Working with seniors in their 70s or 80s who are considering downsizing to senior living. The thought of moving is unpleasant, especially for people who have lived in their home for a generation or move. Pauline Smith, executive director of Encore Communities at Laurel Cove in Shoreline, Washington joins Suzanne to talk about how Laurel Cove helps. With the senior, they help brainstorm through the process, they have community partners who help with downsizing, estate sales, packing, moving, which helps a lot. Respite stays are available so all people have to do is pack a suitcase.
Encore Communities at Laurel Cove is located at 17201 15th Ave NE, Shoreline, WA 98155. Learn more at https://encorecommunities.com/laurel-cove or call 206-364-9336.
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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 is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider heard on the answers for elders radio show and welcome back every anti strash which radio network. And we are here with Pauline Smith, who’s the executive director of Laurel Cove. And Laurel Cove is a community again in shoreline here just north of Seattle. and Um, pauline, you’re the executive director of this community. But you have Laurel Cove is you know, in the kids AP peninsula, you’re you’re kind of all over the place here in puget sound and Um, we’re just so glad to have you guys on board. Um. And we talked in our first segment a little bit about you know, what it’s like to just think about making that that shift and and coming up with what are the reasons to make a move. And I think that that’s important because I think we all reach a certain point where sometimes it’s you’ve got to make to change, but when it’s your choice, it’s a lot easier. On the other hand, Pauline, I’m sure I know for me, I even now to me, for me to think about moving out of my house, it’s overwhelming to think about and I can’t even imagine somebody that’s in there, you know, seventies or eighties being in a situation where they have mobility issues things like that, where they can’t do what they used to do, and it can be sometimes very overwhelming. How do you guys work with Um Seniors like that? So, I think for most people, as you were mentioning, just the thought of moving is not pleasant now, and certainly for people that have lived in their home for four fifty six years. Um. So I think one of the things we try to do is help them to brainstorm that process. We have great community partners that do everything from downsizing to estate sales, to packing to moving, so those are all ISS options Um, and I think that really helps a lot. Um. The other thing that I did mention briefly in our last segment was about respite stays. So sometimes when there’s an urgent meat to make a move and the concept of like packing and all of that just seems so daunting, someone can come in and stay, which gives them a window of fourteen to thirty days that we provide all the basics of furnishing those types of things, so all they really have to do is pack a suitcase and come and say, which allows for some planning um by family members and those partners that I mentioned to kind of make that process. But I think even more importantly it’s really just to listen and talk to them about what concerns them about some of that or because a lot of times they think they can’t bring their belongings and that’s absolutely not true. We really truly want whatever it is that they want to bring and make it their home. Yeah, that’s their home and hopefully for the rest of their life. We want those pictures and those favorite pieces of furniture and all those types of things to come. Um. We work very hard to connect them right away with someone that would be kind of a buddy, you know about we try to make it really fun and find out there’s favorite interests in things that help them in that adjustment process, because it is it’s a very for everyone. It’s a very tough adjustment. But I think this can help believiate physical part of the move and then the emotional parts, and then generally it takes a little bit of time to adjustice. I won’t lie and instantly wonderful Um, but but um, it becomes a new home with new friends and people that care about them. And I think people are so isolated that end of their life that their world becomes quite small anyway, and so we actually in some aspects are actually broadening their life and making it so much brighter that theydy I have heard multiple times in my many years, you know, wow, I really should have done this a little earlier, because I would have are you here to go on the outings and the shopping trips and the mariners games and all the somethings that we do exactly and you know, I think one of the things that you know, when they don’t want to burden their children and they and so oftentimes, you know, I, you know, with my mom, when I had, you know, was faced to having the conversation with her, she got very defensive with me because not because she was in denial about the fact that she couldn’t live by herself anymore, but she didn’t want to put a burden on me as a child. And I think sometimes talking to a professional like you, you know, and having that conversation saying there are resources that you can use it you don’t have to burn your children. You know, there’s people that can help move you. And that’s the thing that I think that’s really important about this process is that you’re not alone, and it’s in it certainly can there’s a their types of things that can happen. So when Pauline, what do you find usually what was happening when somebody moves into a community? Um? How long is a typical adjustment period? And that I would say for a system living an independent it can be pretty quick a month or two. I would stay. With memory care, it can take a little longer, um because there’s just so much confusion involved and Um, so it does take a bit longer. But I would say most people within a very brief amount of time, um, realized that this it’s not really as bad as they thought it was. Good. Yeah, yeah, I say that things is when a family member tours and they’re stressed out and we’re asking, like about their loved one of those parents, or what do they enjoy. They’ll make these comments like, well, they used to like to do this, or they used to like to do that, but they wouldn’t do that anymore. And then in they move their loved one in and then you see them like my mom, you never in her room and I think she’s doing all those wonderful fun things you never thought you’d do, and that is that’s a joy, and you know, that’s what makes the whole Um reward of what you do, you know, all the best when you see people thriving, which they are. And I always say, you know, if there’s one piece of advice that I can give to a family that’s looking for a place to live, it’s the fact that look in the smiles of people’s faces. If there’s one thing that you’re going to tour place, it’s see how happy the residents are, because I think what you’ll see is you’ll see a common theme, is it if the community is great, you’ll see camaraderie, you’ll see people interacting with each other, and Um, you know that. I think it’s one of the really cool things about Um. You know, a community like yours that brings that kind of joy to people and that is invested in the happiness of the people that lived there. So you know, you truly are a hospitality organization with with you know, assistance, and I think sometimes we forget about that piece. You know, if people think right away that senior living is all about you know, gloom and doom and you go there to die, and that isn’t what happens. It’s quite the opposite, and I think that’s the really cool thing about it. So as far as um you know, moving, when they say when’s a good time, obviously you know, sooner the better in most cases if somebody’s thinking about it. Obviously there’s factors that go into play. But when when we talk about that, what would you say, is a good time in somebody’s life to really start making that change? Well, I think typically, like I kind of briefly mentioned before, I think people wait too long. I think they typically wait until there’s a pretty traumatic incidents of all a break agast of their spouse, those types of things. So I really think that if you if you know that that that’s probably in the future, and not put it off to start making those mans if possible, if you’re taking care of a loved one or helping a lot, do those respites get some used to the idea, the concepts of that kind of a living style that it isn’t do bad. It’s not the general you know when Onlyam Florid Hospital mindset that most seniors have about senior living right and let them experience it, voting events for your that your local community is having, so that you can see that they’re lively and fun and vibrant. I like to tell the dorm rooms for seniors, you know, we’re fun. Yeah, yeah. And I also love the fact what you say is just show up with your suitcase, you know, maybe it’s maybe it’s go spend a week there and see what you think, you know, just to kind of take in the culture of a community. And I think that’s the thing that is the most important. Nobody wants to just shove you away and close the door. That’s never gonna happen in a million years, but it’s going to open up a whole new, wonderful world for you. And I think that’s the key with all of this is as you’re you’re thinking about it, for a senior loved one, if they’re sitting there alone day after day, you know, watching TV, you know that’s not healthy. It’s not a good situation for their lifestyle and for their mental health. It can decline them and I and that’s something that we’re finding more and more since the pandemic, even more so than we thought. And so certainly having that kind of an ability to connect with others and to be in a situation why you still have most of your faculties is really an important part of that process. When’t you agree? I agree. We actually have people that have made friendship that will last the rest of their life because that didn’t have you know, their bounced me and die and their family was far away, and so they’re just a joy just to see the difference of their personality and when the first and that was just amazing. So yes, I think the sooner, the sooner that the concept starts getting part of life. Yeah. And I and I’m just throwing one thing too. I know when I put my mom and assisted living, it was traumatic for me as a person. And so families that are out there that are going through this process, they’re dealing with guilt trips. They’re guilt dealing with, you know, preconceived ideas of what senior living used to be. I know I went through the same tapes in my head and a thinking, oh, I have to be there every day. And I was going there when my mom first moved into senior living. I was going every day to go see her until somebody put took me aside and said Um, Suzanne I don’t want you to come home for a week, come back here for a week. Your mom needs to adjust to this community, and she will, but you have to allow her to do that. And as long as you’re hanging on every day, she’s she’s you know, got one foot out the door, you know. So that was something that was really good for me, and it allowed me to watch her blossom in this community, you know, which I never would have experienced had I not done that. So that was something a little side note that I learned along the way. It’s absolutely true. We give that memory care, it really becomes like they’re expecting to go home every day. Yeah, yeah, exactly, artist with me. So how do we reach you, pollen? Absolutely we can look up Laurel coast through our website on poor communities dot com or called directly to the community at two Oh six three six four nine three three six and for everyone, Laurel cold is in the shoreline area of North Seattle, North King County, and they’re in a beautiful location. And I’m sure you guys give tours, come for lunch, whatever. And Pauline and I were going to be right back right after this. Answers for elders radio show with Suzanne Newman. Hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcasts like this to help you find qualified senior care experts in areas of financial, legal, health and wellness, and living options. Learn about our radio show, receive promotional discounts, and meet our experts by clicking on the banner to join the Senior Advocate Network at answers for elders radio DOT com. Now there is one place to find the answers for elders
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Originally published October 09, 2022