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 focuses on quality of life: what to expect in a senior living or assisted living community. It’s not what you might think, and there are a lot of preconceived ideas about skilled care. Nothing’s perfect, but if you’re a caregiver and it’s affecting you to where you can’t do it any more, or you’re in a situation where their needs are over your head, you’re not serving them by keeping them at home. They see people get better in assisted living, because they’re getting three home-cooked meals a day, getting their medications on time, there are people around – just having human contact adds to quality of life, rather than being isolated and just seeing your kids now and then. Getting them involved with a community their own age, where there are things happening and things to look forward to, improves their quality of life. 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 network with the wonderful Kelley Smith from care partners living, and we are talking about quality of life and really what to expect in if you go into a senior living or sister living community and or memory care and really what goes on. And I think one of the things that we’ve talked a lot about was just really it’s not like what you think and there’s a lot of myths out there and I would hope that if you have certain preconceived ideas about skilled care with a loved one that you listen to this program because obviously a lot of things you know, it’s not nothing’s perfect. Nothing’s perfect, and but I will tell you this as a family. Number one is, is that a skilled facility? If you are spending time trying to take care of a loved one and it’s affecting your life to the point where you can’t do it anymore or you’re in a situation where a lot of their needs are over your head, you are not serving them by still being at home. I mean, and that’s the thing that I think that I really want to get through to our families that are listening, that are on kind of on the fence. Like you know, I’m concerned about dad or mom or I don’t know what’s going to happen. And yes, there’s a lot of fears. There’s a lot of ways, and we talked this last time about adjusting and what does that look like? So, Kelly, can we go into a little bit more about the quality of life when you’re in a community? And I think that’s so important. What you have to remember to is when you’re thinking about mom and dad at home, okay, let’s just say your mom’s at home, Dad’s no longer with you, moms at home by yourself and you’re worried about our quality of life. HMM, you’re over there every day, you know where, every other day. Help it out. She can’t give up the art anymore. She’s only living in two rooms anyhow. You have to think about, okay, if I put her in helped her pick out a nice assisted living versus are staying in her home, what’s the benefit? Is there a been and I think families again, we talked about some of the things that people are afraid of, but they don’t realize is the quality of life. We see people get better. We see people get absolutely slighted assisted living because now they’re getting three good home cook meals a day. Yep, they’re getting their medications on time, there’s people around, and we also know that just having human contact can add to people’s quality of health. And when they’re whether isolated all the time and their home by themselves all the time, when people they see their kids and they know it stressful. You know it doesn’t. It doesn’t help their their mental state, it doesn’t help their physical health. So getting them involved in a community with people their own age, yeah, or there’s things happening and and things to look forward to. Absolutely. What do you do at home all day if all you do is get up and go from this room to that room to this room to that room to this room and I watch TV and I wait for my kids. Sure, you know, if I I’m afraid to do too much because what if I fall, you know, or whatever their concerns are. It’s like what if they were in a supportive situation where there was also, you know, like we talked about good food, good company, people. You actually find out you have things in common with. Yeah, these aren’t places people go to die, but I think people get these weird ideas in their head. Let’s the last place all ever live. Well, I’m hoping my house is. So should I paint the front door black and just say it’s the end of my life? Knows? Now it’s still home. Yeah, and I think one of the things you’re saying is so true, because what quality of life is it like? My father was perfect example. Of course, this is way before I was in the industry. He sat at home watching TV all day. That’s all he did and and it now I it breaks my heart because he refused, nobody really helped him him, to say, you know, your life is going to be so much better if you get proper care. Now he was fairly independent, you know, until the end of his life, so it wasn’t that. But the whole point that I’m making is is the fact that, you know, quality of life is not sitting home watching tv all day by yourself. It’s not. It’s not. I don’t care who you are and what you do, it’s not a good quality of life. It’s an it’s an it’s a very downward spiral you know, having a sense of purpose. And you know when we talked about the ladies that sold the candy, I mean, can you imagine what a sense of purpose that was for them? Right, but they would put that, that project together, and they did that in the community supported it and the community provided all the candy. Well, they puck candy and bulk. They probably spent, you know, over the year, maybe a couple hundred bucks on on you know, but look what that did and it gave more, like you said, it gave them purpose. And most communities, okay, most communities that I’m aware of in our areas are very cool about stuff like that. Yeah, if you wanted to get a knitting group together that made, you know, hats for premier babies children. Yeah, I can’t tell you how many different different opportunities are out there to get back to the community. And seniors want to feel. They want to feel. Think about this. You’ve lived your whole life, if you’ve had a career, you’ve had family, you’ve had children, you know, you’ve had all these different things happen. Now you’re at a certain age and this, like you said, this is what you do all day. It’s in front of television. Wouldn’t it be nice if you lived in a community where they saw who you were, not where you are today? But who are you? Who are you really? You’re not a hip fracture, you’re not dementia now, you’re not you’re not eighty six with arthritis. That’s not that’s what you have. That’s not who you are. So when you look at these communities, do they really see you and who you are as a person? And when those kind of things happen, candy drives happen. Yes, you know, groups form where people start giving back to the community and doing other things that make them still feel like they’re needed, their important. Most communities will support that absolutely. And and you know, to think about what gives you purpose. And I mean I can’t imagine, you know, and I’m sixty five right now. I’m looking at my my older years, but I can’t imagine. First of all, never retire. They’re going to. I mean, I will never retire, but because I love what I do too much. And but purpose is everything to me. And and I will tell you that if I didn’t have that, how many of our seniors today maybe had such a strong sense of whatever that was? Maybe they were social director, maybe they had a purpose in, you know, a career, or they were a designer and maybe they love to create beautiful place spaces in their home. Whatever that their passions are that they may feel that they can’t do anymore, I know you guys will find the way that they can still experience it in some way, and that’s the thing about having that quality of life that I think is so valuable and so important, even in your memory care. You know, you guys give them an opportunity to fold close or, you know, help in some way that they feel like they’re contributing member of a community. You have to do that. I used to have a gentleman that our milk creek community years ago, these to follow me around with the clipboard when I’d have tours in the building. Oh the clipper I would let families. No one advanced that this was going to happen and they were cool, you know, but he ran businesses for years and it made him feel like he had some purpose. Yes, for these older folks would dementia, you give them some things to do because they need to leash. To have a group of ladies at the Mill Creek community that also shut the table every night for dinner and then they would help the help help the care team clean up after dinner. But they were complaining about it wasn’t free to labor. It wasn’t like that. It was a residence feeling like they would be at home. Yeah, we clear the table together, we laugh and joke, we talked about dinner, we talked about other things while we’re putting things away, and they like that absolutely and and it’s they felt it part of something. Yes, and that’s the thing that I think is so important of how creative you guys get on help making sure that every single resident has that sense of value to the community, that they’re valued for something that they do, that they can feel good about themselves. It’s like when we talk about self esteem. Self esteem is created, in my opinion, by the more and where you feel good about what you do and who you are, and and it’s like, you know, it’s not created out of the blue, but how can you, you know, step out of yourself to do something for someone else or to serve in some way? And that is self esteem. It’s like when you feel accomplishments, when you feel like you’ve done things good for the world. That’s when you can selffalidate yourself. At least that’s for me, obviously, but I know that everybody has a purpose on this world. It’s just it absolutely does, and it’s something that you guys absolutely value. There’s also resident council at most of these communities where you can sign up to do all kinds of things within that. That is so cool, but it’s also a way for the residents to speak. I don’t you know, I used to say all the time, I don’t know what it’s like to live in one of these communities. You’re gonna have to tell me. I got an idea, but I don’t know. So if there’s things that need to be adjusted, things that need to be fixed, you got to talk to us about that. And I remember I didnt comes in. I remember one of the residents I sent you became the president of the council before she passed away. This is the one time, ago, long time ago, in Bothel, that she was like. She took that on and I was so thrilled for her that she did that, that she but again, it gave her purpose, yes, for something to look forward to. It gave her a reason to keep moving, and that’s what people need it. Just because somebody’s getting older doesn’t mean they can’t do the things that they used to do. It might do a little bit slower, HMM, but like, if they like, they used to be an artist, if they like gardening, if they like long walks, if they like a those things they can still be done assisted living. Myths are you’re going to move into a place and everything you ever like to do is gone. That’s where people want to stay in their homes. I don’t want anybody tell me what to do. I don’t want anybody to bother me all the time. Thank you. Yeah, thank you. You know that’s not what they want, right, won’t that noise all the time? They just want to be left alone with with options. And what they don’t really realize is it as system of things. Don’t like that anymore. Now it’s not and it provides the care that just that in the framework. As we’re closing. If you’re in assisted living, you still have your own personal space, you have your autonomy, you have your own furniture, you have your own you know, pictures on the wall. It is a it is your home, but all you have to do is press a button or pick up a phone and somebody’s there to help you, or you have certain things like if you need help with, you know, your Adls, your activities of daily living. That’s really what you’re there for. And obviously different communities charged differently, but usually for the most part it’s on a plateau of your light care, medium or heavy care. There’s different types of programs based on the needs. So you’re not going to pay a lot of money for not getting a lot, is what I’m saying. Is that correct? And I say you did. Yeah, everybody does it a little bit different, but I think that’s kind of how I can say it in a nutshell. Yeah, literally, how do we reach you? The best place to check us out as care partners livingcom you can check out the pictures, you can see all the different communities and I’ll scattered get across. You know, open down I five we are. That’s the best place to check us out. You can even see you a little bit more about the sales team in the emission stage, fabris and everyone. Kelly would be right back right 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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