Pauline Smith, executive director of Encore Communities at Laurel Cove in Shoreline, Washington joins Suzanne to talk about how the community supports families of senior loved ones.
Encore Communities at Laurel Cove is located at 17201 15th Ave NE, Shoreline, WA 98155. Learn more at https://encorecommunities.com/laurel-cove or call 206-364-9336.
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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 is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider heard on the answers for elders radio show. And welcome back everyone. And I can’t believe that this hour has flown by so quickly because I have had the honor and the privilege of speaking with Pauline Smith, who is the executive director of Laurel Cove. It up at shoreline, Washington, and Laurel Cove is an organization community that has independent, assisted and memory care um all grades of pair and certainly that’s a very, very wonderful thing. And Darlene, thank you first of all for being with this this hour. Um. I’ve loved learning all about your community and I’ve loved to learn a little bit more about first I want to talk about your support of how you support families. Absolutely, we talked quite a bit about residents, but you also obviously when you have someone moved into your community and may get their home, their family also becomes your family. And many of them have been through a lot and they’re still grieving that process of losing their spouse or their loved one. You know, unfortunately, especially with memory care, you lose them long before they ever passed away. Through and there’s a lot of grief and loss involved in that Um as well as you know, people feel guilty like they should take them home or they should put their job, and you know, all these different things. And so they just me and support and going through that process the changes that they’re seeing, the changes they may see in the future. Um. I don’t know how many times I’ve had families that I just don’t understand why he doesn’t do this, and because they just don’t understand dementia or or chronic illness. Um. There’s just things that change. And so we created a support group process, so we do that once a month. And then there’s also a wonderful program that I’m a facilitator called the powerful tools for caregivers. And it’s not your licensed caregivers, it’s the caregiver, you know, the home caregiver, the person that’s caring for the one that is now going to assisted living, or is the unpaid family caregiver correct that unpaid person. And it talks about just the resources in the community that are available. It talks about things they may feel and why that’s normal to feel that. It talks about how to take care of yourself and to and it does talk a little bit about when it may be time to get more assistance than they’re getting at home, and all of that is so it’s the six weeks course the really exciting things. We’re holding it at the community. If they are at home taking care of their love with their person hasn’t moved into our community, they can actually bring that person and they can enjoy lunch and have activities and different things. So they’re not feeling like I’m going to go to this profession. You know, this training class it’s six weeks and leave my went at home when I don’t feel comfortable leaving them at home. So they’re writing them along. You don’t have coming up some fun so Um, there’s a starring. There’s that, and then we also do some breeze and lost stuff. Um. Typically unfortunately and insisted living people. We Love them to stay with US till the end of their life, and so obviously people passed away there, which Um, I have now learned as I’ve become in this industry much longer, that we are just so blessed to get to be part of their journey that it’s not necessarily a bad or a sad thing. When I was much younger that was hard to understand, but now we just feel very blessed to be part of that journey. So where we try to be as supportive as possible, someone can stay through the through hospice. We was to several really great hospice partners. We provide support for the families and that Um you know, they can we welcome them. We put out a little goodie bags and baskets and asked them to come and have a meal. Um, you know, anything that we can do to just help them through that process. And a lot of support involved in the process. Also, early on an earlier segment had mentioned how we help partner to get the move to actually happen. So we help every step. If they need us to call and arrange that, we’re happy to help them that way. So we just want to make it such a difficult decision and transition it’s easy as possible. Yeah. Well, and I think the other thing that what you’re saying when you’re when you were telling me about this, I can see so many scenarios that not only benefits to family members but also the residents. Um, you know, how many times do people move into assisted living because they lost a loved one, you know, a partner Um. You know, some of these people have been married for fifty years and then their husband dies and there and usually women outlive the men, so that that’s and they’re left with maybe husband took care of all the finances, husband took care of all the uh how you know, housing issues, and now here’s mom left in a house that she can’t take care of. And I’ve seen so often that scenario. And what happens is I think in many cases is that Um going into a community like yours and having the programs like the grief Um uh program is wonderful for these individuals. It’s helping them in the process. But it’s also when you talked about the buddy system, finding people that they can connect it with, maybe somebody else has lost a spouse that they can come, you know, find some commonality with Um, things in common. It helps them along the process. And to have these kinds of of UM programs within your organization is incredible. I am thrilled to hear about that. How have you found the reception to all this Um I think it’s been really remarkable. I will say that for the most part, our supports tend to be people that do have loved want in memory care. Um. Those that are more independent, not so much. But I think that the fact that they get to connect with us and bond with us on that level, and we really are a big family. I will go to the big family, so they just became part of our family. And so I think they feel that, and I’ve heard that that it’s really it’s helpful to have those people that do understand what they’re going through an easy thing. Yeah, I remember times when I was taking care of my mom and all of a sudden, it just I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, like it was everything on me. And I would sometimes just like stand blank in the kitchen, you know, of my house thinking, you know, and I I just didn’t. I would freeze in the moment, you know, there was too much on me. And I think that is a lot a lot help people sometimes feel they feel like they don’t have the resources, and to be able to have an organization like yours they can reach out to, I think is so key. And for you to come into this Um neighborhood. Now you have Um. You know, you took over an existing organized or you know, existing building. Tell me a little bit about as we close, tell me a little bit about that process. Sure, absolutely so on poor communities that took over a previous building that had been doing similar things that we were doing, although we should not have the memory care, did a huge, beautiful remodels which included adding the memory care, and then very shortly after, of course, the pandemic and everything hits. So we haven’t really done a lot of reinviting our community. So we are hosting all kinds of fun activities between now and the end of the year to welcome people to come and see the remodel and experience that the family that we have created there. So that’s we’re just excited. There’s just all kinds of pieces, everything an October fest to a holiday bazaars to all kinds of something well and you know, just to have those kind of activities to help bridge Um, you know, a loved one or something like that to come to. So, like you’re saying, the holiday bazaar, what a great way to come and experience a community, have some fun October fest, come sit down and and you know, connect with people, have a good time. And that’s really what it’s about. Because communities like yours, like Laurel Carl. You have activities every day, and I you know, I always ask whenever I talked to senior living community, um, so what’s on your activity calendar today? It’s a good question. Yea, yeah, absolutely is. So I’m going to ask you right that, right now, what’s on your activity calendar today? Well today I am actually not right at the community, but so I don’t have one handy. But our typical things daily include some sort of music, some sort of physical activity. We are getting pressed up. We’ve done a mariners game. We do things like the Tulip Festival. I rented a limo and taken a smaller group to the symphony not we do a lot of great and we do regular things like going grocery shopping if they want to go to a store, and things like that as well. So we try to incorporate all the different domains of a person’s life, spirituals. We have different religion of organizations that come as well. We try to address all the different areas emotional, physical, spiritual, all of that well. And on top of that, just just what I’m really excited about is just how connected you are in the shore line community. Because it’s such a great community to be in. I know my mom was in Richmond beach area at the end of her life and certainly Um getting to know that community and and all of that area on shoreline all the way into bottels. You know, it’s just a great area for families. There’s a lot of of history of our Seattle history here. There’s a lot of activities that you guys can obviously introduce them to, and especially around the holidays. I will never forget going so many places are lit up like crazy in toreline. It’s really really fun to go, even tour the Christmas lights and things like that. So there’s all kinds of activities to do when you’re in Um, you know, senior living. So the process is somebody calls and it’s interested in senior living. What, Um, what kind of questions will you ask them? Um, just let me know who they are and what made them think of senior living. What are we looking for in a senior living we want to know a lot about the actual individuals, what their preferences and lifestyle is like, so that we number one, if we’re a good fit, and then how to show them how it was fit for them. Yeah, so welcome, yeah, and I think that’s the key, is that everybody wants to make sure that the people that live there will thrive and and that’s hopefully what the goal is. and Um so I hope that each and every one of you have been a little bit enlightened. Shoreline such a great area, and certainly, Laurel Cove, I’ve got to come and see your community sometime soon. I would love to do that, Darling. And it’s been such a pleasure to have you on the show today. I am so thrilled that you’ve been with us. I hope that, Um you know, our listeners will listen and pick up the phone in the meantime. How do we reach you? Yes, so you can look up Laurel Cove on our on poor communities DOT COM website. You can also email me specifically if you’d like to, which is the Wan Dot Smith at on poor communities DOT COM or call it at two O six three six four nine three six. And if you’re interested in any of the activities that are happening, you can call community or your email you and find out. Because this is a great way everyone to introduce your loved one to a senior living through a fun activity like that, and Darlene, I’m so happy that you were with us. The thank you there in a wonderful time. and to each and every one of you this week it is now October. We look forward to having a great beginning to our fall season. and to each and every one of you until next week, be good to each other. Answers for elders radio show with Suzanne Newman hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcasts like this to help you find qualified senior care experts in areas of financial, legal, health and wellness, and living options. Learn about our radio show, receive promotional discounts, and meet our experts by clicking on the banner to join the Senior Advocate Network at answers for elders radio DOT com. Now there is one place to find the ANSWERS FOR ELDERS MHM
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Originally published October 09, 2022