Kelley Smith from CarePartners Senior Living talks about how a family will know when the time is right to consider moving a senior loved one into an assisted living situation.
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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 back everyone to answers for elders radio. And I am here back again with Kelly Smith from care partners living. And Kelly, I’m so thrilled to have you be a part of our program and not only that, but to sponsor the show today, because you guys are so amazing and wonderful and what you do, and you know, I know for me I’m getting calls. A lot of you know I’m concerned about my loved one, but I don’t know specifically what to do during this time of pandemic. And I think one of the things that I emphasize is there’s probably no safer time in the world to move someone into assist a living than it is right now, because things are so meticulously done, even more so like hyper not that it’s not not always being done that way, but these are protocols that you’ve always had in place, but they’re just ramped up even higher right now. So I’d like to talk a little bit to with you today. Of you know, how does the family know when the time is right for someone to move into an assistive living type situation? When would somebody feel it was right? I feel think there’s you know, your loved one. But for me, when I get asked that question a lot of times it’s first of all, is mom isolating, and not just because of Covid? Is Mom isolating because she’s scared that our friends are going to find out she slipping? She she’s not keeping up with conversations. Is She also not not socializing, even on zoom meetings and things like that, because she can’t keep up with normal conversations anymore, as our hygiene slips have? Have you noticed, after spending some time with her during this time of the year, that things aren’t right? And it’s not, you know, nobody wants to take mom away from her home. Come on, we don’t want to do that. But is there something something going on where she needs more supportive care and it’s not me always making help things? Is there gate change to the point that you’re just waiting? You just know, Dang it right, he’s going to fold. And she got up twenty five hundred square foot house, but you and your siblings are noticing that they’re only using five hundred square feet of that house because there, they can’t really use the rest of it. Have you noticed that their health is really declining because they just can’t keep up anymore? What’s going on as that house become a burden instead of a jewel? What are some things that are going on? And and again, is your health failing because you’re trying to take care of your own family and mom and dad. Sometimes our obligations to take care of the people we love we think is meaning we have to do the work, and what it really is is that we have to make sure they’re well cared for so that we can go back to being your family. Not always be not always an easy conversation, but but there’s signs and and you know better than anyone whether that’s normal. Is that normal things my mom to be doing or boom, maybe not well, and I always say if I would have known then what I know now, I would have done thinks so much different with my own mother when I was a caregiver, and one of the things that I learned, as as I got to know more, is it was harder for her to adjust to assist a living because we waited so long and a lot of her faculties were already gone. She didn’t, wasn’t able to adjust as easily is she probably would it if she would have had more of her faculties about her. And again, I waited way too long because I was trying to honor what she said. But really, what was the underlying thing of what she was saying? She was afraid of the unknown. She was afraid, you know, there was fear because the only thing that she actually, quote unquote, knew was the fact that she was she knew that she was, you know, failing, but she didn’t the only thing was familiar to her was her home. So she hung on, and I think that’s a really common thing with our seniors is they think that, because they don’t know what’s in the future and they don’t know that life could be so much better, they tend to hang onto what’s familiar because it’s out of fear, and I think one of the things that we as family members could do is how to alleviate that with talking about how life would improve for them and really to know that they’re going to have their their same furniture there, they’re going to be able to have food that they love, they’re not going to have the work of and the upkeep of home and the things that you know, maybe you know, hindrance to them in their quality of life, and those are some things. I think that important. I think the other big factor so many seniors are afraid they have to give up their beloved pet. They do not. They can bring their pets with them, and so there’s so many things, I think that we oftentimes don’t realize are. What are those underlying fears? Don’t you think that’s true, Kelly? Well, it is, because, let’s be honest, why do we not do half of the things we know we probably should do? It’s care HMM right, and I’ve heard so many times from families. Well, my dad knows he should be I talked to a family this weekend. That the first time we talked to him as a year ago. And Yeah, Dad want to come to our community, but the reason he didn’t come last year is because he was scared to death. He knew he’s going to move into our community and we’re going to pretty much how time and we’re going to tell him what to do all the time. And because, again, you got to remember, to the generation we’re dealing with their twenty or twenty, thirty years older than us, and they’re also thinking about what they’re grandparents and parents moved into, and they were nursing homes. They didn’t have what we’ve got today. So of course their fear is their fears is based on their own experiences. So I don’t blame them in nervous about it, right, and so you got to be got into account. All they remember are those hallways lined with wheelchairs and people pretty much waiting to die. So they don’t know that today’s version of assisted living is actually kind of cool. They’re they’re they’re trained chefs with awesome food and very, very happy, happy people. And you know what I mean. You know caregivers who actually fall in love with the residents nursing me in all their days off, because I can’t stop thinking about me. What I’m worried about you activities directors who are constantly looking things up online to find ways to beat the system. So, Kelly, I know what you’re saying about this whole thing. Of You know, they develop this relationship with the with the providers, and I think one of the beautiful things about having a community and being involved in a community you know sooner rather than later, is the fact that when they have more of their mental faculties, they have the ability to develop relationships with the staff much better, and I think that’s one of the the key issues in making it as successful transition is getting to know the staff, and I of course, certain wouldn’t you say that that’s true? I do. I agree a hundred percent and certainly I know that for you know, like for my mom, when my mom was was when I was taking care of my own mom, you know, as her dementia progressed, it’s interested. Her story is kind of unique. I think I’ve told this story to you before. As she started to lose her faculties, both of her parents were from Sweden and they spoke nothing but Sweden, Swedish in the home. It didn’t really speak much English until she went to elementary school. What was interesting as as her dementia progressed, she didn’t speak sweetish throughout her adult life. Right, she spoke English because we lived here. But as her mind started to slip away, guess what came back in Hoo into her dialect. She started to speak sweetest. Yeah, isn’t that amazing? Man. Also, I love, I know and I love because here’s my mother. She has these wonderful care providers and she was in a nursing home at this point, but they were all she was speaking sweetish to them and they were learning Swedish back. And so I have this wonderful caregiver that I remember, would you come and take care of her, and his name was denny and he was Filipino and he would say to her, you know, she’d say, Oh, talks good, a hub Danny, which was was thank you so much, and he learned to say it and he was just giggled. They were tickled to be able to speak some Swedish with her and I taught luckily I know enough Swedish that I could. I could, you know, get the gist of what she was saying, right. But but mom, it’s interesting how the mind works and certainly a she not had that time earlier to be able to develop that relationship and develop those connections, it was much easier than to have a higher quality of life because she had that. Had We waited until she, you know, couldn’t speak English anymore, it would have been much more difficult. Right. Well, and I learned a long time ago that with the mania residents, language is only a barrier to the person trying to take care of them, should they choose for it to be a barrier. We’ve never allowed it, and I need to be a barrier anyway, because we know that’s one of the first things that goes with dementia anyhow. So I don’t you don’t laugh in a way of laughing at our residence. I want to make sure that’s very clear, but you have to laugh when you see those moments when you go God, I love what I do. We had a rest. No one would, no one would take her. She went back to her native her native tongue, very much like your mom, but it was a tongue that nobody spoke. It was a very I got think wasn’t Veryan. It was something you nobody speaks anymore. Yeah, no one will take her. Are Our very dear friend who was a social worker up there. We love our social workers, but again, biggest heart in the world calls US and since killing, nobody’ll take her. But first she’s also as no money and and no one’ll take her. The language barrier. So of course our nurse goes up there and, Lo and behold, knows what to do with dementia. You got to find other ways to communicate and music. We found that music is what worked with this lovely, lovely woman, and he did with us until she passed away. But the joy what I found whenever I got to go into our community dirt mill creek was watching those caregivers and the love on their face when they got this lovely woman by the hand and got the music going and saying to her and and the look on her face. There was a connection there, even though there was no language. So you figure it out, don’t you? Whenever there’s love there’s a connection, so you got to find it right. Let’s in our next segment, talk a little bit about assisted living. What is what can somebody experience when they go and live in a vine your park community? What did the different types of program and so, Kelly, how do we reach you before then? Is somebody interested? Care Partners how what is your website? Care Partners livingcom Nice and easy and Kelly bleet will be right back right after this. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. To contact care partners living, go 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.
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