crazy that our seniors have been pretty much in lots for fifteen months, you know, and that equates to four hundred and fifty days. That’s rough us, you know. In many cases it’s like solitary confinement. They sit there by themselves, they really don’t have a lot of contact with the outside world except for what was actually necessary. And now things are starting to open up. It’s that transitional piece that you know that’s happening and I think there’s a lot of situations that have evolved do to this time frame. So telling what is your experience so far? And I’d like to spend our first segment just talking a little bit about that whole mindset of what happens. And you know what’s happened with our seniors. Well, I think you already know what the same thing has been everything. We’ve already talked about that. The last fifteen months we were forgetting. We get so selfabsorbed that we realize what we’ve been through the past fifteen months. We don’t get to socialize. I Miss Rock concerts, I miss the Seattle scene and all the thumb things we used to go and do. But what about our seniors? It’s on a much different level for them. They’re watching their restaurants, go out of town. They’re watching a change in the Seattle atmosphere there. Their friends have died of COVID. WHO’s there to WHO’s there to comfort them? What about family they don’t get to see? What about the times of their soul alone? But yet covid has restricted the amount of socialization they can when I think, I think what you’re hitting on is so important, people maybe may not even really I realized how, especially if you have a little bit of dementia or a little bit of, you know, maybe mobility issues, things are used to. It’s like familiarity is really kind of a driving force to make sure that you always see that that friendly receptionist at your doctor’s office that no longer’s there anymore. Or you know how often when you relied on people in your community and and it’s, you know, I’m equate it and it’s not necessarily related, but in a way it is. It’s it’s getting used to something new. But I remember when I lost my mother, okay, and when I lost my mom, which she passed away, that that support group that I had around me where she was in assistant living or skilled nursing or all those things, all those providers that I depended on as to help me through to take care of her. That went away when she passed away. I had to learn a new way of being and I had all of my faculties. So imagine if you don’t have the faculties and all of a sudden, you know, maybe the people that you always see at your church community aren’t there right now. There’s exactly and how many churches right now have gone to zoom meetings because of Vera’s governor’s edicts about meeting? I church absolutely has. Yeah, I know, I know almost all of them have. And again, that’s fine, but for seniors who love getting dressed, getting ready going to church, this has been a fifty year ritual for some of these people. This for some people, and I’m an assisted living this is what I do for a living. So when I’m talking to these families, you how many these families asked me right up front, tell me about your church services, because that has been mom socialization for the last how many years? And I remember, like with my grandmother, got older, but she had cancer. Of the one thing, even though she had were face mash, yeah, leukemia, her immune system was down. We had to be very careful where we took her. The bottom line was, she was very clear with us. You will not miss my church service. Right, right, and Kelly. You know what’s really interesting too, is when I sit back and I think, you know, we’re talking about this exterior world, but what’s going on inside? It’s right, mom or dad still live at home. Home maintenance maybe lacking repairs. Home Repairs are going to be lacking hydration. Are they properly drinking enough water? If they, you know, do they have any fault issues right now? What? How’s their personal you know, abilities and mobility change because they’s sitting there for four hundred and fifty days? Okay, there’s all different types of things. What are I mean? Is this affecting families as well? Of course it is, and one of the first things we’re seeing is what’s the first thing that happens during an isolation? The hydration and not proper nutrition. We see it all the time. Ninety percent of the people that we’re seeing that wind up in the hospital, the balls and the traumas and the things that they’re going to is going through, is because we’re not drinking enough liquids and we’re not taking our medications on time. And that’s the whole other piece. How many of our seniors were too afraid to go to the pharmacy or too afraid to even call about their doctor? Kids they’re afraid, they don’t want to go into the safter to get their medication renewed, so they go without it. I mean, I’ve learned. Or they’re stretching them out. Oh I had blood pressure medicine every day, but every three days will be okay. No, no, won’t. Or they don’t want to bother their children because they’re afraid their kids are suffering with this covid thing. They don’t want to. I don’t want to upset my daughter because, yeah, you know, she could lose her job if she’s got to take work, time off work to come, excuse me, come and take care of me. That was attracted, but you know, I’m just saying they maybe we see a lot of that too. And so then the kids are like, okay, we’re going to talk to you about assisted living, so we can still be part of your life, we can still up with your care, but now we got people around twenty four hours a day that can be there to make sure you’re getting enough liquids to make sure you’re eating healthy, to make sure your medications are on time. Now the parents are like, wait a minute, we got this. Well, you didn’t get this, but it’s not their faults. It’s not their fault. They’ve been in isolation for fifteen months and they’re doing the best they can. They’re trying to still be independent, not bother people. But then the kids go over to the house and they’re like, dude, you and mom are living in this great, big house, but you’re actually only living in three rooms. You know, mom and dad are looking rough. We had a couple in here not long ago that have been together for sixty some years. They’ve spent five nights apart in sixty some years. But she wound up in the hospital, Damn, near killed in okay, you can handle it. And so the daughters like, what are you going to do if this happens again? Yeah, you guys are trying so hard to take care of each other. You killing yourselves and it’s hard to ask for help. That generation is especially so used to taking care of themselves and asking for help was another hard thing. Right, right, and and it’s so, so true. And the fact that you know being in a scenario that we’ve all, you know, experience. It’s hit even more so with our with our older adults, and I think one of the things that we just take for granted, you know, those of us that still drive and those of us that still go into our neighborhood and wear masks and go out. It’s not the same for someone that is, you know, make in their s or, you know, late s plus. They got the majority of fear, you know, blood into them when when the pandemics hit, and it hit in our backyard here to start the country. You know, this is when you know the epicenter we were at one time. And so to look at you know how we have, you know, been, what we had been through and and how we’re doing it, it’s like we’re going to talk this hour with Kelly, and I think, Kelly, you brought up so many valuable points. What are the expectations you can really expect of your senior loved one? How can you, as a family member help and then, when it comes time to go into assist a living, how can you best process and what kind of expectations can our families have moving forward? So, Kelly, does that sound good to you? And we don’t think. I think these are important topics of families need to know about because, again, if this is what you’re leaning towards, let’s have that conversation so they know what to prepare for. So, in the meantime, how do we reach you? The best place to find us is www care partners senior living. Actually it’s care partners livingcom and you can find our communities. Are Numbers, anything you need right there. You contact US correctly, care partners livingcom. And the best thing too, is that care partners has communities all over greater paget sound and spoken, and one of the great things about it is no matter where you know, we’re on a scale your loved one is whether they’re still living independently or if they need some assistance in their active activities and daily living or if they have Alzheimer’s Momenta in there. It at a point where you really need to find, you know, a little bit more of a skilled care, twenty four hour care. Care Partners have a solution for you and your family, and so we’re really excited to talk a little bit about what are the expectations? What’s going to happen after June thirty? After you know things come to fruition and everyone telly will be right back, right after this
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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.