By Nori Patnode, Certified Concierge Care Advisor
Although I have helped many families move their parent or parents into an Adult Family Home, Memory Care, or Assisted Living, up until recently I had not experienced this myself. My sisters and I have been considering moving our mother into either an Independent Senior Living or an Assisted Living Community for some time. We started the discussion with our mother over a year ago and visited a couple of facilities so that she could become comfortable with the idea. Believe me, at first, she wasn’t. Of course, that is completely understandable and because she had not yet suffered a crisis, she had time to consider her options. Most of the time when I meet families, their loved one has already suffered a crisis and unfortunately, it does limit their options. I discussed this with my Mom many times as we were going through the process. I explained that she was blessed to have time to think about moving and that it was best to move before something tragic happened. Her balance is not what it used to be and because of that we were concerned about her falling.
After my Mom visited a couple of Assisted Living apartments, she became more comfortable with the idea and as her situation at home became more tenuous, we decided to look more seriously. We toured Assisted Living Facilities verses Independent Living because if possible, we don’t want her to move again. After viewing a few apartments and the lovely building where she can get out of her apartment and walk or join activities, mom surprised all of us and said YES! We have moved mom into her apartment, and because she is walking to the dining room for meals three times a day, we are already seeing an improvement in her endurance. Our mother announced that she no longer enjoys being social; however, going to meals in the main dining room has proved otherwise. She has met many lovely people and in a short time we have witnessed her mood lifting. Of course, our hope is that she will start joining in some of the many offered activities. The Assisted Living offers a morning exercise program called SAIL, proven to reduce fall risk. Many activities that I know mom enjoys are offered daily. In the past, she has enjoyed playing cards, watching sports, and taking drives, all of which are offered by this community. Our feeling is that as she makes friends in the dining room, they will encourage her to attend a few of the activities. Many seniors isolate themselves as they age, and mom is no exception. We are feeling hopeful and already see her benefiting from this move. I have encouraged clients and their families to make the move sooner than later because it is better to move before a medical incident or a fall. Now I have witnessed someone very close to me do just that and so far, it has been a blessing.