Beth Deems at Mission Health Care discusses the continuum of senior care. Seniors want to stay in their home as long as possible, and we want to encourage that. But there comes a time when the family starts to get concerned. You always want to do right by your parents. When you are at that crossroads, here are the considerations that a family should look at.
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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.
This is a special presentation of Answers for Elders with Careage. Welcome back to the program everyone. This is Answers for Elders radio, as you know, and I am here with Beth Deems from Mission Healthcare and Bellevue. They are a Careage community and the beauty of their programs is that Beth is going to talk to us a little bit about what we call in the industry the continuum of care and Beth, welcome to the program thank you. Hey, it’s great to be here. You know, one of the things that we all seniors want to stay home as long as they possibly can, you know, and we want to encourage that, but there reaches a time in there in their process of aging that the family then all of a sudden starts to get concerned. There might be signs in the house that they’re, you know, that they’re needing more help. There might be some situations where you know that depression sets in, maybe a little bit of dementia. You know, bills don’t get paid because they’re not, you know, totally with it. They might not necessarily bathe their shower for a particular period of time because they don’t want to do that, then all of these kind of things. I’m sure there’s many kinds of signs that we have that it’s starting to take a look at. Where do you turn? And that’s that crossroads that I think every family deals with and you always want to do right by your parent, obviously, Beth, so give us an idea of you know when you’re at that cross roads. What are some considerations that a family should take a look at? Well, there are considerations of what we call CCRCs, which is a continuing care retirement community. They usually offer independent, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing all in the same campus. They sometimes have extremely large buy ins you have to do. Then there’s other options of just standalone assisted living, adult family homes, senior living apartments, M so they’re skilled nursing. There are a lot of different options for seniors editor and it can be confusing for families. I know a lot of it depends on so many factors, so many factors. For example, when my mom first needed to sell her house and downsize her we she didn’t want to spend a lot of money and so she decided no, I’ll go into the independent living. Well, what we found out really quickly. Is she needed assisted living and had I had proper assessment? Of course that goes back to my strong belief that a geriatric care managers always be involved in the release, in the transition of a parent, because you get a skilled professional like a geriatric care manager, they will actually assess your parent and say, you know, this is the type, the best situation, based on not only made parents needs today, but they can take a look at the care plan from a medical perspective to see the progression of the likely progression of what’s going to happen to your parent, and they can also look at the financial picture as well. So when the Nice thing about the carriage communities is you guys have a pretty amazing program and the fact that what you do is you start out on the assisted living side, which is basically needing assistance, what they call the ADL, the assistance of daily livings, and that’s what it called. What is activities, have activities of daily living. Thank you. And and assisted living is kind of the first step of, you know, skilled care, is what we say. So, Beth, tell me a little bit about assisted living, although, to be honest with you, Suzanne, a lot of times people enter into this whole process through a crisis, absolutely through something happening like we discussed before, of a fall with a fracture or an illness, pneumonia, and a lot of times they come to us into skilled nursing first because of that crisis and then the family says they just can’t go back to where they were living right. So then there’s assisted living, which is a really great concept. They have their own apartment in a residential community, there are other people their same age, at their same level, but they can get that little bit of help that they need. They might need a little bit of help with dressing or grooming or taking a shower, and their meals are prepared for them so they don’t have to expend all of their energy trying to prepare me right. And medications can be assisted so if they need if they’re on a particular schedule of Med schedule, and sometimes that’s hard if a parent has a little bit of dementia and remember, did I take my pill or not? I know with my mom before we moved her and assisted living, she sometimes took two doses thinking that she hadn’t taken her filled before exactly. And so they can do that medication pass and you know, that’s one of the reasons a lot of times we see patients and skilled nursing is they get so out of whack because they haven’t been taking their medications. Really they haven’t been eating appropriately, and I have to tell you, getting medications timely and eating appropriately can make a huge, huge difference in a senior absolutely they provide that at the assisted living level. Absolutely so that assisted living. Obviously they have a activities at the it’s like living in a resort, isn’t it? It pretty much is. Sometimes I think I’m ready to sign up. I know the less assisted living I came into they’re having a full happy hour and they had a little band there and and of course we go see assisted living communities over the holidays when we do our program with the Seahawks and we love to go share those happy times with them and and spread a little holiday cheer. And they have outings. Yeah, go on outings. My mother was in an assisted living in Portland and had a great time. She was their resident council president and they had the ladies red hat day. Fabulous, fabulous. She loved it. So we’re talking to Beth deems of mission healthcare and they are a carriage community. So mission healthcare is the next step after assisted living. So what is my understanding, Beth, and correct me if I’m wrong? The time changes when you go from assisted living to skilled care. When number one either it’s a rehab situation, but the other side of it is is if they need twenty four hour, round the clock a supervision or care. Is that Christ and interesting, especially in an assisted living if a patient were to get a bad wound, a bed store right, they cannot keep them. They write to come to skilled nursing. If they maybe had a bad fall and need that inpatient Rehab, they need to come to skilled nursing and then they can go back to their assisted living after that. Right, and we can also do carriage has a home health called carriage home health. They can go into the assisted living and give them home health service perfect as well. And that’s one of the great things about carriage is that we have all those levels of care to really be able to take care of that senior. So now now let’s talk about dementia Alzheimer’s. You know, I just heard a statistic last week that blew my mind that one out of every three deaths today are related to dementia and Alzheimer’s and they really don’t know what’s causing it. But obviously there’s been a lot of breakthroughs and a lot of understanding how to help people with memory care issues, and so one of the great things about the carriage communities is is that there’s Patriots Glen, and that’s also in Bellevue, isn’t it? Yes, it is, and that also has an assisted living and memory care facility. Tell us about what memory care does. It’s an amazing memory care unit. They basically you want to keep that person doing as much as they can for as long as they can. So you might have to assist them with their activities of daily living, grooming, dressing, but you try to get them to do as much of it as they can themselves. That helps actually slow down, surely, the dementia. So we have a memory care unit there at Patriots Glen. They have a wonderful staffing ratio. They have one staff member to every four residents, which is amazing. Yes, I don’t think there’s another memory care unit that has that and they really help integrate the whole community so that the dementia patients also get to share in the fun things that the assisted living patients do and they take wonderful care of them. I know that there have been a lot of people. I don’t know if anybody has seen that. Of course, the great singer Glen Campbell has dementia and a lot of people were very negative towards his wife when she put him into a care facility. But you know, care facilities are absolutely a good thing to do because dementia patients can really cause some damage leaving things on the stove. I know that Glen Campbell got aggressive with his wife and left her with a black eye at one point, so they really need that specialized care. Have read her blog. Yeah, it’s it’s heartbreaking. It is really is that. It’s so and it’s so honorable that she has shared that story and the specialized care can really help slow down that dementia right. The patient doesn’t get as frustrated there with other patients that are just like them and they’ll sit there and have these conversations with each other. They’re not having to worry about trying to cover it up or not show it when they’re with people of a different level and it’s honestly a wonderful thing to see how they come together and protect each other and take care of each other and it’s really a good situation for that person to have a life of their own well into the other thing about memory care that I think is amazing is you’re going to have your your loved one in working with people that are at the cutting edge of developments, like I know there’s a lot of breakthroughs and music right now and this is a kind of thing that your loved one will have the opportunity to take a part in. That can help work their mind better and help them grow a lot more, and you know that decline. Help to slow down the decline of and the other thing is is that you get to retain your relationship with that person as her daughter right so it’s on because when you become come the caregiver, you lose that relationship. It becomes a caregiver relationship instead of a mother daughter relationship. And I know there’s a lot of guilt about putting people in a care facility, but honestly, to retain that relationship so that when you go to visit them, your mom and daughter, you’re not right giver and you know one of the things that I think is so important in Beth, you know you’ll share with us, is that to have your parent in one place that can take care of them throughout the as their progression. So if you have a parent with a little bit of dementia, likely, you know, it is likely as the years passed, that will increase and to have the ability to do you know, to have a facility that will take up care of all of those needs is something that’s so important and I’m so glad your cat, you guys are here for the community. Thank you, Beth. How do we reach you? My phone numbers two thousand and six nine three, two, two hundred and hundred and seventy three, and my email is [email protected] Thank you so much for being here that. Thank you, Suzanne. This has been a special presentation of Answers for Elders with Careage. For more information for Careage, go to Careage.com. That’s Careage.com.
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.