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Sherry's Journey, Part 2
When it's time to change where your parents live
My dad is a great guy. I know he’s my dad, but he makes friends with everyone he meets. People love him. He’s a storyteller, and he makes them laugh. It makes me sad that all he does now is talk about my mom. He’s losing sleep, he’s not eating right, and he’s starting to lose his patience mental fortitude with her. He said to me, “I hate talking about this stuff, but I need to talk to somebody sane. I’m a happy guy. I want to talk about fun stuff.”
My littlest sister (ha, she’s 41) and I thought it would be good for them to move closer to us, since we both live in Raleigh. Dad had talked for years about living in a camper or on a cruise ship, but now the scene was different. He’s afraid mom would be upset by unfamiliar surroundings. He says all of his doctors are there in Myrtle Beach. He has a network of trustworthy people. With us, he has us. And if my sister relocates (as she has dozens of times), then it’s just me. So, now moving is out of the question.
He doesn’t want to be separated from mom. He doesn’t want her to be afraid. They will have been married 55 years this December. He says she’s his best friend, especially on days when she’s lucid. He mentioned a local retirement community. Finally, a break in the clouds.
In seeking help for my dad, I never realized how many levels there were for retirement:
Conventional Retirement living
1. Active adult retirement living – usually deeded real estate (patio home, town home, terrace home, garden home, condo, etc) with care-free maintenance, sometimes amenities
2. Senior-Friendly Apartments – rental property with care-free maintenance and amenities (pool, golf, fitness center, classes, etc)
3. Independent Living – usually apts, condo, or garden homes with care-free maintenance and services like social programs, transportation services, organized outings, shopping, and limited med services. Emergency pull cords, 1st floor accessibility, meals, housekeeping, laundry
4. Assisted living – community setting offers daily living help like bathing, grooming, dressing, meals, and housekeeping. They are regulated.
5. Continuing care/Transition care – campus environment offering progressive levels of care as the need arises from independent to skilled, allows them to “age in place” and not have to change facilities
6. Memory care – working specifically w/those w/dementia, in communities or residence with secured units to prevent wandering
7. Nursing/skilled care –acute short/long term care in a specialized manner like a hospital
1. Companion care – non-medical in home daily living, meal prep, light housekeeping, errands, shopping, personal grooming
2. Licensed Home care/In-home clinical care/home health care – above plus physical & speech therapies, wound care, infusion and med mgmt.
3. Rehab services – above and ALL therapies to restore health and mobility, short or long-term basis
4. Hospice & Pallative – quality of life, pain relief, mange emotional and spiritual issues for life-limiting or non-responsive illnesses, home or facility
I also found out about Respite care – places that offer temp or short term, usually 2-30 days to let caregiver have a break from daily responsibilities. In addition, there are adult daycare centers. In general, there are three main types of adult day care centers:
• those that focus primarily on social interaction
• those that provide medical care
• those dedicated to Alzheimer’s care
Many of these facilities are affiliated with other organizations, including home care agencies, skilled nursing facilities, medical centers, or other senior service providers. The average participant in this type of program is a 76-year-old female who lives with a spouse, adult children, or other family or friends. About 50 percent of these individuals have some form of cognitive impairment and more than half require assistance with at least two daily living activities. Generally, a care recipient can benefit from adult day care because:
• It allows him or her to stay in his or her community while the caregiver goes to work
• It gives him or her a break from the caregiver
• It provides needed social interaction
• It provides greater structure to his or her daily activities
Social activities in adult day care centers can include: Crafts, Cooking, Exercise Field trips, Games, Gardening, Holiday parties, Music therapy, Pet therapy, Relaxation techniques
**Check-a-roony – sounds like the adult day care is just what we need.
Now, how do we pay for it?
Sherry Robertson is HR Director & Vice President of IGO Insurance Agency, Inc. Read more about Sherry.
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