Culture, Connections and Celebrations: how to communicate and establish rapport. For people who haven’t seen their senior loved one in a while, or feel guilty for not having visited in a while and think perhaps that they shouldn’t go. We all have these feelings, and they can grow and grow in our own minds rather than in reality. Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements talks about having the courage to get over ourselves. Your senior loved one just wants to see you.
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 pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. And Welcome back everyone to answers for alders radio on this weekend before Thanksgiving and obviously the holidays are just like upon us like crazy. It’s just wild how fast this year is gone by for me and Daphne. We are here with her and she’s talking a lot about culture, connections and celebrations, which is our theme from the month of November. So, Daphne, you’ve given us some really great tips about how to communicate and how to establish rapport and this second half of the Hour I want to talk to our listeners that are out there that maybe hasn’t seen their loved one for a while or they might feel guilty because you know you need to go and now it’s been so long, so now you feel like, oh my gosh, I don’t think I better go because I don’t want to deal with it, kind of thing. I mean, I want everybody to know that we all have those feelings and it’s okay to feel that way. They do come and they can kind of grow and grow and grow in our own mind rather than in reality, and so it does take courage to get over ourselves. I’m going to say that, yes, we have to get over ourselves, because really, the person that you are avoiding right now or feeling a little badly about not spending enough time with just wants to see you. HMM, that’s the bottom line. Keep it simple, bad here, simple, back to your original things. I mean, it can be as simple as you know, maybe someone’s add a nursing home, you know long term nursing home, and they’re there and maybe they’ve got a couple of friends and you just stop at, you know, the quick drive through place and pick up three milkshakes or something, because you know that they have some friends that they hang out with in the dining room at this time of the day. And so just be the surprise of bringing three little milkshake small get the smalls, you know, Kinier the better, and just be the gift giver of milkshakes That Day and talk about milkshakes all of a sudden. Oh, I can’t. Yeah, I can just remember the story of when I was a kid that my grandma made these or whatever it was. But have something maybe in your hand that will help make that transition go a little easier and I think to when you’re talking about that is yes, there are family dynamics that have, that we all have, and certainly if you don’t get along with your grandfather or your dad or your mom or there’s issues, I will tell you something, there’s some skills that you can develop that get over that and and certainly it’s about commitment to to really getting over that and it’s working on you. It’s not blaming them, and that’s the thing, I think that’s so important, is so key for all of this. Don’t you think? I absolutely agree with you. Many times when I’m working with families who have a little bit of dysfunction or dissension about subjects, I bring him to the litmus of is this good for mom or dad? Does this affect mom and dad in a positive way? Is this something that we need to discuss because it effects mom or dad? Are we going down the rabbit trail? And in your own thoughts is you can have your own litments that says, is this really what’s most important, or is spending time with my dad more important? You know you bring up and that’s really I tell the story in my book about how I had this really contentious relationship with my mother growing up. I was daddy’s girl and my parents were divorced, so you can only imagine, right, and never got along with her, didn’t ever have anything in common with her and I was totally not like her in any way. They performed, you know, and and it was the biggest challenge for both of us when she was laying there in the hospital, saying that you’re going to I now have to be with your daughter, which I lived in in Lynnwyn, not an Antichordis, and all of a sudden they moved her down there to be with me, and I wasn’t thrilled about her being next to me because I figured she wouldn’t be. Well, surprised she was, and she wasn’t happy about it either because she didn’t want to be with me. But what ended up happening is, I always say it was the greatest privilege of my life to be able to be there for her and we learned to work together. So if we could do it, I believe every family can do it, and I talk to families about that. It’s like, you know, I will tell you right now you when they’re gone, you’re going to have a million regrets about you know, we should have had these conversations. And you know, sometimes when your fit, my mom would say things that would push my buttons. I learned to deal with them. I learned to deal with you know, mom, I’m going to take a break, I’m going to walk around the block for a little while just to disconnect yourself, and that’s okay. You know, the other thing, definitely, I used to do. This is another thing. If she really got made me angry at times and got my button pushed, I was very blessed to have friends that I could call and vent to. You gotta get rid of it. You have to move on and you brought up so many important points. So in that story, yes, and most importantly, just for me, it works. How have a stop gap in your brain, have a sentence. Is this the fight I want to have? Is this the conversation I came over here to have? No, I can redirect this conversation. Hmm, I can redirect this. This is not something we have to talk about again. It’s not going to change and don’t take it personally. Yes, yeah, that’s the key thing. So we are talking again to Daphne Davis from pinnacles senior placements and you are the master at helping families come together, Daphne, and I think that’s really the thing that I think you know, one of the main reasons why do you call Daphnee? Because you all have different mindsets about things. Everybody in a family does, and when you’re dealing with a matriarch or patriarch or the family, everybody, the whole foundation of the family, gets crazy and so obviously, bringing somebody in like you, you can help bridge that absolutely and help that family and with the goal of everybody coming together, which is amazing. Your miracle worker. Well, I’ve been doing this for twenty years and I still love my job. Yes, because I see the outcome, the positive outcome. I have relationships with families that are ongoing with pinnacle. You do have a relationship with your advisor. Your your advisor is there to help you through a lot of the hiccups and then we have success at it. In Calling Pinnacle, our number one goal is that people don’t have to move again, and so we have conversations that are sometimes difficult because we have to look at disease processes with to look at finances, and again you’re trained to understand what that progression could look like. Yes, we don’t have a crystal ball, but we do want to talk about things openly and then you, the family, always make the decisions. Absolutely in calling pinnacle is not locking you into anything. Showing Pinnacle is just having a new person on your team of getting through a new stage of life that maybe brand new to you and not knowing. You know, what does it mean when someone says that this assisted living or we have a license, that you can come in independent living and stay in your apartment because you can transfer to assisted living? Well, as in the industry, we know what that means, but you, the family, may not really know the value of that. Sure, or what are you even talking about? You know, my dad is completely independent. He just needs someplace he doesn’t have to clean the gutters. Yeah, and you know what? What’s so interesting is because we don’t necessarily see our loved ones as often as other siblings or other family members do. So to understand like, for example, if mom or dad has dementia, okay, they can absolutely get themselves up to where they’re crystal clear for a, you know, twenty minutes, for twenty minutes, or for a visit with, you know, with you know, your annual visit or you’re coming from out of town, which is what’s happening a lot. You know, they can get themselves up to do that and then they’re going to turn your as family members, they’re going to look at the person that’s around mom and dad every day saying I don’t know what you’re talking about, mom and dad, or just fine, quote unquote, as a person that comes into the community. Yeah, it happens constantly, and that’s that is really where you need a third party to be able absolutely an education process, because now you’re not only coming with limited information, but you’re coming from a standpoint of your relationship with the people and what you saw growing up and what you think is normal and what you think their highest values are. And they change. And so if you are the loved one that’s coming to visit, you know and you see them three or four times a year or twice a year, whatever it may be, come with a very open mind and, most importantly, can, if I could say, the biggest gift you could give the caregiver, whose local, the sibling or whoever it is, the grandchild, honor what they have to share with you. Amen, honor it. Don’t so much student. Don’t think there’s a hidden agenda. Nobody has a hidden agenda. Right. We want the best for our loved ones. I agree with Suzanne them. You know, we all want to do the best. We have our own stuff that might he just from getting there the easiest path. We Tho. We all want the best. And so, as the visitor, thank them, thank them over and over and honor what they’re doing and try to understand. When someone says, well, I take mom to the doctor’s appointment, know that that is not an easy event. We were talking earlier about honoring routines and knowing how long things happen and where fear comes from and, you know, talking people off the ledge or reminding them, yes, we do need to go to this doctor’s appointment because of this and mom after chat, we’re going to do this. It’s not just going to the doctor’s appointment. It’s not that simple. No, it’s not. And being more mindful of what the capacity is for your loved one and understand that they’re not going to voice things and the way that you think something should be voiced. So my mom would say things out of the blue and I would look at it. How dare you say this to me and then I would realize that she probably didn’t mean it that way. So I learned over time. I’ll come mom, so funny, this is what I thought you just said to me. HMM, and and I just said that to her. You know, mom, you just told me that I’m ugly and I you know, that’s just it’s like, that’s what I heard and I know you didn’t mean it that way, did you? And of course then we laugh. No, honey, I didn’t mean it that way. I’m sorry and I’m a mom. It’s fine, I knew you didn’t mean it, but it’s just kind of funny and all of a sudden I flipped it. I learned to flip that conversation that we would laugh together and then she realized that it wouldn’t stick. It was like Teflon, you know, so true. I mean that’s the not taking things personal. Absolutely remember that things are completely different in different stages of life. I mean we tell the simple stories. If somebody’s learning to walk as a two year old or an eighteen month old or one year old, we don’t chastise them for falling. No, you know, we would never do that. Well, we don’t want to chastise a circle of life does happen. We don’t want to chastise your mom for having a little slower brain and she didn’t get exactly the right intonation or the exact right words, but you had the gift of compassion to let her know that. I’m sure this is different. So dafinitely. Will you come back to the next segment? Absolutely good. The preceding podcast was provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. To contact pinnacles senior placements, go to Pinnacle Senior Placementscom.
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.