How do you have that initial conversation with a loved one when its time to make a change, and the loved one isn’t necessarily open to the conversation? It’s an awkward time, as it’s a time of change, a time of role reversals. Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements says that it takes a lot of courage to begin the conversation this way: “Let’s look at the future.”
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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 to answers for elders radio. Everyone. We are here on a lovely Saturday Sunday weekend in May and we are here so excited because our first guest today is our sponsor of today’s show, Daphne Davis from Pinnacle senior placements. Daphne, welcome to the program well, thank you, thank you so much. It has been so long since we’ve actually seen you because you kind of took a little break for a while. You’ve been taking care of your own mom. I have been we’ve been doing some downsizing and moving and, Oh gosh, all the things that everybody has to do at some point in their life. Right, right, and obviously I think it’s kind of spurred today’s conversation. No doubt you’ve been having conversations with your own loved ones and and also with families, and so we’re going to start off today by you know, how do you have that initial conversation with a loved one when it’s time to make a change? And sometimes loved one is not necessarily open to those kind of conversations. It’s a it’s a very hard time. Not only is the loved one not open to it, but you as child, or you know, spouse, whoever it may be. It’s an awkward time because it’s the beginning of role reversals or it’s the beginning on taking on new responsibilities. It’s a time of change. Who likes that? None of that is fun. None of it’s fun. So it takes a lot of courage to begin the conversations of let’s just talk about what the future looks like. And a favorite thing that I like to say when I’m working with a family is no decisions are being made today, no decisions are being made tomorrow. We’re just gathering information. It could be something like mom or Dad. I think we need to have a conversation about the future so that we’re not in a panic down the road. You’re doing great now, don’t worry about anything. Nothing has to change today, but can we have a conversation about what this could look like if an accident happens? And that’s what we always talk about. Don’t prepare for what will happen, prepare for what could happen. And and that’s the thing I think that we tend to not necessarily know how to bring up those conversations with our loved one. I know with my mom I had to take her out to dinner one night and she had a couple Martini’s before. It’s often the information a little bit. You know what, whatever works for your family is the best way to do it. But right I can give you some tips in terms of the most important thing is to be direct and to the point and not not to be a passive, aggressive communicator. If it’s kind of like you want to dance a little bit and throw out some ideas and then pull them back, not effective, because that what that will bring up is anxiety. It will bring up with what it what did my daughter really mean? What does Joe, my son mean? You know, it’s you know, and to put anxiety and you make a really valid point. It’s like, I think a lot of us tend to dance around the issue because we’re afraid of the elephant in the room that you know, maybe mom or dad had a car accident. You know you’re starting, as there’s their son or daughter starting to feel you know that there’s time to start having these conversations, and yet you just don’t know how to do it. So you’ll start with some subtlety. That’s right, and the subtleties usually don’t work. I have been helping families for eighteen years and of late, I have to tell you, probably in the last four or five months, the consistent thing that I’m running into is very stressed families and it’s primarily because they didn’t have any conversations about what if or this could happen and they didn’t do it when it was in pressure. Now we’re in the pressure situation. So I encourage people have the conversation that says, you know what, mom if, if an accident happens and you’re out gardening and you just, you know, trip over a rock and you break your ankle, how are we going to deal with that? What will that look like? Start talking about what the options are. How have a professional come in and help you with that conversation. There’s no charge for a professional to come in and help you for a lot of companies, but it’s it’s something that that third party can take away a lot of the anxiety. The third party is the expert. You’re just the daughter or the son and they know who you are intimately. You also know them, and so there’s that possibility of pushing each other’s buttons or thinking about all the things you know about someone for the last forty to fifty years. Allow the professional to come in and kind of help guide that conversation. It’s important to say over and over at least three times in a conversation. Is what I try to do. No decisions are being made, we are just having a conversation to find out what’s important to you. So that brings up, I guess, another aspect to this conversation. I know a lot of families. They wait to have a family meeting, like brother and sister coming to town, and it’s going to be set down like an intervention. That isn’t necessarily, from what you’re saying, the best approach, because it puts them on the spot. Yeah, makes us feel pressure. Yep, it does not have to be formal like that. It could be do just sitting. You know, recently we had mother’s Day. You could have had been out for Brunch or something and just a mom I so enjoy your company and I love being around you and I want to be able to always do the things that give you joy. What kind of things give you joy. That’s the beginning conversation of if they have to move from their home. You’re starting to gather information about. You know, I couldn’t give up sitting on the deck and looking at my geranium baskets or the other coming back from a doctor’s office, you know, appointment. Yeah, it may be. You know, it was really information, good information the doctor and you know, shared with us. That brings up a question for me. Can we talk about this, mom? That’s right, and that would be something really simple that you don’t necessarily have to be the you know, make it a big deal. That’s right, casual conversation. I encourage family members or supporting guardians or whoever it may be powers of attorney, to keep a little journal about those conversations when or if it happens that now we need to implement the information you’ve been gathering over the last couple of years, because it’s been casual. Then you have someplace to start. Sure it’s still is not in stone. I know that sometimes we get locked into but I made your mom the promise, or I heard dad say never move me to yes, and unfortunately none of us have a crystal ball. No, none of us know what the future brings and we do our very best to uphold what the intention of that promise was, what the intention of whatever your dad told you fifteen years ago. Many times, what I’m finding is that’s based in fear. Again, they saw somebody else who had to go through some kind of rehab situation or could no longer live at home, and so they’ve got ideas of that’s not for me, what Uncle Joe had to do. Don’t ever let that happen to me. But things have changed. Things are changed. So we are talking to the Wonderful Daphne Davis from Pinnacle senior placements and definitely how did you fit in this picture? How can you help families? Well, the best way for me to help is to be an information post. Let my phone number be the first place that you can start to gathering information about what do I not know what right I need to know. So I’m an information post and you can reach me at eight fifty five, seven, three, four, one thousand five hundred. I also have a website of Pinnacle Senior Placementscom. It’s an ass at the end, so you can get to me, but I function as let’s have some conversations. You the caller to me who supporting a loved one can ask me anything and I will guide you in the direction that can best support you and your needs that you have. And what areas do you serve? I serve everywhere from Olympia to Marysville, so where it’s a big area. I will say where I’m most gifted is in king and Pierce County. I’m getting pretty good out on the peninsula as well, so I enjoy working out there. Yeah, and when you know that really covers a lot of area and as well, and you know, as far is having those conversations to call you, you can kind of help guide families through, you know, a multitude of aspects. It’s not just about maybe a living situation. It’s you’re going to ask some certain questions that you may not even think about to bring up with your parents. That’s exactly right. It could be things that maybe from a financial point of view. I am not a financial advisor, but I can certainly put you in the direction of other people who I would trust and have vetted over the last eighteen years. It might be some legal aspects and you don’t even know. Should I contact an attorney? Do I need this kind of paperwork and I can listen to your broad story and say, you know what, maybe give this person a call. It could be that we need to start with just some support in the home, within home care. So there’s very, very wide range of information that I can help you with. Again, I’m an information post. Also, my services are completely free to families. There is no charge to families. I’m paid like a realtor, a specialized realtor who is really looking for matching up people and environments and communities of care so that they can be joy filled have a dignified, safe life. And here’s the beauty of that is you might somebody might contact you and not necessarily make a move for a year down the road or to even two years. It doesn’t matter if the fact that you start out in the right way of purpose is going to ease the stress of your senior loved one over time and exactly. And nobody wants to force nobody wants to force somebody into a situation that they’re not right for because it doesn’t work for Your Business, it doesn’t work for your model and and this is a thing I think that a lot of families fear today. They fear that if they pick up the phone, they’re going to get pressured that they have to do something that they don’t want to do. And I will assure all of our listeners out there that there is not a single elder care provider in any aspect that I know of that wants to do that. It is not in their best interest as a business to do that. So that’s one of the things, I think that is really key in this conversation and that, you know families, you need to talk about the elephant in the room and and that means basically find ways. I know in my book I talk about you know, maybe if you’re helping mom do the dishes, say you know, mom, I have memories of these times together and you know I always want to be right by you. It’s just the same kind of thing, is to bring it up softly but with an open heart and, above all, listen. Listen. It’s like you don’t necessarily know the whole thing that your parent is probably dealing with and to listen to their heart and what’s most important to you, and that will kind of help guide families. I think too, that’s exactly right. A question that I use also is mom, what does that mean to you? Because what I say or the jargon that you use may have a completely different connotation to the person you’re speaking to. Absolutely, absolutely, that is so valuable and and of course you’ve been dealing it right now with your own mom, so that’s true. Yeah, so again, definitely, how do we reach you? Get the best way to reach me, and I have my my phone availability all the time, is eight hundred and fifty five, seven thirty four, one thousand five hundred, and that’s two pinnacle senior placements and you’ll call and likely get ahold of you. If not, use also, Joline is your right hand and she’s in your offices as well. Wonderful. And then what’s your website? Our website is www.pinnacle seniorplacements.com and pinnacles with two ends, right and and a celle senior placementscoms. Definitely, I’m so glad you’re back. Me Too. Yes, I’m thrilled. I’m absolutely thrilled. Have a good way. The preceding podcast was provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. To contact pinnacles senior placements, go to PinnacleSeniorPlacementscom.
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.