Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements talks about when the time comes to make changes. Usually it happens at a catastrophic time. Daphne helps facilitate the change to a care community, helps through all the legal aspects, things that you don’t even think about, walking together side by side through the process. How do you tell your loved one that they’re not able to move back home?
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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 with Daphne Davis here from pinnacles senior placements. And this has been an amazing hour and we’re here for our final segment of our hour. And you know, you’ve been so great, Daphne, to give us some guidance along the way. As far as you know, the early stages. How do we deal with, you know, siblings? How we deal with, you know, spouses, with sons and daughters, and you know, in all these preparation times when a loved one house dementia, and now we’re here, obviously there’s got to come of time that we have to make changes and that’s a hard time. It is it’s very hard, and usually that absolute change happens when something catastrophic it’s happened and so it’s already started. Usually someone’s in the hospital, in a Rehab Facility. Rarely does that change happen cold Turkey from someone’s home. It would be nice if we could be proactive and you know on have that happened, but our human nature is just not going to allow that to be. So my job then comes with how do I help facilitate making that change into a care community. I this is probably my favorite time to help families feel like they have someone walking along with them. I will help you in all of the legal pieces, assessments, power of attorney, things that the state requires, I mean things that you don’t even think about, and you’ll get that information as is pertinent to you. But we walk together, side by side through this process. We figure out, well, how are we going to have mom or dad and move now? How do I tell them that they’re not going home? My Dad just said yesterday I can’t wait to get home. You know, mom is talking about seeing her dog and she hasn’t seen her dog because she’s been in the Rehab for you know, x amount of time and she just wants to get home and be with fluffy. I help you know how to make those changes. When there’s something that’s critical, that’s happened, one of the best ways to do that is again remember, never take away someone’s hope. And so this is the next phase of you getting stronger. HMM, we don’t want you to be back in the hospital. I’m sure you don’t want to be back in the hospital, but you know coming back to the Rehab is not an option. Do you agree, Joe? And he’s like yeah, I don’t want to be here. So our next step is, and one of the examples is, let’s say they’re going to an adult family home. We’re going to move to from here. We’re going to move to an adult family home so it’s home like, so that you can get strong and be in a kitchen, in a living room and your own bathroom and your bedroom and figure out how to make things all work around you. Does that make sense, Joe, to get you strong in a home community, but you always have someone there to help you? I but am I going to get to go home? You know what it’s up to go that. That is the goal and it’s up to you and your body and your doctor’s Yep, you know, sometimes our body’s cooperative and sometimes it’s takes a little longer to heal. So that’s one avenue that we go. Or we might say, you know what, this is our next step, just because we’re redoing the house. You know, we’re putting in the TUB that you can walk into. So it’s going to be a shower. Now it’s okay to tell a white lie. It is okay to tell a white lie. Never, ever, ever, take away hope. White lies are okay. Okay. There’s no point in agitating somebody. There’s no point in having them try to be logical when their brain can’t be logical anymore. That that’s an act of futility exactly. Please don’t go down that road. You will only get hate and discontent and behavior. I learned really quick when I was caring for my mom that you don’t correct her. Know, and you know I was very blessed to have a nurse coached me, that it’s okay if they tell if you don’t tell the truth, it’s all right. It’s like, mom, that’s just fine, you know we’re going to do that, or you know, that’s a great idea, that I think we should do that, and just she’ll forget it twenty minutes later then she said it. But I used to make I was so in the minute of wanting to make sure that everything I did was perfect or truthful, truthful or integrity or everything that you you know that I try so hard to be within myself that sometimes I forget that in her world it’s not necessarily know when when you get pushed back, we can get anger or depression or striking out, you know, food strikes, whatever it is. That behavior is usually an unmet need and it’s usually based in fear, like a hundred percent based in fear. And so our job as people around the person with this disease is to try and keep them out of that fear spot as much as possible, and that’s anticipating what their needs are, anticipating how can I uphold their dignity? How can I help them feel normal? How can I help them feel safe and that they’re not making a social faux paw and that they are saying the right things? Because those are the things that that make behaviors happen, which brings on, some people say, more medication, which brings on frustration and exhaustion and no sleep and, oh my gosh, it’s a vicious song and I think to it helps to honor that dignity but also gives them the the impression that they have a choice. Yes, and that is part of that respect factor that, whether it’s a spouse, a parent, a sibling, whatever that is, it’s you know, you know mom, I know we have to go to the doctor today. Right. However, I was thinking we could go to lunch. You want to do that before or after the doctor appointment? Now she she would have said I don’t want to go to the doctor, but to deflect that and say we’re going to go to lunch. Do you want to do that before after? With dementia, that was like, oh, we’re going to go to lunch. Okay, well, I’d like to go before. So then, you know what? So it’s nine o’clock in the morning and you go and have a cup of coffee and a donut or something and you’ve just had lunch. Yeah, you know, and now you go to the doctor’s appointment. That’s exactly right. It’s the art of redirections. It’s the art of being able to respectfully have someone figure out that they’re still in charge. This is a hard word everybody, but we’ve kind of manipulated him into doing what is safe and prudent for them. Exactly. They have to go to the doctor, they have to have a drink of water, they need to take their medicine, it’s time for a shower. It’s been ten days. But you redirect and you do it in a way that they have ownership. Now, that is an exhaust think way of communicating. This goes back to why you would want to have someone come into your home and help you through this, why you would want to look outside of your home for support so that nobody gets exhausted. And that’s when you called Daf knee. Yes, that is and that is what are my options, you know, because I think too, you know, I think we as family members, play tricks on our brain thinking, well, I’ll do it next week, let’s see how things progress, let’s see what happens. And I think one of the things that really emphasizes with you know, with all of us, is the fact that, you know, we all, all of our family members, will have a sense of denial and which we talked about in the very beginning of this hour, right, and I think that denial process can oftentimes be, you know, the the worst case, because it’s never too soon to call you know, and it’s always important to have you as that team members saying, you know, call up definite Daf knee, because dad won’t take a shower. He hasn’t taken a shower in a week and I don’t know what to do. Yep, I might have a second that helps. Yeah, I mean I might have just the magic phrase, who knows? But you need to have a support system. That’s where you can also reach out to the ALZHARMER’s group for caregivers. I mean they might have somebody that can when if there’s twenty four seven helpline. They have support groups, yes, which you can be a part of. There’s all kinds of information on Alez Dot Org that you can certainly find to learn about, you know, memory impairment, how those things affect everyday life and you know, in that realm, you know you are such an amazing partner for families on a one on one but there’s that blanket information that people have that support and you know I am so supportive of the Alzheimer’s Association and what they do for families and you know, even more so to have a daily coach and a support system for not only you, you know, for your loved one, but Daphne, I think you help the families. That’s what I had morse. I do. I the loved one is going to be okay because their world is getting smaller. We just have to figure out how to be in their world so they uphold their dignity and there their their person. It’s the family who struggles because you have all your capacity to think logically and you see that that glimmer of hope. My Gosh, I just had the most amazing conversation with my mom yesterday. She’s not ready to leave. I get that, I know what but she is. Please don’t wait until she doesn’t have that glimmer of logic. Please don’t wait until it makes it hard to be scared adjust to a new community. And, and here’s the other thing that I want to come out with. It at at the point of working with you, and I wish, if there was one person that I would have had on my team, we didn’t know each other yet, was somebody like Daphne’s. When it was time to let go of my mom and when she went to hospice care and I had to make those hard decisions, I didn’t have a coach like you. What would it meant for me to be able to pick the phone up and say, Daphnee, this is a situation, I need to talk through this, I need help, and that’s the piece that you provide and I think that is so important to our families that are struggling with a senior loved one or a spouse or you know anything like that, as to have that rational, professional teammate advocate that is there to help you bring up a really hard decision. You bring up a good time. Two weeks ago I was sitting in a hospital and the hospitalist found us. I was with a family and they needed to go over the post form, the physician’s order of life sustaining treatment, and we’ll talk about that another day, but that’s your directives that are followed her in man’s direct yeah, for what you want to have happened at the end of the year life. And yes, the hospitalist was sitting right there, but the family turned to me and wanted to know what’s the reality of this, and so we were able to talk about each one of those things. What does it mean to withhold or give antibiotics? What does it mean to withhold or have a feeding tube? You know, in a given situation those conversations are really hard to have in the moment. Have them before the moment and be clear. You know, that’s at the beginning more segment. We’ve talked about having those preliminary conversations when mom or dad are still lucid find out what their wishes are. So, Daphne, I want ever, first of all, I want to make sure that we, everybody has your phone number and your contact information. So how do we reach you? For Pinnacle senior placements, that’s eight hundred and fifty five seven and thirty four, one thousand five hundred. That is so great. And, of course, website is pinnacles senior PLACEMENTSCOM. So, Daphne, this has been an amazing our. Thank you so much for being here and sharing your story. And everyone just to emphasize, it is never too early to call Daphne. So please pick up the phone. I promise you it’ll be an amazing thing that you do. Thank you so much. 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.