Whether regarding skilled care, skilled nursing, or memory care, especially during the pandemic myths have persisted about senior living. In this hour, Suzanne Newman talks with Kelley Smith at CarePartners Senior Living about myths heard all the time about senior care. We remember great-grandma or great-grandpa being in nursing homes, which weren’t pleasant places. They don’t exist any more — skilled nursing has taken over, and it doesn’t look the same as it did even five or ten years ago. If you don’t know anybody in assisted living, if you’ve never been to an assisted living facility, you don’t know what actually happens. Skilled nursing now is more like a rehab center that need 24-hour care not appropriate for a hospital setting. People don’t realize that things like therapy dog visits and music therapy are available, providing a quality of life — they don’t even know that it exists. Learn more about CarePartners Senior Living.
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 podcast is provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio and welcome everyone to the third weekend February, two thousand and twenty two and you are listening to the answers for elders radio network and I am here with one of our very favorite people in the world, Ms Kelley Smith, vice president of marketing and sales for care partners living and Kelly, I’m so glad you’re here with us today. Thank you, thank you. It’s always nice to be here. It’s good because every time you come on it’s like we start our show and to our listeners, I Kelly and is a dear friend of mine and and obviously our listeners probably know that because the way we dialog together right you know, we never know before Kelly comes on on, like what are we going to talk about today? And the thing that’s really interesting is I kind of had a thought in my mind and she came at me with her thought, and so I’m telling you right now, number one, we’re ad libbing this whole conversation, but it’s going to be great because I think one of the things that always comes out of it is the synergy that Kelly and I have is really, really fun. It’s probably one of my most highlighted times that I get to interview you. But the other thing I think that really is interesting as that, because she’s on the front line dealing with families and I’m also dealing with families and consulting families kind of in another way, as people call into you know, answers for elders, with questions and things like that. It’s interesting how we come up with kind of similar themes and today, I think one of the things that we really want to touch on, and thank you, Kelly, for your suggestion, is we want to talk about the myths of that, maybe the perception of what the public has about senior living or whether it be skilled nursing or skilled care or memory care or anything like that, because I think a lot of the times, especially now during the pandemic, when there’s been times of lockdown in different types of you know, trying to do whatever we have been able to do, which, by the way, care partners and any staff that is on the front line caring for our seniors. They’re the heroes here through all of this pandemic. They have been through more than we can even imagine as well. Yeah, and so Kudos to care partners for all that you do and all you have done. And actually I was in one of two of care partners prod properties over the weekend, this last weekend for Valentine’s Day, and we took therapy dogs in and saw so many of your residence and it was so awesome because one of the ladies at I think Kelly it was it bothel landing, she first asked where’s the where’s the therapy doll dog with the Mohawk, which I thought was kind of cute because that Simon Biddy wasn’t with us that day. And the other thing is is she said when are you coming back? I you know, I need this and you know, how soon can you come back? And it was like really obvious to me just how much they are excited to engage and and thank you for the opportunity for letting us come in, Kelly, and really experience, you know, your resonance, because they are so precious, every single one of them. You Love Them. We got some we got some pretty special people, but we love what you do to see them so happy. You know, it’s so excited to get to see those dogs and the people who handle them. Yeah, it’s a treat for them all the way around. So it’s we’re we’re grateful for you guys coming in. Well, and we were really and then when we went over to mount like terris, we went up to the memory care, to Cottage Lane Nice, and we spent. I spent. I went directly up to memory care because I knew my dog would only take so much time right. So we’d be had just been over it bothel and then so what we did is we would be and I went straight up to the memory care area. We didn’t stay in the lot because we had like seven doodles with us. So it was like so I grabbed two other people and so we took three of us and we went upstairs. There was this gentleman in a wheelchair and he was there with his daughter and his granddaughter and they were at it there in cottage lane and and we walked in and he was just kind of sitting there quiet and kind of, you know, deflected and all that stuff, and the minute he saw with be he was like, Oh my God, I need I need the dog, and he was like loving on the dog and he would I was like my dog was so amazing because I kept saying, oh my gosh, would be just be present, because he was probably there with her for easily five hundred and twenty minutes just loving on her, and I thought she’s going to get over stimulated, it’s going to be too much. She kept grabbing on her collar, all these things. But you know what, my dog just it’s amazing the connection that these animals have with our senior loved ones and I you know, if it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be able to have this organization. So I just want you to know that we’re so grateful to all the support the care car care partners is given us and so, son honor, we’re priligion and we benefit from it as well. So I don’t want it to sound like we’re we’re so cheer rows because we’re not. Yes, of our friend the world, you are, but benefits our residence to yes, it does, and that’s the beauty of it if we get to do something nice, but we also get to do something for people we care about. Yeah, I think sometimes it assistant letting people think this is just a job. I actually be accused to that lot’s just your job. Well, I’ve been doing it for a long time, so apparently me the good editor. I like it. Yeah, and these caregivers, you know, they come to work day and day out. They’re tired. Yeah, you know, they take care of these folks, they care about them. They really a touch to him. So to see them happy like that means the world to everybody. It was so real, that terrible amazing experience and you know, I’m blessed to be able to share my dog with people because people don’t realize, you know, that she was my saving grace through the pandemic. You know, when when I’m sitting here by myself at home, you know we’d be was at my side throughout the it all, and so to have that kind of companionship and be able to share that with with the those that I care about munch most, which is our seniors, that’s my that’s my lane, that’s my damn, is my husband’s sess. It’s totally on honor. And so getting back to really our topic today, Kelly, is we talked about the myths and I wanted to bring up the therapy dog experience because that’s really the fun part and there’s so many fun things that happen. But I also hear this other side and families of well, I don’t want to, I want to keep my parent at home. You know, I’m going to look at other options, even though you know their life is spinning out of control. They have no more quality of life either one of them because they’re stuck at home and likely because their parent is isolated. They’re getting worse because they’re they don’t have the stimulation and then and the staff to get provide them proper care. And so when ends up happening is just the slippery slope down the rabbit hole where everybody in the family gets burned out, the family falls apart and there you go, and we see it all the time. Right. So, Kelly, tell us a little bit about what you deal with in the quote unquote myths. What you hear? Myths all the time, because people get to remember. Our generation still remember skilled nursing. Yeah, remember Great Grandpa or great grandma in a nursing home or grandma members that. They were not pleasant places. Usually you walked in there, there were wheelchairs down the hallway, it was didn’t always smell good and they were nursing homes. That’s what they were for it took care of people who were beyond, you know, anymore care that anybody else could give them, and so they had their hands full. Nursing homes don’t exist anymore. Skilled nursing has taken over and it doesn’t even look the same that it did even tend five years ago. Ten five didn’t want change. Five years ago it’s changed. How it’s amazing now there’s so many enhancements to it. It’s amazing since I’ve been in the industry. Yeah, so, you know, a lot of times when you hear you know what an elderly person till their kids are grandkids. Don’t ever put me in a home, they’re thinking about where their parents wound up, their grandparents found up, and those were not pleasant places. Now we don’t know. Nobody wants to go to a home. But then you get people talking. If you don’t know anybody who’s ever lived in assistant living, if you’ve never been to an assistant living, right, you get these people who sit around, they just talk. You know what actually happens now? Well, that’s you can move into one of those places and you lose your autonomy. They tell you when to get up and win to go to the bathroom and what closed to where, and you know a long time about that was like that, but it’s not like that anymore. That would have been skilled ten years ago. Yeah, I said a long time ago. It’s not like that anymore. Most I mean I was at a skilled place one time. It’s a long time ago, but but ten, well, about eight years ago. I’m walking around this building. They’ve got activities, they have a menu, you know, there’s things going on and in that type of environments like to people even realize the low quality of life these folks are trying to give these more in bad shape, you know. So it’s there’s a lot more going on. Skilled nursing today is more rehab. They’ve got certain wings for those people that they just need that constant, constant twenty four, twenty cror care. And if we were having from illness, are broken hand parts something like that serious? Yeah, most of the time the skilled anymore is Rehab, get them home, Rehab, get them home. That’s what they’re working on now. They’re more rehab setters. They’re not as much skilled like they used to be. You go there to Rehab for however long, get better and go back to wherever you came from. So they’re not trying to keep people like they used to. Skilled is more for very advanced folks. That again, they need that. Twenty four our nursing care. They’re for a hospital set. Sure, so you know that you have that. Okay, but again it’s the myths. WHAT DO PEOPLE BELIEVE? And it’s only based on experiences or what people have told them. And I don’t think people realize that things like the doodles, things like, you know, music, therapy and all these cool things are actually in these buildings to provide a quality of life for people. They don’t know that even exists. Yeah, nobody’s going to tell you that. You know you got it, got to be up by seven, you know you’re going to Miss Breakfast at day o’clock and you can be hungry all day. I mean that’s not assistant living anymore. No, yeah, now, and you know it’s interesting too, that you know it’s hard because, especially lately when families haven’t quote unquote, been able to visit, unquote, through the pandemic, we went through a very, very dark time and and you guys had to I mean there’s only so many days you can play hobbing right. There’s only so many things you could do and yet you created a way that people could still come together in the dining room and connect during the pandemic. You did things to, you know, increased quality of life. I mean so many things that you posted where, you know, you had you know, people could talk through the glass and you set up areas where it is only good come on sit outside and and that was really, really an amazing thing that we could do. And so we’re going to talk a little bit in our in the next rest of our hour, Kelly and I are going to go into you know, really, what can you expect in assistant living and skilled nursing and memory care? Really, what is it like? And at the end we’re going to talk about families and what your role is in all this. And in the meantime, Kelly, how do we reach you? Best place to reach us is to check out our website, care partners livingcom. You can see read testimonials, you can see pictures, you give do virtual tours, but that’s usually the best place to check yourself. All right, and everyone wonderful. Kelly Smith will be right back credit after this. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. To contact care partners living, go to care partners livingcom
Listen to More Answers for Elders with Suzanne Newman
Keep an eye out for future Answers for Elders podcasts on the Senior Resource Podcast Network! Thanks for listening, and be sure to keep scrolling for more articles by Suzanne. For more AFE podcasts, visit AnswersforElders.com and subscribe on your favorite platform!
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.
Connect with Suzanne
Visit AFE on the web: https://answersforelders.com/