New statistics show one in three senior deaths are related to dementia and Alzheimer’s. A lot of people are noticing memory issues with their parents, or they see challenges like leaving the stove on, and they’re concerned. This is a good time to reach out to a community like Patriot’s Glen. A conversation with Kathleen Beers at Careage about Memory Care.
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This is a special presentation of answers for elders with carriage and welcome back to answers for elder’s radio everyone on this beautiful Saturday. I am here with three lovely ladies from Patriots Glenn in Bellevue Washington. Mrs Roth on step, she is the health and wellness director, Kathleen Beers, who is the outgoing community relations director, and I’m so glad I get to meet you, Kathleen, before you go off and retirement. I’m so jealous, and Wendy Davis, her success for successor I should say, and I’m so glad you were able to join it us as well. So thank you, ladies, welcome to the program thanks for having US you. I we in a previous interview. We talked about just generalities and retirement living, but I think one of the things that Patriots Glenn really does well is the whole your whole expertise and memory care. And there’s, you know, the new statistics. I heard just most recently we had Mr Bob Leroy the sea, the executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, on the program not too long ago and he shared with me that one out of every three deaths of seniors today our dementia and Alzheimer’s related, and that is overwhelming. And some of the statistics he gave me were just blew my mind of where we’re going with the it’s almost it’s literally an epidemic with families, and so I know there’s a lot of families out there that we’re probably listening to this program right now and thinking about. You know, mom or dad are having a little bit of memory issues. They’re having some challenges, you know, leaving the stubble on and forgetting to turn it off, or you know, they might be at home or start, you know, repeating themselves, you know, three or four times in short term memory and and they’re concerned and you know, this is the kind of time to reach out to a community like Patriots Glen. And so, Sir off, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about as the health and wellness director of Patriots Glenn, what do you find is kind of that turning point when it’s time to look at a little bit more of a skilled living situation for someone with dementia? Well, for me it’s if they’re not eating, if there’s a higher risk for falls, MMMM also if you communicate with them and they just don’t remember that conversation right. And so if we’re talking about memory care, what we like to do at Patriots Glen is we’re going to join that residence journey. That’s what they call it. And so instead of, let’s say a resident comes to us and they’re saying, Oh, I see my husband or, you know, a love one here in this room, instead of trying to orient them to reality, what we’re going to do is ask them more questions about that individual, what they used to do or what do they remember about that individual, so that we’re joining their journey and making it a pleasant environment well, and it’s also, you know, meeting them where they are, which is so valuable. And I know that. You know, long term memory is often the thing that hangs on the longest. So they’ll remember things that happen fifty years ago, yes, but and you know, I noticed that with my mom, she would tell all these stories from long time ago and the older she got and the more pronounced her dementia God, the more she kind of reserted back to her early days. And the amazing things about dementia Alzheimer’s. I always tell this story is my mom grew up the first five six years of her life speaking nothing but Swedish. At her broth of her parents were Swedish immigrants. Right she went to school, she finally learned to speak English in school, but and she kind of left her Swedish behind. But it was interesting as her dementia got more pronounced, guess which language came out more Swedish. It wasn’t that amazing. So I I am really fascinated by, you know, the mind of someone that has dementia, because there’s so many layers to a brain and understanding to have that kind of special expertise. You know, I’m curious if your family today, what are some things you can do to kind of support or communicate with someone that has dimension in Alzheimer’s? So, as what I was saying, if they’re telling you that they see something or they’re making a statement and it might be false, don’t argue. Just ask them more questions about it, because you don’t want this person to become irritated right or agitated, and that can occur. I learned that one the hard way with my mom. Yeah, yes, when another thing is as music and photographs, those just touch a cord with them. I like to say those Aha moments because I’ve seen through music they’ll revert back. Someone who’s very non verbal will all of a sudden start singing words to every single song. You know, it’s fascinating. It in a bud door open it that they’ve made in music. I know that. I heard it’s this true. Like somebody says, you bring music that they used to love, like when you’re talking about but for example, if they loved, you know, the song my way, but it had to it was sung by Frank Sinatra, you can’t bring in like Harry Connex version. Is that correct? It has to be the old way. Yeah, HMM, that is interesting. So it’s really about connecting with those you know, those synopsis or whatever they call in the brain that really, you know, can help help them understand. And I know what about. Like one of the things that I kind of learned as a family caregiver is to instead of saying, you know, we need to go to the store, what you do is say, mom, when we go to the store today, how bad if we do a or be, which would you like to do? So you do a different choice about something that’s like do you want to stop and get gasps first? Or do you want to go to lunch first? What would you like to do? Then it gives them the ability to think that they have a choice, but they’re still going to the store. I mean it’s does that. So what you’re saying is we want to limit their options because I there’s confusion there, and so giving them, like what you’re saying, to choices. Yes, and also, you know, when you go back to redirecting, we don’t want to do that too. And so that’s why the statements instead of asking do you want to do this, because someone who’s confused us, their answer might always always know, let’s go do this. Yeah, they’re going to say yes, yes, exactly. It’s all about, you know, the framework and it’s about understanding. You know that they need also a sense of self pride and a sense of, you know, their own dignity, and I think that’s something that’s so important when your skill professionals that can have a love. You know your loved one and you know in their resonance that they understand how to keep that dignity and that respect going, and I think that’s so valuable and I do see that. I see sometimes, you know, the role reversal or before you were the child and now your parents. The way the communication occurs is you’re talking to them like they’re their child. That’s and so that’s not okay. And so to what’s great about the staff is we’re teaching families to on how to Conney with the residents right and, as I always say, keep the respect turned on no matter what. And that’s the key. That and you will never, never parent your parent as true. So, so we are talking to Sarath and Kathleen and Wendy from Patriots Glenn. Ladies, tell me a little bit about where you’re located. When did you want it dared, Kathleen? Sure, we’re located in the Lake Hills neighborhood of Bellevue. Were so convenient off interstate ninety on a hundred and forty eight street. We’re just down from Bellevue College and Robins Wood Park. That’s wonderful. And how tell me a little bit about you. Know, your your community overall is you have a memory care unit. How many residents do you have in your memory care? You Do? Our secure memory care is eighteen residents and our assisted living as fifty four. We’re just a perfect size. Yes, because someone not dementia, it’s not too large. It’s easy for them to navigate the community and learn the community quickly. A nice thing too, is someone with dementia, many times we’re able to keep them in assisted living, maybe forever right as we do offer wander guards in our community so we if they get close to a door it starts to beat, we can redirect and send them on a different journey in the building. That’s awesome. And so when we’re talking about like in a memory care unit or situation, I’m assuming your residents all have their own apartments. Tell me a little bit about what they’re living situations like they do? They have we we have lovely apartments, both in in our memory care we have some shared apartments, but we also have private apartments as well, private studios, and then and assisted living. We offer a studio, three different sizes of studios as well as when bedroom apartments. That’s great. That’s great. And so obviously you serve three meals a day. Tell me a little bit about your meal service. Lecious, Yummy. We are so unique in that we’ve had the same chef in the community since the building opened in one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight. That’s amazing. So and he’s very creative the meal. The menu changes every week so the resident gets a lot of choice in the families love the food. They come and eat with the resume. Absolutely so, yeah, that was something I used to love to do, is is spend time and please everyone. If you have a parent in skilled care of some sort, whether it’s retirement living or what, go join them from meal, you know, sit down and have lunch and most of the communities out there they actually have private dining rooms where you can actually go in and bring your family and have a wonderful meal together and share special occasions. And you know, I know that I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to just experience so much of what your industry has to offer. So it’s really great. MMM. So, as far as your company, carriage, we work a lot with carriage and and I know that you have especially down in your Dupont location at patriots landing, you serve a lot of specific needs towards veterans. Is that I’m assuming the same for Patriots Glen? Is that correct? Not As many, just because of the location of Patriots Lean being in Du Pont. Right, but but we do. We have a lot of veterans that do move to Patriots Glen. Uh Huh. Yes, well, that’s great. And then, of course, Patriots Glen being in Bellevue, you guys have a wonderful outreach also connection to your respite community are, excuse me, your Rehab Community, mission healthcare. So you have the ability to serve seniors really pretty much once they need specialized care, all the way to the end of their life. Absolutely, we’re a full continuum of care. So just like you’ve heard the term CCRC right, we are. We are just not on one campus. That’s amazing. Yeah, so we can take care of every every need. That a senior house. So how do we reach you can reach us at our direct number, four to five, three and seven, three, one, six one. Our website is www dot patriots glencom. Sarath, Kathleen and Wendy, thank you so much for being on the program today. Thank you. This has been a special presentation of answers for elders with carriage. For more information for carriage, go to CARRIAGECOM. That’s SAR agecom.
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, 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 embarked 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. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, 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.