Suzanne joins direct of nursing Melanie Caoagas for the grand opening weekend at Vineyard Park of Covington in Covington, WA.
Melanie oversees the physical health and wellness of the residents: giving them medications, keeping communications with doctors and families, customizing their care plans, and keeping residents informed. The community’s assisted living options offer personalized assistance, supportive services and compassionate care in a professionally managed, carefully designed, retirement community setting. It’s for seniors who can no longer live on their own, but don’t need 24-hour, complex medical supervision. They have a move-in special: if you move in during August, your deposit is waived.
Learn more about Vineyard Park of Covington on their website or call 253-480-7050.
View Episode Transcript
*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 care partners living and answers for elders radio. Welcome everyone to answers for elders radio show and, believe it or not, we are here at a brand new, beautiful community here in Covington, Washington, and that is care partner’s vineyard park senior living and it’s right out on Ash road and we’re here today Um speaking with Melanie Coaugas, and Melanie is the director of Nursing Um at Vineyard Park and Melanie, welcome to the show. Thank you, Melanie. Tell us a little bit about when we talk here about director of nursing, what does that really mean? The director of nursing, excuse me, is Um. You you’re the nurse that oversees the health, the health and wellness of our residence, overseeing the health care aspect of the care Um, where Um giving their medications, making sure that the doctors know what’s going on with their health and and let’s of communication with families, Um and, of course, letting our residents know what’s going on. You know, I remember probably one of the greatest allies that I had and advocates that I had when I was taking care of my mom, was the director of nursing of her facility because, yes, I had interaction with them, the nursing department, because wherever we’d go someplace or our doctor’s appointment, we’d have to get a list of her current medications where, you know, where she’s at. If there was any issue, I would always, you know, call the nurses station Um and but there was also other things like just, you know, I had questions about maybe my mom had a little bruise that wasn’t going away fast enough or something like that. So you guys, you know, are such of an amazing resource for families who have you know, obviously I loved one that maybe in a situation where they’re declining in health and you can help them with bettering their quality of life, and I think that’s this is really what you’re about. It’s about wellness, and I love that you mentioned the wellness side. I call it the wellness clinic. So they could come into our my office next as a clinic, and they could come in and talk to us, check their blood pressure, even if they’re not on our services for assisted living, because we have independent living and assistance right. But Um, we also, you know, see, there’s still our residents, whether they’re kept receiving care from us or not. So when they come in and stop by and say I feel like Um, my blood sugars high. Could you Um, could you check my blood pressure? Could you please check and make recommendations and, Um, you know, ask them to follow up with their physician issue. And if you’re living independently, maybe wake up and you don’t feel so good, you have somebody in the building that can can look in on you and make sure that you’re okay. Or the other side of it is maybe you need to recover from surgery or something like that. You need a respite stay or something like that. You have the ability to have a nursing staff to provide that the respites. Yes, that’s what I love about this community. It’s very helpful for, you know, your families, because you have the caregiver or not provide that respite. Yeah, it’s so important. Well, you know, it’s interesting, Melanie, when you Um, you know, talking to a director of nursing. I know when I was a family member and Um, you know, there was always I had questions. My mom had dementia, Um, and, you know, I will never forget when I would talk to a doctor or something like that, and I would say, you know my mom, she always, never, always remembers things differently than how they happened because it was just her brain right. and Um, it was so great because I remember a director of nursing came to me once and said, Suzanne, at this point in their life the truth is pretty much irrelevant. Let her, your mom, answer. You know, we know what she means, we know how that you are and you don’t have to be sub diligent and don’t have to correct her. And that helped me so much with my help, with my relationship with my mom, because people like you helped me understood, stand a little bit more about what dementia does and how, you know, the brain works and all those things. So I appreciate it having that network that I could rely on as I was caring for her, because she was in a beautiful facility like this, which, by the way, is amazing. So you have an assisted living, um program and an independent living and then across the parking lot you have what’s called the cottages, just so it’s all like one big, I guess, campus, a continuum of care and there’s stay in the same community from independent living as you get older, you know, you may need assisted living and then in dementia or Alzheimer’s May kick in and then you you’re at the cottages. So you’re in this one community. You’re not moving because you know from Um past Um studies for the geriatric population, moving is it’s one of the big depression or causes depression for for our elderlies and then, Um, they die. So yeah, so that’s one of the you know, being in one community, being in one community that they’re Um, they’re familiar with, especially with demensia familiar. It’s so important and having that continuum of the same people that you know every day, that you don’t have to worry about. You know, Um, where my next meal is going to come from, I know what what I like in the kitchen. I know what my favorite foods are. They know you. You don’t have to re teach anybody and I think that’s the beauty of uh what care partners as an organization, Um provides. They know us and we know them. So with being a direct of nursing is I’m customizing their their care plans. So the more I know about the resident, that could put that on their assessment and that helps our caregivers know what type of care to provide. So that’s very helpful. Yes, yes, and I’m sure with if a family is thinking about you know, how do I, Um, properly care for my loved one? There’s a lot of families right now that are taking vacations and maybe seeing senior loved ones that they haven’t seen for a long time and they may be seeing some decline and they don’t necessarily know how to you know, is now the right time to start having these conversations. Um. What I guess, Melanie, if if you were that family member, what would kind of Um? You know, what kind of indicators would you look for that it might be time for some more care, uh, for a for a parent or that’s living alone, Um and they’re falling, or forgetting to take their medications. Um, setting to the stove or for getting to turn it off. Those are big indicators of needing more help or not not being safe at home. Yeah, I always that that’s big or even not evely falling, but I look at are they furniture walking or are they grabbing onto chairs or the walls or things to get from one place to another? That’s that’s a fall risk. And also looking at their home themselves, there their surroundings. Are they in a situation where there’s challenges with stairs? Maybe the bathroom is hard to get in and out? Maybe they’re grooming isn’t as good as it used to be. Um, you know, you’re just seeing these indicators and certainly Um and being a family member, we don’t ever want a senior to leave their house if they don’t need to. That’s the number one but I think that the thing is is that I think we as families forget that there’s so much of a better quality of life being in a community like this because they have all the care around them, but they also can live very independently and they can make new friends and community. Yes, which is so important, and I think one of the things that we talked a little bit about with Um with the pandemic and in the past on the show is how often so many seniors sat alone, isolated, and that has contributed to all kinds of issues today. Um, you know, they’ve lack been lacks on medications. There’s depression that’s going on more so there’s different types of things that and it’s hard for them to kind of come out of the bubble, you know, and in just integrating themselves with the world again. And this can help. This can help so much, absolutely so, um. And as far as you’re we’re sitting here right now in the middle of summer and we’ve got a lot of seniors that are home right now in their homes, Um, and we’ve been having a heat wave here in Seattle, which is unusual. Yeah, yeah, so obviously the heat can affect seniors in a certain way. And and let’s just touch on that a little bit. Um, as a nurse that works with seniors in a geriatric way, what are some key things that we need to make sure that we do to keep them hydrated? I guess the hydrate is the hydrate. Hydrate, hydrate, drink water, any liquids, Um, even even food food that are which like watermelon, strawberries, cucumber letters. You don’t think that’s liquid, but it is. It is. Yes, UM, fruits and vegetables are really good. Fresh fits Sunscreen, so you know, it gets sun turned Um, and when it’s really hot outside it’s better to stay indoors. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely, and also keep in the shade. And I also, you know, think two is make sure that they know how to operate like a little portable air conditioning unit or things like that. Um, sometimes and and they can’t even lift it into a window or make sure that they get it. So if you’re family member, UM, invest in one of those so that you can you can bring some you know, normal, you know, comfortable temperatures and check on them constantly. Yes, yes, and bring over, you know, like you know. I know that. I remember I used to bring my mom. She used to love it to root your floats and she used to love I when I’d kind of visit her in the summertime, I’d always bring stop but the store, grabs ice cream and then, you know, in Root Beer and pop over there and she loved it. So little treats like that are so amazing. And for doing that here because it’s sunny. So we have the Hawaiian Um, the Hawaiian day today. That’s so cool. Doing happy hours, that’s awesome. Get our residents involved. So everyone, make sure you come down to vineyard park in Covington. For those of you. This is a beautiful community and we’re excited to be here today, as with your grand opening, and I know that there’s some specials right now going on Um. So you can actually, if you move in in the month of August, you can get your deposit waved, so that’s really exciting. Please come and check out this beautiful community. If not, if you’re not ready yet, it’s still kind of Nice to know that this this place available. So, Melanie, I’m so glad you were with us today. Thank you for having me. Thank you, and you know what, I’m just glad to meet you and we’re so excited. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. To contact care partners living, go to care partners living dot com.
Listen to More Answers for Elders with Suzanne Newman
Keep an eye out for future Answers for Elders podcasts on the Senior Resource Podcast Network! Thanks for listening, and be sure to keep scrolling for more articles by Suzanne. For more AFE podcasts, visit AnswersforElders.com and subscribe on your favorite platform!
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.
Connect with Suzanne
Visit AFE on the web: https://answersforelders.com/