Senior Resources » Aging In Place » Time for Care with Beth Deems

Time for Care with Beth Deems

Executive Director Beth Deems of Brookdale at Admiral Heights discusses steps to take that help your senior loved one stay at home longer, and mobility issues to look for, as part of this month’s aging in place conversations.

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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.

And Welcome to answers for elders radio. Everyone, I am here with a very special guest, a wonderful lady that I love dearly, and her name is Beth teams and she is the executive director of Brookdale and Admiral Heights. Welcome to the program bath. Thank you, Suzanne. I’m so happy to be here with you again. You know, I know that everyone is like glued into this aging of place stuff right now, this month, but you know, I think it’s also good that we have some perspective and one of the things that I know a lot about your background is, yes, you’re an executive director of a, you know, an independent living and an assisted living community, but you have this vast background in really understanding mobility and different types of ways in which seniors, you know, can stay safe and move around safely, and so, you know, I wanted to take this time with you and talk a little bit about you know, a lot of families don’t know what to do and I’m sure you’re in a situation where you meet with families, maybe mom or dad feel like they’re not quite ready yet, and so a lot of times families are wanting to know about pulling the trigger. There are a lot of things that you can do in your home as you age to be able to day there. Some of the things include safety issues, making sure you have safe locks, making sure that you have hand rails, that your steps are not covered with moss outside so they’re not slippery. Your hand railings on your porch or very stable and secure. So there are a lot of different things that you can do, but you’ve got to look at the mobility in your house. Is your kitchen accessible, especially if you need to use a walker or a cane? Can you maneuver around the kitchen? Is The acly? Is the oven too low that you can’t reach it to cook things like that? Is the lighting bright enough, because a lot of seniors suffer from low light issues where they can’t see well in low light or they might be developing macular degeneration. Then the bathroom is also a big issue because it’s slippery due to the water in the shower. Do you have handrails in the appropriate place? Is your toilet too low or too high? Do you need a handicap toilet? Can you get up to your shower or your sink with your Walker? There are a lot of things that can be done to make that safe and make it easier for you to do your activities of daily living. The other thing is the kitchen. Are you able to still cook for your self? So many people that we come we see come into us. They’re living off of TV dinners because they can’t have the stamina or the ability to cook for themselves anymore. Right can your senior get out to the grocery store on their own? Do they have to depend on someone else? Do they have neighbors who are home all the time in case there’s an emergency? Is there someone there? Do they also the biggest thing is socialization. It is a huge thing. I don’t know if you know, but socialization actually can lengthen your life. The more contact you have with people, it actually lengthens your life. It makes gives you better quality of life. Most seniors become very isolated, especially as they age. Some of their friends die. They don’t have the ability to get out and make new friends. This can be a huge issue, along with the meals and medication management right taking your meds at the right time on the right days is so important and a lot of them are not able to do that. So those are things to watch for of when it might be time that you need a little extra help. Now you can get help in your home. There is home care. Home care is also very expensive, though. Most home care communities offices charge forty dollars an hour and have a minimum of four hours a day. Right, let them do that’s absolutely true. And, you know, a lot of the things that you’re talking about is as an as a family member, one of the things I always say is watch to see how mom or dad navigate their home. Are they chair walking? Are the hanging on to pieces of furniture? Are they needing a little bit of help to get in, you know, out of a chair? You’re talking about the kitchens. Kitchens huge, you know, if they’re if they’re not necessarily eating well, that’s a big thing. Another thing that I look at and tell families is, you know, as they may feel a little bit, you know, like their mind is starting to go, and those are things you can notice. If bills aren’t being paid, if paperwork is piling up, you know, different things like that. I know that for us, you know, as as professionals, you know what are the cues, though, that we can get family members without going in and saying we’re going to remodel your bathroom, because maybe it’s not necessarily. If you start seeing little things like that where they’re starting to isolate things like that, that’s a I think in my mind, to start thinking, well, maybe it’s time to take that next and I think most families don’t understand how bad furniture walking is. Right it is a recipe for a fall and if your loved one has had a fall and fortunately maybe they haven’t broken anything, falls are an indication that they may need more help at this point and or getting physical therapy in there. Homehild physical therapy can come in and also assist by evaluating the bathroom, the shower, the kitchen and making recommendations. And also when you start to see falls, it’s usually because the senior has is getting weaker, because maybe they’re doing less and they’re getting weaker in one area and if they get physical therapy it can make a lot of difference. It makes a huge so getting that intervention early before something catastrophic happens is so important. So we are talking to Beth teams. She is the executive director of Brookdale in Admiral Heights. Beth tell me a little bit about where exactly you guys are located? We’re located on the corner of California and Admiral Way, so just right when you come over the West Seattle Bridge and up admirable way. So we are right in downtown West Seattle. One of the great things about our community is its walkability. My residence can go out the backdoor and be at bartel’s met market. The Admiral Theater is right across the street. Ender we also have numerous wonderful resident restaurants within walking distance. That’s awesome. That’s awesome and your community is another option for aging a place which is independent and you can actually as your needs progress. You have for assisted living, so tell me a little bit about that progression. So we have independent apartments that you can just basically it’s like renting an apartment, only in a community like ours. When you rent that apartment you also get meals. We have seven to seven dining so you can come down and eat any time between seven am and seven PM. We also do your housekeeping and we also offer laundry, of doing your linen’s and your towels and making your bed once a week. We have activities, we have transportation, so and also it’s safe because we have people there always watching out, whereas when you’re in your own home you don’t have anybody there to assist if there’s an emergency. So we have staff there seven in case anything we’re to happen, even though you’re independent, but there would be somebody there to call nine hundred and twenty one if you fell or things like that. And the residents really love all the activities we have. We take trips, we go to the Casino, we go down to Al Kai Beach, we have bingo exercise every day and one of my favorite things that I started is we have volleyball, chair volleyball. How Fun is that? They love it. They want to do it all the time. Now that’s a great that’s a great so Beth, you know, talking about this whole thing and this this aging and place phenomena, because a lot of people have a perception that moving to independent retirement living, which you’re getting all of these amenities right, is it really expensive, but when you really break it down, it is so economical and and one of the things that I always say is, like, you know, we have a little checklist that I work with families and first thing I say is I throw up on a power point. Do you want to still do these things? One of the things. I have a picture of a senior doing laundry. I have a picture of man working in a wood shop, doing yard work, walking your dog, you know, all of those things that are, you know, home maintenance, washing windows, all the things that you know, house cleaning, different things like that. And Nine Times out of ten people don’t want to do those things anymore. And if you really looking at a house that’s larger, like a lot of times families are hanging onto the family home and it might be a two thousand, two hundred square foot house, it can be too much for senior loved ones and one of the Nice options that you guys really offer is giving you guys, you know, your senior loved ones the ability to live independently, to have their car, to have their pets and all of the things that they can, you know, have at home, and then obviously having it in a situation where they’re supported as their eight is their you know, faculties May, you know, may increase, decrease. Well, let’s face it, as we get older, we do end up having a little bit less energy. Right, do you want to spend all your energy cooking, cleaning at that point when you’re retired, I wouldn’t. I’d want to spend my energy spending time with my loved ones, with friends, going and doing activities, going to movies, and this is a way for you to do that. We have underground parking if you still have your car. We do allow pets. So the seniors, instead of spending all their time doing all those chores that we’ve all done all of our lives, get to spend their time enjoying life. Yes, and that’s so valuable. So, as far as understanding the whole process, let’s say, for example, I’m in a situation where I’m in my home and that I just really feel like, you know, it’s too much for me. Yes, there’s an option of you could go to an over fifty five all independent apartment where you’re cooking your own meals. But obviously there’s the option of going in independently to Brookdale, and so obviously you guys have a program that is specifically for that kind of senior it. Wait, I understand. Is that correct? Yes, we have the independent living so you could come in independently. You would get all those things free Wi fi, basic cable, water, electric, the rent for your apartment, food meals, everyday activities, transportation and then, if you got to the point where you need a little more help, then we would put you on assisted living where we could help with medications, showers, dressing, anything that you need. So, Beth, how do we reach you? You can reach me at Brookdale Admiral Heights. We are at twenty three, twenty six California Avenue southwest and our phone numbers two thousand and six nine, three eight, three nine six four, and you’re available at www dot brookdalecom. Thanks so much for coming in and sharing with US stuff. Thank you, Suzanne.


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Originally published April 14, 2018

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