By Shalane Farrell
When a senior is unhappy with their living situation, moving them over and over is not going to fix the problem. Identifying the problem likely will. As a Care Advisor it is my goal to get to the root of the problem and figure out what the underlying issue is. Why is Ms. Jones so unhappy? Why has she moved in and out of four different retirement communities in just the past year? Are her care needs not being met? What about her social needs? It is my job to be her advocate when it comes to her rights and also determining what she wants and needs in order to thrive.
I first met Ms. Jones several weeks ago, and as I was doing her intake, she became very emotional and cried. I could see that what she really needed was someone to simply listen to her and to be a support system. She has no children, was never married, and is a very independent woman. She felt her life had been turned upside down when she had a fall and consequently was forced to be dependent on others for simple daily activities. Her closest family is a brother and sister that live in New York.
After a three hour meeting, I told her I would get back to her in a few days with some good options where she could possibly move, and that would meet all her needs. She was elated and said she couldn’t wait to see me the following week. She called me shortly after our meeting and told me about her weekend, and was happy she would see me soon for another visit and to discuss her options.
That week we went and toured a few places and she fell in love with one of the communities I had found for her. She described to me how warm and inviting the staff was, how delicious the food was, and how she was impressed with all of the activities that were offered. She especially loved the pool and was determined to use it daily and get stronger.
I decided to go visit Ms. Jones about a month later to see how things were going. She was smiling when she opened her apartment door and she told me how happy she was! She even said “Look, I’m walking with my walker I don’t need my wheelchair anymore!” She said that she had been using the pool daily and was doing ALL of her exercises that her PT wanted her to do. In other words, Ms. Jones is thriving!
This demonstrates the point of the questions identified in the beginning. If people take the time to truly listen, open their eyes and their heart, they can determine an individual’s needs the first time. Our motto at Concierge Care Advisors is “Get it right the first time!”