Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements talks about how to be observant about life changes with our senior loved ones. There may be a time when you see clues in body language or other areas that your loved ones need help, but they don’t know how to ask. Let’s say you visit every other month and you see the mail is now piled up, or there’s now stale food in the fridge, or they’re holding walls and furniture while walking around the house. Those types of clues can indicate that their life patterns have changed.
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 to answers for elders. We are here with Daphne Davis from pinnacles senior placements. Stephanie, I’m so glad you’re back. Me Too, I love coming here. We are here in aging and place month, in April, and April flowers or tulips and all kinds of stuff happening and and it’s spring and of course a lot of people are doing spring cleaning and they’re going to mom and dad’s house. And here you go. And what do you discover when you go? And it’s like, you know, it’s like I know that denial is more than a liver, a river in you just you know, it’s it’s really I think a lot of things that I come across with families is I sometimes cringe in my head when my parent when people will say, Oh yeah, mom and dad, they live in vantage Washington and they’re just fine and I see him every few months, and I’m going like how do you know, number one, that they’re just fine, because you don’t see him very often? And number two, do you really really know that they’re just fine. Are you just saying that because you’re really in denial and you don’t want to deal with it? Am But oftentimes then I’ll hear the story. Wow, I just went to go see my parents and I didn’t realize certain things right, or I think you should do or I should have checked something that I didn’t check. And so, you know, tell us a little bit about you know what happens when you know. How can you be a good watchdog without really being a watchdog? Right? You know, you bring up a really good topic, because things can can creep up on you. I want to add to that little introduction, though. There may be a time when you get subtle clues, verbally or body language, that mom and dad are wanting to ask for a little more help, but they don’t know how to big some going to add that to the list. Okay, so along these lines, let’s say you’re visiting and it’s every two months, you know, because they live away from you, right, and you go and you might see the mail piled up or you might see some not so fresh food in the refrigerator, or you notice that mom is touching the walls as she’s walking down to get furniture walking, furniture walking or touching the corners as she turns into the kitchen from the living room or whatever it is. But those are little subtle things that she’s having to compensate or that something’s being missed. If if something’s out of the ordinary, like my dad never had a pile of mail. He processed the mail all the time and you just kind of casually see that it’s sitting there and probably because dad did take care of it all the time, you’re not going to dig through it. No, that’s his arena and you feel like you’re going to be invading their privacy. So don’t say anything, don’t go there. Or you having conversations and they might go off into a tangent that has nothing to do with what you just talked about and your mind goes well, they just had something important to say and they wanted to get it off their chest, and then you get back to the conversation. Those types of things can be clues that something’s not quite right. It’s very true that the patterns of their normal life have changed, but at the same time mom and dad sound really competent and they’re going to, you know, get all these things done and I’ve got somebody hired to clean the gutters for after the winter. And thankfully they’re saying hired, keyword. Yes, not doing it themselves, but they can. You know, we went to church and we did this and we saw so and so, and so life feels like it’s going just fine. It’s like they’re putting their best foot forward for the world to see, but then the clues of the home are saying a different story. That is so big, Daphne. It is so big because when you start, you mean parents always want to put their best foot forward for the children. Yeah, right, and it’s a big deal. And even if, even with parents that have dementia, there’s something about if when they if they have early stages of dementia, they can get themselves so focused on that visit and put together that they can fake it for a period of an hour too. And so when you go to visit mom or dad and you know, you have lunch and you’re sitting there saying, well, you know, you’ve told sister about this and then sister came to town and sister goes to lunch with mom and doesn’t see anything, any of it. Yeah, yeah, and you go for the local sister who’s there and says all right. It’s like when they go to the doctor’s office, all of a sudden they’re not shuffling right. So that brings up another subject of this whole sleothing that people in your family, their friends will have different relationships and different vantage points. Exactly happens a lot with children, that the adult children can see things differently sometimes. That brings up some old sibling behaviors. You’re so controlling, you always want to take control. Well, you’re just oblivious and when your own little world though and your thing, you’re not paying attention. Very true when you’re having those conversations with your siblings. Might be a good indicator that. I think we should have a little more conversation with mom and dad, and it’s okay to ask. Ask, how’s your appetite? You know, mom, I I you never had leftovers that weren’t good anymore. HMM, oh honey, it’s just so hard to get over there and sometimes, you know, I just don’t have the energy to stand there long enough to get all the stuff out of there. Really, mom, are you is at any particular time of the day or you know, I just want to make sure you’re safe. Oh, it can be kind of everywhere. My legs, you know, Gosh, that arthritis is just getting to me. Well, you’re still staying up right, aren’t you, mom? Well, yeah, yes, Mer, and you hear a little hesitation. It might be a little bit harder for them to navigate around the house and sometimes the last person they’re going to talk to or tell about that is your child. Yes, I remember when my mom was having a heart attack. This is crazy. She used to call me for every little detail, like silly thing. But I show up one day and she goes and all of a sudden her face is just like gray and she’s saying no, I’m having chest pains, I’m going mother, and so immediately I called the nurse and they called the ambulance immediately and she was having a heart attack. Did she call me? Did she call the nurse? Nope, it’s not something about that, something that traumatic. It was going on. But on the other hand, you know, little piddally things can be signs. It can tell you all, yeah, that there’s they’ll talk about it. So sometimes you don’t realize. You know, the really that the indicators that I probably should have paid attention to that I didn’t at the time, and those are the things, I think, that we often do. So let me give you an example. We’ve talked about my mom a couple of times and she just said to me this past Sunday she oh, I really wanted to just stay in Ben’s skip church. My mom never skips church, never, never wants to. I mean never. I can count on it. And so that was just like, oh, mom, how come you know where? You just up late or watch too many movies the night before and she’s now. I just was really feeling sluggish. We’ll just kind of log that in your head right and pay attention. It’s not to say that just because she didn’t want to go to church one day right as a problem, but be intentional about hearing the conversations. Be Intentional about going. Okay, on February such and such or April such and such. This is this, this is what happened. So we are talking again to Daphne Davis from Pinnacle senior placements and Daphne, you work with families. Obviously, when they’re loved one is still aging in place often and preparable. Yes, it is a preferable time because we’re not in crisis. Right. So I’m able to share information, be an information post for families that say here are your options based on your story. I may give you all your options because your story hasn’t done folded yet, right. But you want to know what is going on in the world of elder care, you know, and long term care and housing. I’m a person that you can call or any one of us and our advisors on our team would be able to help you in disseminating that information for you. It’s not anything that says, okay, you called Pinnacle senior placements and now you’re stuck with them for life. Right now. This is a relationship, this is a journey and one of the things that pinnacles senior placements does is that we keep things very unique. People are unique. There’s no cookie cutter that Babytoface facetoface. Nobody fits in one cookie cutter now, and so are combined experiences. Is Probably about twenty six years in our office right now. It’s longer than that. But but we we want to share that information with you and help you make good decisions that are the best for your story. Well then, I think to like what you’re saying is it’s building that relationship and meeting the family to understand all the things that are important. And you know, like you said, there’s no cookie cutter paths for anybody and certainly there’s so many different choices that we may not be aware of or you know, I’m real members a daughter, I didn’t know the things that I needed to know, I didn’t know where to ask to find the answers that I needed to know and I always had that fear of you know, what am I doing and those kind of things. So you guys really are that conduit to help family, are you? We might be having a conversation and in that conversation I discovered that there’s a history of as certain illness or something that moves forward, as progressive, and so I might be able to give you some resources about that. or it could be something as simple as you know, my my dad didn’t get admitted to the hospital here last time he was there and I really thought my dad could have benefited from physical therapy and some occupation therapy, but he didn’t get to go to the Rehab Center, and we can talk about that. You know, if that’s been a pattern. Now I can educate you about how to make sure that can happen well. And even then, if you’re seeing mom or dad chair walking, you can hook them up with home health. That’s right. So it’s really you can have home health at any time. All you have to do is have your doctor prescribe it and you could get physical therapy and some occupational therapy as to stop that, to keep mom or dad more independent longer. It’s exactly right to be able to have range emotion exercises, strength exercises that are specific for them. There are resources. Don’t do this, but yes, and Medicare pays for home and help everyone. So that’s one of the great things that you know, you can really help them identify some services and things available to them that they may not necessarily or, you know, something as simple as as mom or dad is moving into needing some kind of walking aid, m a cane, a walker or a wheelchair, something, whatever it is. Well know what Medicare will pay for won’t pay for it. And as the dig game, I mean I can help you know the basics of how to make good decisions. Every five y’all, share it with you right now. Every five years you can have a walking aid under Medicare. So if you’re needing a walker right now but you’re pretty sure disease processes or arthritis or whatever is happening is going to bring us to a wheelchair some day, pay for the Walker Yourself. Yes, is that cheaper than a wheelchair? Very true, very true. So, Daite, how do we reach you? You reach me at eight hundred and fifty five, seven, three four, one thousand five hundred, and also at our website, which is Pinnacle Senior Placementscom. So glad you. Thank you again. You are so welcome. 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.
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.