“When is the right time?”
You might start to notice little things here and there. Mom’s house isn’t as tidy as it once was. Maybe she fell while trying to use the restroom. Could these little things add up to more, or are they part of the aging process? Does the thought of starting a conversation about “the little things” scare you enough that you sweep them under the rug? Many families tend to overlook little things or find justification for them until they become too big to handle and possibly a crisis.
Key indicators that it may be time to start looking into care options for your loved one.
- The living environment is unsafe due to stairs, bathtubs, and repairs.
- You notice that their medication dosages are not adding up.
- The refrigerator has rotten or expired food.
- The caregiver’s health is compromised from stress and lack of sleep.
- Poor personal hygiene habits. Showers, grooming, and clean clothing are lacking.
- Increase in emotional distress like anxiety, anger, depression.
- Dementia symptoms increase like getting lost outside of the home, physical needs like incontinence, and bathing.
- Driving a vehicle is no longer safe due to accidents or getting lost.
- Increased phone calls for help.
- Financial matters are not taken care of on time.
If you can identify with at least two key indicators, it may be time to start the conversation.
Call us at 816.479.4793 today, and let’s talk!
Having “The Talk”
The first step to having “the talk” is finding the courage to find the right words. Before starting the conversation, write down a list of concerns and use this as a guide. Ask questions that are open-ended and thought provoking.
Here are a few examples of open-ended questions to write down and get the conversation started:
- “Would you feel less stress if you didn’t have to worry about keeping up with the house?”
- “Do you feel lonely living by yourself? Would you feel more comfortable being around other people your age”?
- “Do you worry about being safe in your home alone? What if you fell and you couldn’t reach for help?” (You could point out the signs that you are concerned about- stairs, bathtubs).
Take your time with the conversation. Your loved one needs to feel like their decisions are still theirs to make. To help make the mental shift, point out the positive reasons for the move.
You are there to help guide the process along because you care for them.
After the Talk, What’s next?
Now that you’ve had “the talk,” it is time to start looking at options. There is an abundance of options for senior care. How do you know what the appropriate level of care is, and what is the right “fit” for your loved one?
Start with researching communities in your preferred area if you can talk to others for recommendations that are always an excellent resource to have. Once you have narrowed it down to three or four, call and schedule a tour.
A few tips to follow while taking a tour of a senior living community:
Follow your Intuition: Listen to your intuition. You may see and hear things while touring, but you may also have a feeling about a community.
Observations: Do employees seem happy? Are they smiling and interacting with residents and each other?
Sights and Smells: Does it look and smell clean? Are the walls clean? Paint chipped? Are carpets clean?
Activity: Are there social activities going on? Ask to see a calendar.
Outdoor Space: Is there outdoor space to walk around, or garden?
Ten questions to ask while touring a senior living community:
- What will my loved one’s day be like? Please walk me through a typical diary of a resident. How will they make friends?
- What kind of group activities are there? Do you have a bus to take residents out? Will you take them shopping?
- How about privacy? Can residents lock their doors? Will people come in unannounced?
- Who are the caregivers that help with bathing, dressing, and bathroom assistance? What kind of training have they received? How do they schedule care?
- What is the protocol for an emergency? How do you handle a DNR.? (if you don’t know about this, do research and ask questions)!
- How are meals served? Do they accommodate all dietary restrictions? Are snacks available?
- Do they offer transportation for appointments?
- Do they have an in-house physician?
- Do they have financial requirements?
- What services and amenities are included in the monthly fees? Are care costs included or min addition?
Senior Living Move-In Checklist
It can be hard to imagine moving a lifetime of memories and belongings from a home to an apartment. We encourage our residents to decorate their apartments with their furniture, personal treasures and photographs. With that in mind, we have created a checklist as a guide to help make the move to Norterre as seamless as possible.
- Living Room Furniture
- Sofa or Settee
- Chairs (dependent on floor plan)
- Side table
- TV and console or stand
- Bedroom Furniture
- Bed including linens
- Dishes- a few plates, glasses and silverware
- Small bistro table (dependent on floor plan)
- Picture frames
- Small décor items
- Toothbrush, toothpaste
- Seasonal Clothing
- Casual clothing
- Formal clothing
- Snacks and Beverages
- Favorite snacks
- Favorite beverages
Don’t worry, if you have questions about square footage, floor plans and your loved-ones specific needs, we are here to help!
- Comfortable clothing
- Favorite toiletries (toiletries are provided)
- Family photographs
- Books, iPad for entertainment
- Comfortable clothing
- Books, iPad for entertainment