Whether regarding skilled care, skilled nursing, or memory care, especially during the pandemic myths have persisted about senior living. In this segment Kelley Smith at CarePartners Senior Living explains that the general public’s impression of senior living is based on folklore. People think their mom will move in and be isolated, as when you changed schools as a kid. But that’s not giving the communities enough credit. A lot of communities have ambassadors that introduce your mom to new people. That’s why you fill out a social assessment – for instance if she’s from Norway they might sit her with someone from Norway. A lot of communities put their residents first, with activities, and have a way of making sure the residents are entertained throughout the day. There’s something for everyone. Learn more about CarePartners Senior Living.
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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.
The following podcast is provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio, and welcome back everyone, to Answers for Elders Radio, with the wonderful, fabulous Kelley Smith, vice president of marketing and sales for CarePartners Living. And you know, can you believe like we’re you know, it’s President’s Day weekend here and right and and I’m just going like this year is just flying by. I can’t believe it. In some ways I’m kind of excited about it because last year stunk so bad I want to reason for my memory. I want to get as far away from me as I possibly can. You had one heck of a year last year. Everybody did. I think everybody did. Yeah, so, and you’re dealing with a lot of personal things. You know, I lost a dear friend on Mother’s Day. You know, we were everybody had something, you know, they were kind of dealing with. I had to have hand surgery, remember that, and I couldn’t use my hand right. I mean, everybody went through something, you know. And then, you know, we had some family issues. You know, I had half was in the hospital for seven weeks and went through three brain surgeries. And I mean you deal with what you deal with. Yeah, but then I but my tea with this experience in two thousand and twenty one did for me, though. It made me realize what our families are dealing with even more. Yeah, because we’re in the hospital and your stressed out, you’re trying to work and you’re trying to make sure your loved ones getting the care that they deserve and you’re tired, you know, worn out, but you don’t stop. You keep pushing, keep pushing, because that person means so much to you. But you still got to work, still got to feed the cat, you still got things to do. And then I think about our families that come in that still have kids at home and they’re trying to take care of mom in the hospital. You know, they they you see what I’m saying. It made me a little bit more upset passionate to understand when these people say I got to get mom moved, we got to move fast, and it helped me kind of kind of get back to kind of the basics of what we do again, because I realize I’m going through this. What are our families going through? Absolutely, absolutely, and I think one of the things that you hit the nail right on the head was is the fact often times that call comes in when there’s a crisis. You know, it’s like, I’ve tried to hang on as long as I can and but then there’s that element of fear, of fear of the unknown. I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know how to that’s what we’re talking about. Yeah, that’s what we’re talking about today. Is the fact that people, I think, their impressions, again, of what’s out there or a little bit a little bit prejudiced. Yeah, they’re based on old memories or folklore. You know, people telling stories you never remember. It’s like, you know, we always laugh about the fact that, you know, you take care of nine hundred people, that’s nine hundred families, possibly right. Yeah, you get one that just drives your nuts. It’s always something the yeah, it always in your office, mad about something, something out of those nine hundred failies, which is a family? Remember? Yeah, that one. What about the other eight hundred and ninety nine that were happy all the time? See, you know, you got to focus on the fact that you’re going to have people in assisted living that aren’t happy, but they’re not happy for various reasons. They don’t want to be there. A lot of times people are frustrated because they don’t understand what’s going on with the care of their loved one and there’s so many things they need. Like you, and I said we’ll talk about you know, they’re the old families how they can help, but getting more involved will also help you understand the process and will absolutely want in there. Mom, we had this one lady one time in one of our buildings used to call her kids and cry all the time. Nobody likes me here. I say eat alone, and I was so miserable in the kids would call and upset. You know, you guys told us MOMS, guys like, next time you guys, come call me before you come, and I stuck them through a side door so they could see mom holding court in the beast row. Yeah, having a great time. Yeah, and I said, I’m not trying to catch I’m not trying to throw her under the bus here, but you need to understand this is the life she’s living. On the phone is to make you feel bad and apparently it’s working well. And I think the other thing that you’re yourd hit the nail in the head is the fact that change is hard and and I’ll never forget when I was going went first time, I put my mom and assistant living and I was very lucky to have the staff that was coaching me as well, which was helpful. But I was going like every day and I felt this pressure that I had to go every day. Finally, in the executive director pulled me aside as I was leaving one day and she goes, Susan, your mom needs to get acclimated to this community. Right now, she hangs on to the fact that every day you’re going to be there and so she does not engage with the other residents. And what happened was is she goes, I want to give you a challenge. I don’t want you to come back for a week. And I went and I was just like stunned like that. But you know what happened. And that week I said, and she goes, let’s let some you know, tell your mom that this is why you’re going to do it and when you come back tomorrow we’ll set it so she’ll know. And so sure enough, I said, mom, this is what we’re going to do and I will see. You can call me anytime I’m here, but I want you to get to know the residents and they went out of their way to do things with her and to help her get, you know, ingratiated to the residents. And I was so impressed of some of the things, like my mom had a doll collection and they had a like a cabinet, like a display cabinet, in their lobby, and they put all these antichet to keep dolls in this cabinet and they went this is Norman Perkins dolls and and and, you know, we’re celebrating those, and that was one of the things they did. They did a whole display of and so there was something people could say, Oh, I’ve seen your dolls in the in the pall way or in the lobby, and all of a sudden there was this world opened up. Some people would say you have an original, surely temple doll. That’s not great. I used to have one when I was a child. And the friends. You’ve got something with these people. They’re not these strangers you moved to. Know where do they get myself into? All the sudden you got people that are I think that’s another myth. People think that MOM’s going to move in here, it’s gonna be like high school, when you change schools when you were a kid. A lot of us change schools when we were a kid. So it goes back to that prejudice from her feelings. I know what it was like to be the new kid. I don’t want my mom to be the new kid. She’s old now, she’s frail. Now it’s my job to look out for her. Right, we understand. But you’re not given the communities enough credit. You’re assuming that they like the fact that she’s going to go in the dining room and sit by herself. You think they’re going to enjoy that. They’re not. Now that’s why a lot of communities have ambassadors. They have folks that’ll come and sit with your mom the first couple days she’s there and introduce her to New People. That’s why we have you fill out of social assessment. We might sit her with somebody, but it’s from Norway, because she’s from Norway. Yeah, and see what I mean. You you got to pay attention to the social cues as well. But people also make assumptions that it’s going to be your mom’s going to be isolated, she’s going to go in there, it’s going to be like high school, but it’s going to know, we know each other already and she’s the new kids. You gonna be alone all the time. Yeah, if those guys some credit. Yeah, and I think, furthermore, it’s like you know, there are cues and then in, like you say, to help them adjust and and I think that that is really a big thing. and not to mention the activities that you guys do. Are’s just so many to mention and we can’t even go. I mean we have to waste probably four shows on all the different activities that you guys offer. It’s not just care partners, you know. I know for a fact. I’ve been I’ve been looking at some of the post my friend Ellison Davey from Brookdale has been posting. Those guys are also really good at activities. Yeah, a lot of companies out there that really put the residents first, HM, and they have a way of making sure the residents are entertained throughout the day. Now you have to go to everything. Now you don’t. You know, you don’t have to go to everything. You know the join every club. You don’t have to be part of everything, but there’s so much going on you kind of pick and choose. Sure you know what. I like cards, I’ll go to the card games. I love movies, I’ll go to the movies. You know, if you’re not into crafts, don’t go to the craft there’s a super bowl party and there’s like two three Super Bowl parties that we we connected with this weekend that we just brought the doodles in for a few minutes just to say and and it was really fun because I put red and black crepe paper around with beast. She looked like our orange and black, so I she’d look like a bank all day and it was just fun. You know. I wrapped it around her so that it was she looked like a tiger. He’s very fun, very fun, but it was really, really fun because we had a good time and and those are the things. I think that is really interesting is there’s something for everyone. And I think the other thing that I know about senior living is there so much ability. Like like talking about one story that I’m aware of is morning star living up in Everett. They actually have two ladies that sell candy on Tuesdays in the lobby and they have giveaway all different kinds of chocolate and candy and it’s so much and they do this all year long, all the entire school year. are like it starts in January and then it goes to December. At the end of December, who whatever staff member. You know, they have a lot of kids that are in high school and that are going to college. They actually give the money as a scholarship at the end. Wow, and this last year this one of these servers that works there, he actually got a seven thousand dollar scholarship. That’s something and what a great thing, and have it, thinks those ladies. Now he can afford three books for college. I think that’s really important. Isn’t that amazing? And I thought, wow, that is a great props. But it is very it’s fun and think about, you know, the fact that people can get together. They can, you know, and we know seniors left sweets. Come on, well, I’ve seniors love food. Don’t yet, and I think that’s another myth that people have is they think it’s going to be always, you know, peas and spam. You know that they’re not going to put money into the culinary part of assistant living, and that’s not true. I tell you, some of the best food I’ve had besides home, has been in some of my sisters living absolutely. I mean I’m just amazed at some of the I’ll come in there every DA almost every time I’ve been for a tour or something. I come into the kitchen what’s for lunch and I take a look at these guys are eating and I’m like, Dude, you know, this looks so good and they tell me and it. Residents don’t lie. If something’s nasty, they’re going to tell you. Oh, they’re tottling and all this didn’t turn out good today. I don’t they he should never cook this again. I’ll tell you. You know, this was fantastic. This has been a do over many time. We love this and it you can go down any time for lunch. Now there’s no set time that I have to be down there at eleven at Allarill. Some communities do. Some communties have set times. Not every places is any time dining. Are My communities are there any time dying? We haven’t set up that way for a reason. But we have specials throughout the day. They are only at certain times because cooks can’t cook the special as old and they wouldn’t get anything else done. So yeah, there’s specials if you want the special. You need to be down there between thirty and, you know, thirty. If you know you want the special for dinner at certain times, but you don’t have to get up it’s, you know, seven o’clock. Are you’re going to Miss Breakfast? You have a high seven. You have a hot breakfast at ten a right. People need to realize that it’s not like living in a dormitory. It’s not like that. It’s not like anything else they would have experience. It’s communal living. is like apartments, but there’s things going on in the lobby, there’s things going on in the theater. There’s a restaurant downstairs that you don’t have to actually bring your check book to. You just go down here and order whatever you want. You have lunch and have specials throughout the day. You know, and the food, and again the food is good, because that’s one thing you have to get right in the system of living communities. I’ve even eaten at skilled nursings before. I’ve been invited in for lunch as a marketer, and even in those places, you know, again it’s The it’s the myth serial they got to cut corners somewhere. These places are expensive. Is Always going to be? No, it’s not. It doesn’t have to be activities, doesn’t have to be food, doesn’t have to be care. Absolutely they don’t have to cut corners to still be productive and still be able to give the residents the quality of life they want. It’s not about cutting orders, about where you spend your money right, right, and you know there’s the money of the residents and you know that’s really, really true and and I certainly am thrilled. So in our next segment we’re going to talk a little bit more about quality of life and really what todscide that 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
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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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