Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements talks about what to do as a family to support a loved one through this journey. The more lucid and competent your senior loved one is when having the hard conversations and making those hard decisions, the better. Staying independent is important. Call 855-734-1500 if you’d like to consult with Daphne.
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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 Wonderful Daphne Davis from pinnacles senior placements and we didn’t talk about in the last segment about how we just said please call and so first thing we want to do is make sure that we have a number up that for you. And so, Daphne, what is your phone number? How do people reach you? You can reach me the easiest at eight hundred and fifty five, seven, three, four, one, one, five hundred HMM. And if you want to talk to me directly, my extension is one and I am very excited about that because we certainly have so many opportunities and I think you know, building off of the previous segment, you know in these early stages there’s all kinds of considerations and the more you know lucid that your loved one is in, the more it they are competent, the easier it is on the family and also there’s a lot of factors consider obviously there’s we want to stay in the home as long as possible and independent, but likely with Alzheimer’s or dementia or some sort of dementia diagnosis, they’re likely will come a time when they will need more care. Absolutely. That’s it. Staying Independence is really important and I like what you talked about at the very beginning in terms of when the cognition is still there, when they can still process information. Sure that’s the time to have the hard conversations, not to wait until mom or dad doesn’t understand or it quote. Doesn’t matter right, doesn’t matter, because all the information still will grow up, go on that gray matter and it can be retrieved at any time, even when you least expect it. And so having the conversations that and I had to do this with my dad. You know, dad, you have a disease process that is progressive. You’ve done nothing wrong, you didn’t do anything wrong to your body. Something is just not clicking right and so it’s causing you to have a disease of of what we call dementia. I don’t have dementia. Well, I know you have signs of it right now, Dad, and so we want to have the conversation so that we’re prepared and do the things that you want to do through this disease process and that he’s going to push back some more. I mean it’s going to know you know about desire. You’ve told me about in denial. It’s very, very common for a loved one to be angry with you because you bring something up and it’s very, very common for your your loved one, to push back. These are normal reactions. So how often do I get from people? Yeah, I wish my dad would do this, but he refuses some of the yeah, it’s all the time. Yeah, all the time. In my world. I was going to say every single time. That’s the situation and that’s it is. It starts with because you are family and people should be comfortable with their family. But I want to share some really hands on things that you can do that helps that process, and one is just at this is very basic and a lot of you are are going to already know this, but apply it to your situation. Model who you’re talking to. You know if they’re sitting on their edge of the chair, sit on the edge of the chair. If they’re lean back and wide open and all, okay, do the same thing. If their voice pattern is very calm, make sure that yours is very calm. If they’re if it’s a cadence that’s slow, you be slow in your cadence, sure, so that you can put someone else at ease. And as a family member, you need to do these more than not, because you’ve got this big check on your name that says I’m son or daughter or wife or husband, and that automatically makes you in a whole different category when it comes to having these hard conversation. I think the other thing is is that your mother or your father will always be your mother and or your father, and you will always be the daughter or the Sun Right, and the thing that that it. You know, I had to learn and I learned the hard way because I tried to pull the strong arm in the beginning because I didn’t does understand it doesn’t work. That’s why somebody like you, definitely, that can come in, that is a neutral party and say to somebody, no decisions are being made today, we’d just an information post. We’re going to give you all the information, and this helps son or daughter stay the son or daughters, and I can you know that is such a sacred relationship and you know, we’ve talked about this before, about how it absolutely the hair in the back of my neck goes up whenever somebody says the tables are turning or it’s time to parent your parent, because that is so wrong. It is absolutely everything that I go against in this. It’s about respecting that relationship. Might feel like that in practicality, sure, but but the message can’t be that way. And so a part of that also is to say to your loved one, you know, I’ll stick with Dad, that you know dad. Let’s just have this conversation to explore. Yeah, you know, I have I’m not a doctor, you know, I’m just your son and I don’t know anything that’s going on, but I know enough that I think we should at least have the conversations and hopefully it’ll be nothing and I want to learn and I would love to have you sit and learn with me. Yeah, or or. The other thing is is that I’ve used this expression mom you always did right for me as a child and I know that you were an amazing example of now doing right for you and we’re a team here. Where a team, and I’m going to help us do the right thing. And now that was respectful that that also gave her the thing that you know I set the benchmark. I knew, you know. I knew my mom always did right for me in her mind, you know. And so those are the ways in which you can enter that world with respect for your elder especially with your loved one, and making sure that they understand that this comes from a position of love. Absolutely. It’s not pulling any punches, speaking the truth, but doing it with love and gentleness. Yes, in a way that you would want to be spoken to, if you can think about that. Usually what will happen if we get into kind of them? Now we’re not five to seven years from a formal diagnosis, but maybe we’re two or three years from a formal diagnosis, and there’s a lot of times more frustration because there’s no logic in the conversation. Sure now there is irrational hang on to my pride. Now I’m going to fight tooth and nail. I have gotten to the to the place of fight or flight as a person with a disease process, and that makes it harder to even gain reflect again. It is it’s very hard, and that’s where you need to be even more gentle. That says I can feel what’s going on with you, Dad, and I want you to hang on to all of your dignity and all say the words, don’t dance around them. Dad, I’m not here to take anything away from you, mom. I’m here to support you. Dad. You’ve been wise and made good decisions all your life. I want to be your advocate. Yes, that’s why I always use that word. So we are talking again to Daphne Davis from Pinnacle senior placements, and Daphne, you help families through this process. Yeah, tell us a little bit about how you work with families, because I think that’s a real portant piece at this point. Well, it would. It would make my day, my month, my year if I heard from families before they were in crisis. And but I don’t. I hear from people when they’re in crisis mode. And and that’s normal human nature, sure, because we don’t really want to push the envelope until we have to. And so I hear from people when there has to be some kind of change, something traumatic has happened. Ideally, it would be in this two to three year stage that mom and dad might need some more support. Married couple, they’re each other’s right arm. They’re making things work just fine in their house, and so I get invited into the home and I talk about some of the things that are going on from a professionals point of view, not from the center door others point of view, and then it all of a sudden, even though you say exactly the same words I do now, it has credence. Sure, because just because I’m not the daughter. Well, and I think we’ve talked about this before, mother father don’t want to burden their kids. NOPE, they don’t want to talk about things that are uncomfortable, especially if they’re part of the greatest generation. There’s this there’s this area of you don’t talk about feelings, you don’t talk about fear, and fear is always masks with stubbornness. You know, I’m not going to move and yet, or I’m not going to make changes, or I’m not going to bring somebody into my house to provide for me, and you know all the different things that that’s really a mask for fear. It’s fear of the unknown and understanding that somebody like Daphne, you can come in and help to eliminate that fear. There is that piece that they can feel like they can talk to and share those feelings. Isn’t that true. It does happen that way, and when I get invited into the home, I’m very gentle. We’re here gathering information. I’m an information post. You get to ask me any questions that you want. Usually what I get from the person that’s involved with the disease firsthand is well, I don’t see any problems, everything’s fine. And then I’ll say, oh, there’s probably something going on here and it’s not that you’re, you know, making any mistakes or doing something wrong. I’m just constantly reaffirming that they’re they’re right, but we want to be proactive. Sure, and then I might go back to whatever their profession is or, you know, some of the accomplishments in their life and build them up again. You’ve made really good decisions throughout your life and I wouldn’t your family obviously thinks you’re going to continue to make good decisions here. So that’s why I’m here to share my information with you so that you can discern sure if you need to make some changes. So it’s very gentle. And at that point I’m talking about, you know, processes that are happening and I jump right into I’m a pull the bandage off really fast. Don’t just roll it back. I just talked about if it ever comes a point that you need more hope, help in your home or outside of your home. I then talk about options, reaffirming that there’s nothing that’s going to be changing today or tomorrow. Right. We’re just gathering information, you know. That’s the thing. It’s that reassurance that you know whatever can need. They have that relationship with you and I think really is is building that relationship with a family and with the loved one while they’re still caught. There’s cognition. Yes, that’s they feel like they can trust you, and I think that’s the key and all of this is making sure that that you’re there, and I think there’s other things bringing you in is making sure that to you take care of detail hills like estate planning. You know, financial options. What what do I need to predict in the future? You bring up a really good point in terms of making your power of attorneys are always rice and not waiting until there’s a point where someone isn’t where you have to go get the Guardian ship. Yes, Oh, that’s not a good place to be. No, or you know, and there’s different laws that fall into place and there’s a natural order of WHO’s the next power of attorney and share the state of Washington. But it makes life a whole lot easier if you have that already mapped out. Yes, and so, Daphne, how do we reach you? Again? I want to make sure that all of our listeners can call you. So we have two ways. One is a phone number at eight hundred and fifty five, seven, thirty four, one, one five hundred, and then the second way is that you can go to our website at Pinnacle Senior Placementscom and you can read and kind of see a little bit about our philosophy of how we provide our services. We are a company that goes from beginning to end. In our next segment we’ll talk about some of the things. I am very excited and so everyone. Daphne will be right back right after this. 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.