By Amanda Roberts
Navigating through the senior housing industry is a daunting task for anyone, but especially if you have no one telling you exactly what your loved one’s care needs are now and what their future may look like as they continue to age.
As a Senior Advisor, this is the #1 reason I get calls from health care professionals and family members is to help answer the question, “What now?”
Recently Mr. Jones was in the hospital for the second time in three weeks with flu like symptoms. This, however, wasn’t his medical teams main concern. His wife and daughter reported what brought them to the ER was increased confusion, agitation, change in sleep patterns, and inability to make his needs known. The care had become too difficult for the two of them and 9-1-1 had to be called to bring him to the ER.
The family was told by the medical team it would be best for Mr. Jones to live in a place where he could receive 24 hour nursing care by providers with Dementia experience. When they asked how to go about looking for the care facility that met their Dad’s needs they handed them an endless list of numbers for Adult Family Homes from A-Z in the entire State of Washington by county and a Concierge Care Advisors card offering FREE assistance in finding the best care in the best possible location within the clients budget!
What Now?….Priority #1….Get out of crisis.
On Friday after collecting valuable information from the family, doctors, and therapists I emailed the intake to CCA’s Social Workers to begin the search of possible Adult Family Homes in the geographical area requested with the needs and wants the client and family were looking for. In the meantime, having the many years of knowledge I do about the Senior Care industry, I was able to listen to the Family describe Mr. Jones. His likes and dislikes and what an average day looked like for them. This in turn assists in pinpointing the best of the best homes available. We knew we were in a time crunch because the hospital was denying the stay for “flu symptoms”.
Less than 24 hours after initially meeting the Jones family we were touring homes from North Pierce county out to the Puyallup area. The homes we toured are vetted and screened making 100% sure they meet DSHS standards. I was very impressed and will suggest in the future the Son’s use of a notepad to write questions and answers of each home that he and his family had thought of the night before.
After 3 tours, we took a coffee break decided we would like to bust out the last two that same day. Especially with the looming hospital bill.
Once the 5 tours were completed there were homes they liked and needed to now decide which one was the right one? As an advocate for Mr. Jones I reminded the family which of the homes met the most of their needs and that realistically not all of the “wants” will be met. The home they choose was less than 3 miles from the Family home allowing his wife to come and visit as often as she’d like. They had many years working with people with Dementia and had awake staff for Dad if needed. On Monday morning with awesome teamwork and efforts of a Great Loving family we could answer the Social Worker when she asked What Now?