Q. What may indicate it’s time to start looking for care?
A. It never feels like a good time to start looking into assisted living for a loved one, especially with all the emotions that often times get the best of us. With over a decade of helping families find the right care for their loved ones, a few clear signs come up time and time again. Unfortunately, some of the signs are not so apparent such as frequent falls indicating poor balance, not eating or skipping meals or forgetting to take their medication. Another sign is not drinking enough water, resulting in dehydration and frequent urinary tract infections. Simply put, it’s time to consider care for your loved one when activities of daily living are being affected and/or neglected. Often times it’s easy to say a loved one is doing well and may just be needing help with a few things, but in reality, it’s the few things they are missing that play a big role in a seniors aging process. It is best to be pro-active and start observing the signs early rather than waiting for an incident to happen. This mindset makes a world of difference in the over-all aging process of a senior and allows for as pleasant and stress-free experience as possible for the family.

Q. How do I prioritize what’s most important for my loved one’s care needs?
A. All too often, families are faced with having to help a loved one with their care needs and realize they are actually working harder at pleasing the senior in need of care. That’s not to say we shouldn’t attempt in doing both! The challenge is that preferences tend to be the focus instead of the quality and care of the senior 24/7. For example, an elderly person may not want to leave their home which is understandable and perfectly fine if their care needs are available, affordable and reliable 24/7. However, if any of the aforementioned falls short, another care approach much be considered so that all the needs are being met day in and day out. Now having said that, it is understandable just how very difficult this must be for the senior and the family involved. Yet, in my expert opinion, seniors haven’t gotten to their beautiful age without overcoming life’s many challenges. This just may need to be viewed as another one of life’s many changes that we must make. I’m a firm believer that aging with dignity is a better way to go than resisting the process which unfortunately we can’t change and/or reverse…despite how much we love trying.

Q. From so many care options out there, how do you choose the one that’s BEST for you or a loved one?
A. I love the many care options we have today, as we are all created equal just not the same…and thank God for that! Once you’ve seen the signs that care is needed, take the time to prioritize what’s care needs are truly important. From there, you can start looking to see what care options meet your or your loved one’s specialized needs. Once you start looking for care, make sure you’re clear on what the long-term plan is. Are you needing just a little in-home care or respite care until needs increase? Or are you wanting to find a long-term solution such as an Assisted Living home or facility from which they would never have to move again? Change is hard enough when we’re young, so let’s not make it harder on our seniors by having them move into an independent living for 1-2 years and as their needs increase and are now really not feeling well enough to move again and again. Rather than keep moving to get the care you need, how nice would it be to have the care you need adjust to your ever-changing needs! So, in the spirit of AGING WITH DIGNITY which I’m a firm believer in…consider all your options and create a clear picture of what you’d like your or loved one’s journey to look like. This will help you find the place that offers what’s most important to you! Maybe you’ve traveled the world and were always on the go…a large resort-like care setting might be the place for you. Maybe you’d love to sleep-in mornings, be served breakfast made-to-order on the terrace in your robe and listen to the birds chirping and fountain trickling… there’s a personalized / tailored care option for you!
Once you know what’s important for you or your loved one, your quest will be much easier. Your questions, tours, reviews and overall feel will line-up with what matters most…YOU!