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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 everyone to answers for elder’s radio. And I am so excited what a great week it’s is in Seattle. We finally had some sunshine this last week, which was really amazing after what was the like forty or fifty days of rain or some crazy thing that we had. So, anyway, if you’re like me and are wonderful listeners out there, you’re starting to see spring emerge and you know, it’s a breath of fresh air to kind of see that. And we have a breath of fresh air in our studio today because one of our favorite people in the world are here, Kelly Smith. Thank you, Frankie. Are Partners Senior living is here. Kelly, thank you so much for being on the show today. And you know, we have been this month of February talking about seniors health and wellness. Yeah, and we’ve kind of been through the Gammat of talking about different types of health aspects that I wanted to save kind of the best part for last. Okay, when we talk about senior living. Yeah, you know, I I do think Kelly, in many cases still we have listeners out there that think of senior living like a nursing home from twenty years ago. They will be honest that that’s all a lot of people remember. HMMMM. And yet it is, it exists, senior living and actually improves quality of life. And so I wanted to take all day today, this whole show, and I would like to talk to you a little bit about what that means in a an environment, in senior living, okay, and how we can talk about it. And so first, Kelly, I would love to talk a little bit about just general seniors health concerns. Sure, like what are some things that you look for in health care? A lot of times, when we’re talking about seniors and their health, what families come to US and they’re concerned about our full risk and their homes. Yeah, nutrition, mom and dad aren’t eating right. We’re really worried about very, very common medication concerns. They’re not taking their medications on time or not at all, or overdose, O overdozen. Oh, dad took his blood product, Prussian medication, three times in one day and then not for the rest of the week. To hear those kind of stories. Socialization, that quit hanging out with their friends because they don’t drive at night anymore. That isolation, isolation, pression, you know, depression, those kinds of things. That’s still seem to be the top concerns that families have for their loved ones as they age. You know, Kelly, you say that and I always tell families if you’re asking the question, is it time, it probably is. Yeah, because here’s the thing that I think a lot of us, as adult children, we feel like when we number one, don’t want to pry into our our parents. You know life, we don’t. We avoid confrontation, just difficult conversations, and so what happens is is that we tend to hold back or or this big old denial factor is written across our forehead. We really don’t see things as they see and I think a lot of times, especially that the adult child that’s there from day to day, they may not notice little things happening, like a sibling that may come to visit a couple times a year and then they’ll see this dramatic shift and they’ll look at like what, and the world is going on with mom or Dadd is that? Do you find that that happens quite a bit, and then you wind up the siblings arguing, because you how dare you say that? You Know Mom and dad are slipping. And, let’s be honest, if you’ve had a strong like, for example, in my family, my dad, my dad’s always been a rock star. Yeah, do anything. Yeah, you need your roof fixed, your car, fix something, you got a question about anything, we go to Dad Because, yeah, Dad has the answer. Yeah, well, Superman loses is Cape and those kids get scared. Okay, and we’ve always looked to dad for everything. My Mom’s in the hospital, we want to know how things are going, we look to dad. Okay, he kind of sets the pace for how US kids feel about a lot of things. Well, when your parents get older, they get a little bit frail. The kids get scared, right because, first of all they don’t want anyone else to see their parents like that, right. They also don’t want him to be embarrassed. You know, his respect and dignity is a big issue, and a lot of times parents don’t want to share where their kids what’s really going on behind the scenes because they consider that their business. So you got a lot of aspects there. Well, Kelly, I think the other thing that happens, which is really let’s just flip it the other way. Maybe daughter that’s there every day sees dad and mom slipping a little bit. So then daughter talks to her siblings and says, Oh, well, when you come up to visit next week, I want you to pay attention. Well, mom and dad sometimes can rise to the occasion for a day or two. Right, you bet, can’t? We all? Yes, and so then that the argument happens on the other side of mom and dad’s just fine. I don’t understand what you’re talking about. Right. Why are you right? Why are you making this big deal? Dad’s fine. Yeah, so there’s that piece. So it no wonder. It’s difficult, I’m times, for families to come together, to to really understand when you know what are the bench marks and and so you know just really what would you say, Kelly, would be that you know the red lights. For me, the red lights are again over medicating, under medicating. If your parents really cannot get the medication straight, that should tell you there’s other things that are going on that you’re not seeing. Okay, everyone has science experiments in the refrigerator. You know you’re going to you’re going to miss those from time to time and not get things cleaned out. That’s right. Necessarily falls on a regular basis. That’s that’s scary. At that point you need to take a look as the house too big. Are there some other things going on? And sometimes that can also be medication related, right, okay, and isolations a big one. If they’re not, if mom is hold up in that house and she won’t let people in and she’s not going out, you need to look at why. Okay, that’s a really, really big flag. Is She losing a lot of weight? Is there some weight issues, or is she not eating right? Exactly now, you tend to kind of go you know, when you go in and look at mom’s refrigerator or whatever and see the same things are there and haven’t been consumed, that’s a that’s a concern. It is a concern now again. I know for a fact a lot of times when you’ve been married forever and your spouse is gone, in the hospital, for example, and you check your kids, you eat today, Dad, yeah, and what he really ate was, you know, three pickles and you know, a handful of cashews, because he’s like Cook for himself. Well, that’s fine, but if you go over there and cook for him and then he’s still not eating something wrong, because it depression what’s happening there, and that’s when the kids really do need to have a family conference and just say hey, how are things going, or aren’t they eating the right kinds of things? Well, that’s it, you know, it’s like. I know that. You know we as families a lot of times, if mom or dad are still at home, it’s great to maybe create some healthy soup and put it in a zip black bag and sticket in the freezer, you beat, and that way, you know, when mom or dad need to eat something, all they have to do is take that packet and throw it in the microwave and Bingo you’ve got a bowl of suit which is a really nourishing and it’s got vegetables in it and all that stuff. So I always say those are kind of staples that if you have a loved one that’s still at home that’s not eating right, but maybe not to that stuff. These are things that you could do. And if you don’t make soups, get him from a restaurant or, you know, order them online. You can get all different kinds of things that. I’m just the grocery store the other day and there’s some really great healthy options in a can that are easy to open. So we there’s lots of options out there to get some good, nutritious things into the house right. But again, you need to find out what kind of things your folks like that they will actually eat. I know putting Kaol and my mom and dad’s refrigerator is not going to be an option. Now they’re not going to eat it, they don’t like it, they’re not going to ask. Okay, and that’s okay, but you got to find things that make sense. Getting their house bull of food that they’ll never eat and then being mad at them for not eating is kind of counter counter into. Sure it doesn’t make sense, sir so, but again it’s it’s is it? Is it an opinion or is it a fact? If MOM’s falling, that’s a fact, right. If she’s not eating the food you cooked for her, well, maybe that’s an opinion. So you really need to take a look at are they safe at home or is it because you’re frustrated that they’re not doing things the way you want them to? Write right, that’s a little bit of a difference as well. So we are taking again to Kelly Smith, who’s a vice president of sales and marketing for care partners senior living and we are so honored to have care partners on this program because they do things. You guys do things for assisted living, to help seniors independent living if they and and what I love about care partners living programs is that the fact that you can start independent. Yep, move into where you if you need help, you’ve got help for assist a living. Yeah, and if you have dementia or Alzheimer’s or one of your spouse, let’s say, you can still stay together. Yes, ma’am, we are. We actually had trademark last year the bonded pairs program. See, that’s some import so incredibly proud of that. Who Do we think we are, that we’re going to separate anyone who wants to to stay together? Exactly. It’s just wrong. I’m sorry, but it’s wrong. You keep those people together. It takes them both happy right, plus it saves them a lot of money and it’s just the right thing to do with the end of the day. Huge and you know realistically, and and talking about you know when is the right time and what are the things. I’m just going to bring up one thing before we before we go to the next segment, and that’s the indications of Furniture Walk Walking. Yeah, I have seen where if Marm or dad needs either a walker to get around the house and they’re still at home or Kane Kane, sometimes it’s okay. But if they’re hanging on a furniture, if they’re having a hard time getting out of the chair, those are indicators that number one, they could use some physical therapy to help get them some strengthening. There you go. And but the other thing is is it may be at the point where they need a little bit better environment that supports them and their home may not be the right place. And again, and is the house too big and they got the home they’ve been in for forty five years. They raised you guys in right, but they’re only living in two rooms, right. How many times have you seen that? Or they never go upstairs, or that couch that they’re sitting on is the same couch they’ve had for the last twenty years and those cushions are shot. I knew of a senior her whose bathroom was upstairs and she couldn’t go up there and so it all she did was there. They had a she had a half bath downstairs. She would do sponge baths and she said that those were just fine. Well, that’s going on. No, no, no, you need but but again, are we looking at the big picture right? Why are things happening and what’s the real story? Yes, sometimes it’s just a matter of buying mom a new couch. Sometimes it’s a different supportive environment. But again, you also have to have a conversation with mom. You can’t just come in and start ripping her house uppont now. You got to talk to you about what, mom, why are you guys only living into parts of the house? So, on our next segment, everyone, Kelly is going to come right back and we’re going to talk about so when mom transfers to assisted living or and help, what does that mean? Yep, and what kind of support will mom get? So, right after this, Kelly will be right back. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders. Radio to contact care partners living co 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.