Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements talks about preventing injuries with seniors, and helping you senior loved one’s future in their everyday life. How do you prepare them for changes that could come to honor their dignity and include them in the conversation.
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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 pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. And Welcome back everyone to answers for elders radio and we are here with Daphne Davis from Pinnacle senior placements and, of course, Daphne, you have been really a wonderful resource for families that are going through the early process, but you also have been involved in scenarios where maybe the families involved because they’re kind of not really things aren’t going well in a community of care or situation. I would love to talk a little bit about you know, how can you know, how can families work within a community to fix challenges? What are your thoughts on that right now? What’s going on? You know, it’s happening that I’m getting more phone calls about my mom or dad just doesn’t seem to be happy, and it’s usually when a spouses of widow or widower and there by themselves, and you know, it’s just they’ve had to make a change and life marches on. Whether we have a pandemic or not, we still have to support life patterns, life journeys, and so sometimes people have, you know, embarked on this journey of finding additional support for their loved one and it’s not going as well as they thought it would go, or people aren’t transitioning as easy as they thought they would transition, and it’s not any vault of any one person. It’s the time that we’re in. So first of all, let me just say you didn’t make a buying mistake, you didn’t make a wrong decision. You know if you’re the family supporting someone or if you’re the senior, you yourselves. Please don’t spend any time beating yourself up. This is a very unique time period for having senior care and housing and we need to just work together. My first tip would be be honest with the people around you. Let people know how you’re feeling. I had a beautiful conversation yesterday with a woman and she was struggling to express how she was feeling and she lives in assisted living building and she has her own apartment and she’s fairly independent. Needs a little bit of support, but as though working with her, I could see the sadness come across her face. We run a zoom call and she was struggling to find the words and through her daughter’s and through myself and another pinnacle person, we were able to help her find the words to describe how she was feeling and I want to share this with people because I think this might be happening to to a lot of people, where you feel like you’re living in an institution and that the humanity has left. And so there are very obvious reasons why those feelings might be there. You could be in your own home, you could be in an assistant living, you could be an independent living, you could be in a cottage, you know, within a community, you could be in an adult family home. It doesn’t matter where you are. But because of the lack of socialization right now in a free way. We’re getting better at doing it, but in a free, spontaneous, organic way, things can feel lonely, things can feel so stutionalized, and so we really need to pay attention to that with our loved ones if we’re the person that’s kind of their contact person. The stations, I think if you if you preface them, that says, mom, I’m just wanting to make sure everything’s going okay. I’ve seen some changes correctly. If I’m wrong, very likely I am. But have you been feeling some of these feelings. I know I am. I’m feeling alone, I’m feeling isolated. Some days I even so angry, but I just can’t go out for a walk, you know, without a mask. You know things, things are okay to talk about with compassion, with honestly, with empathy and and remembering that if you use your eye sentences, people will generally not get as defensive. Talk about your own story and invite people to to apply it to themselves. So this conversation in terms of how do we fix this situation? Let’s make an assumption that things are going in this direction, that people are feeling lonely. And you know, I’m tired of pushing the elevator button, I’m tired of looking at the same walls, I’m tired of having my meals by myself, I’m tired of having to think about six feet apart. I mean, he’s a real struggles that people are having and after, you know, seven eight months of this, we’re wearing. So how do you and I’m going to I’m going to add to on top of that, especially in communities, these amazing heroes that are healthcare workers. They have been, you know, they may not be as nice as they normally are because their stressed to the match and they may not realize that’s trying to come acrost, or they may be short staff working on a double shift or, you know, a million things can go on within a community and I know that. You know, with everything that’s happening within our industry right now, there’s a lot of overwhelmed and they have, you know, the workers there are. You know, we don’t say thank you enough to the people that are, I on the frontline caring for our loved ones and I know for me, I think about, you know, how many times that we, you know, talk to our providers and things like that and and realize that we’re all trying to get through this together and they’re part of this. They have fear to and their their compounded fear not only for their own safety, but they’re also afraid of passing anything onto a senior or resident would kill them because in many cases they are, you know, those residents are their family to this is people that they care for every day and so obviously to have some grace and some understanding for the staff so that, you know, again we can begin to start to bridge the humanity back. Sometimes those are you know can be done through a care conference. You zoom call things like that. A family can certainly request those types of conversations. Is that correct? Absolutely. It is a process and you bring up really good points of the compassion. So I when you looking at how do I fix these situations, the first thing I want to suggest people is try very hard to not vent with the people who are caregiving. Find another place to vent. Your girlfriend, you know, the buddy there, buddy that you go golfing with, somebody else so that you can get all of these pent up emotions out to someone who can just listen. Because our providers are executive directors, the activity directors, the MED text they’re getting bombarded all the time with people’s frustration and feel very right they can’t leave a lot of the changes anymore, and so if you can find somebody outside of your care providers, your support system for your loved ones, that would be very helpful. The second piece sent as you’re approaching the community of care, that people who have influence over your loved ones life approach them just like you said, Susan, with grace. Remember that they are frustrated. To we are, you know, and some of us can even be getting to the place of anger. That just as like we got to be done with this. We have to be done, but we’re not yet, and so we have to know no, put our put our hearts of love on again, find that deep within ourselves. Hopefully we don’t run out of that, that love just in our profession, but can carry it to our families. I mean, it’s a very big ripple effect. So if all of us are keenly aware that this is just not about us right now, but what is about the collective, we all affect the other, that’s a good place to start and having these conversations now. I would recommend reaching out to whoever your primary contact is and having a simple phone call. Just say, have you seen the difference in my mom? This is what I’m hearing. Her voice doesn’t sound, you know, coming when I talk to her anymore. She actually sounds tired. Has Anybody noticed a leeping because, remember, families can’t go into the community. I are they don’t get to lay eyes on people like they used to. They don’t get to be a part of the care plan anymore, and so when you have that removed from you, as a way for you to be able to help your parents and now you don’t get to have your own eyes on someone that can cause them panic, especially if there’s any kind of cognition challenges. Even the mild is the cognission challenges, and someone can alter the reality of two thousand and twenty to the reality of wherever that person is. And so now you, the daughter or son, have to weed through what is real and not real. How challenging. So everybody, giving yourself grace, take a deep breath, have simple conversations, keep a log right down the things that you see. Make a date by it, time of day. You might be able to help find a pattern in how someone’s Day unfolds. And I also think what you’re saying is it’s really valuable to, when you’re keeping that log is, say, you know, recognize the good things. You know. Maybe Warmer Dad said, you know when I had a great meal the other night or anything like that. That would be on the positive side, because the good thing is is when you talk to the community of care or anything like that, it’s important to bring up the good things to that way they’re part of the team and you’re bringing them in towards a solutional process and and certainly to just go in and do nothing but complaining. I know we’re all on edge right now, but we all are and everybody’s doing the best that can with with what they got to work with right now, and so, you know, having grace for all of us right now is so vitally important. Yeah, along that same line, I’ve got my detective hat on right now. When you find that positive, and for all the reasons you just said are exactly appropriate, but that positive also might be something that we can turn to. Let’s say someone said there, they found it up. Let’s do they found it happy. They went on and on and on about the Apple Pie. Maybe that’s something that we put in their care plan, that if someone’s having a bad day, pull out the apple pie for this person. Amos make the difference. I mean the detective here, things not for just what’s on the surface, but here things of how can I help my mom enjoy that? How can I help my dad have another good day? For whatever reason he’s having a good day today. Maybe it was the day the right people got to play pool together. You know, they kept reas bee apart. Someone pull the backs on the pool table, somebody has their turn. Maybe that’s what happened. Log Get in your brain. Maybe it’s something that you know. There was too much activity that day, or maybe it was the elevator wasn’t working properly and everybody had to wait for the elevator. Then we know, Oh waw, I’d be crappy too. It’s just yeah, we’ll dientimate. It’s not a pattern. That is of the things that you can think about, right. And how do we reach you? You reach me at eight hundred and fifty five, seven, three four one one, fiveteen hundred and you have seven people on our pinical team now to be able to help you. So reaching as an eight hundred and fifty five, seven, three four one, five hundred, you you’d do get me or Joe Lyne First, and then we have a team of people that can help you as well well, and doubt it’s going to be right back. Right up to this we talked more a little bit about conversations with mom and dad regarding care. 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.
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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.