Is It a Good Idea to Move to Senior Living During a Pandemic?

Is It a Good Idea to Move to Senior Living During a Pandemic?

Is moving to a senior living right now a good idea for your senior loved one? Are you and your family ready to take on the needs of a caregiver on a full-time basis? Are you considering the move to assisted living for your loved one?

The following are some valid considerations that a move to senior living is still appropriate:

  • Preparedness security
  • Daily medical assessment for COVID-19 symptoms
  • 24/7 nursing and care staff available to respond to any sudden illness like COVID-19
  • Chef prepared meals with room service
  • Medication assistance
  • Laundry assistance

We all know a senior has a better chance to stay healthy and alert if their issues are assessed quickly and medical care is initiated in a timely manner. If your senior loved one is in desperate need of assistance, you may want to consider assisted living. In a home setting, care falls on you, as most likely the responsibility for buying groceries, cooking, administrating medicines, doing the laundry, and ensuring the environment is free from health and safety hazards.

The Classic is the safest place to be with protections in place to keep you safe!

  • It can be hard to guarantee a home that’s free of contamination with friends and family coming and going. At The Classic, we are observing the current COVID-19 guidelines that limit family visits to pre-scheduled times with designated visiting stations that permit social distancing.
  • We have safety measures in place that include frequent sanitization on frequently touched surfaces, daily temperature checks for residents and employees as well as personal protective equipment for all our employees when in contact with our residents.
  • All residents are required to wear a facemask at all times when outside his/her apartment.

We are continuing to evaluate our procedures on a daily basis to ensure that we are practicing safety and health standards set forth by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.

Do YOU have what it takes to take care of your loved one at home?

Ultimately, every family must weigh and balance the risks.

  • Can they give an older parent enough attention?
  • Do they have the emotional and physical stamina to take on a full-time caregiver role?
  • What does the parent want?

Schedule a tour at The Classic today!

Now is a better time than any to consider a move to senior living. The safety of our residents is of greatest importance, as we continue to navigate our way through the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus.

Understanding Why Your Loved One is Refusing Senior Living

Understanding Why Your Loved One is Refusing Senior Living

When your elderly parent refuses assisted living or other forms of senior living, it can be incredibly stressful for the rest of the family. While you may be very frustrated, think about the following for a moment: Your parents or in-laws grew up in a different time. Consider what senior care was like back in the 1940s and 50s, or further back during the Great Depression. It was a terrifying time, and your senior parents were living in it. These were your parents’ most impressionable and formative years.

Back then, “old folk’s homes” had a different reputation. They were a last-ditch effort for families who couldn’t afford to care for their senior family members. Given this mindset, it’s easy to see why so many seniors are terrified of the assisted living concept.

Reasons for Hesitation

What are some of the other primary reasons elderly parents refuse assisted living? And, what are some proper coping mechanisms for adult children? By helping you see assisted living from your parents’ point of view, you may be better equipped to better communicate with them while you seek out the well-being of an older person. There are also some very tangible tools to help you convince them to make the best choice for them, as individuals. Ultimately, helping your parents see assisted living in a more modern, healthy light will be beneficial to helping you convince them of a move.

Every person is different, so it’s not appropriate to lump all seniors together as the same. But…many seniors do have similar concerns:

  • They are unwilling to leave a home they know. Transitioning from a private home setting to an assisted living community can be a difficult life change. Understand that your parent’s vision and abilities are less than they used to be. So, the idea of living in a new environment is scary. They are also reluctant to leave behind meaningful possessions and items they value.
  • They like their routine. Your parent probably has a specific routine that they enjoy. They may have a hard time verbalizing it, but they have made social relationships with hairdressers, doctor’s office staff, or other folks at places of worship, for instance. They are reluctant to leave those social relationships.
  • Seniors are afraid to lose their independence. A significant concern among the elderly is a loss of independence if they move out of their home.
  • They are afraid to be alone. Seniors may fear losing connections with family. They may also be intimidated by the idea of living among a big group of strangers.
  • Finances might be a challenge. Even if your loved one truly likes the idea of assisted living, they may be concerned about funding. The last thing our elderly parents want to do is become a financial burden for their children.

Treat Your Elderly Parents Like Adults

As we age, we lose our physical abilities and our independence. It can be a real ego smash to rely on others for help with daily tasks like dressing, grocery shopping, or driving to doctor appointments.

As the child of an elderly parent, it can be all too easy to speak to them sharply, or as if they are a child. Their needs can pile up on us, particularly if you’re a member of the sandwich generation, who is busy with a family at home, a career, and an aging parent in the house too. Often, it can take a toll on your well-being and overall quality of life due to the stress of the parent needs and children’s needs.

Alzheimer’s and dementia patients also place a unique challenge on their families. If you’ve “senior-proofed” your home by removing area rugs, adding lighting, and putting away breakables, you’re already very much aware. We all want the best for our aging parents, but it can be hard to have the know-how and the overall means to accomplish everything that would be appropriate in a typical home care setting.

When you talk to your parents about assisted living options, be direct with them. Invite them over for dinner. Offer them a cup of coffee or tea, or an adult beverage (if their medications allow for the consumption of alcohol). Speak to them directly about finances, workloads, and the reality of your life while coping with this much on your plate.

  • It can be helpful if you have toured a facility already. You’ll be knowledgeable about the activities and staff and be able to speak honestly about the facility.

It isn’t appropriate to put your parents on a “guilt trip.” Be loving and kind, but also completely honest about your struggles. List for them the ways assisted living might improve their lifestyle.

  • 24/7 access to trained medical care professionals equipped for specific health problems that might arise
  • Quality food options so they won’t need to prepare meals
  • Assistance with daily tasks like bathing
  • Medication management
  • Peers and activities they’ll enjoy
  • Opportunities for work or handicrafts

But what if you’ve been down this road a few times already? Perhaps you’ve had these discussions before.

Try Changing Your Approach

If a dinner table discussion isn’t working out, try taking your parent on a tour of the assisted living community you’re interested in. Point out, in person, how nice the furniture is, how clean the carpets are, how much fun other seniors are having in a craft room or with a physical activity.

Your parent might recognize some friends or feel better when they see other seniors enjoying themselves in a quality assisted living community.

Offer Some Options

Sometimes a parent might refuse an assisted living community for personal reasons. These reasons are unique to each individual, but they may not like the staff they met, the exterior, or the paint on the walls. Your parent might not even be able to put into words why don’t like a place. They just don’t like it!

If you think this might be the case with your loved one, respect their opinion. Try offering them several brochures to review. Start with about three options (no need to overwhelm them) and ask them to pick one they’d like to visit in person. Tour that place and start a discussion.

  • Ask them what they do or don’t like about it.
  • Recognize your parent’s needs, fears, or concerns. Make sure they feel involved in the choice.
  • Be realistic with them. Explain that assisted living is the right decision, and you want them to be happy and healthy.
  • Stay calm and positive. If your parent gets upset, even nasty about the situation, take the lead with a positive attitude and a quiet voice.
  • End the conversation by letting them know that you’ll keep looking until you find the right place.

Take It Slow

Even if your aging parent approves of the idea, your relationship with them is the most important thing. There is never a need to have a family “break up” over the choice to move into an assisted living community. Give your loved one plenty of time to review brochures, tour facilities, and ask questions.

If your parent still refuses to choose an assisted living program, consider getting their doctor involved. Not matter what happens, our parents still think of us as their (adult) children. They look at us and remember our early years. Sometimes the advice of a respected medical professional with some letters after their name will show them that you’ve been right about a move all along.

What Do I Do When I Can’t Take Care of Dad Anymore?

What Do I Do When I Can’t Take Care of Dad Anymore?

It’s time for you to make the decision whether dad (or mom) has to move from his house to senior housing or a care facility. The decision has been a long time in making and is one of the hardest decisions you’ve ever had to make. The father you remember is energetic, quick-witted, in good health, and strong. However, the man standing in front of you is frail, not able to remember to match his socks, and seems unable to focus on simple tasks. You feel you just can’t take care of dad and can no longer meet his needs.

As you discuss the possible options and the final decision, dad tries desperately to convince you that he can manage on his own. He then asks if he can live with you. Neither are appropriate options. If this sounds like you, know that you’re not alone.

The following is some advice about making this kind of decision and how to live with it as a caregiver and daughter or son.

  • Involve your dad in the decision if at all possible. It will make it easier for him to adjust if he feels he had some control and input into his future. Remember…it’s his life.
  • Once a decision is made, make sure he has a schedule that is easy to follow including regular visits from family and friends (if he is not living with you).
  • Don’t feel you must visit every single day…a day or two off a week is essential for your own mental health and sanity.
  • Don’t forget him when celebrate the holidays or take family vacations. He’s still a member of your family.
  • Make sure he feels welcomed no matter where he is.
  • Make sure he is able to maintain a regular medication schedule and doesn’t miss a dose.
  • Confirm if he is still keeping his medical appointments (doctor, dentist, and optometrist, etc.). You may even want to take him to his appointments, so you know what’s going on firsthand.
  • You might want to have him get a psychological evaluation or talk with a therapist transitions can sometimes be hard.
  • Help your father bring easy care and easy-dress clothing when he moves.
  • Stay reachable by mobile phone and see if someone else will visit him when you can’t.
  • Get to know the staff and make sure they know you. It will be important as your dad continues to need care and support. Facility staff and doctors may be more willing to help if they know you personally.
  • Don’t feel guilty. You are making the best decision you can and only have your dad’s best interest in mind.
  • Take time for yourself – “me time.” Get a manicure or pedicure, go to the movies, have a glass of wine.
  • Remember to let yourself off the hook for the decision you had to make or help your dad make. You made the best decision you could. Your dad’s welfare is important.

Again, know that you are not alone with this decision-making process. This can be a natural part of life. When you feel you can’t take care of a parent any longer, remember that you are trying to do what is best for your dad and yourself at the same time, and that’s OK. It will take a little time to adjust, so try to be patient.

What To Do When Aging Parents Won’t Follow Your Advice

What To Do When Aging Parents Won’t Follow Your Advice

If you’re struggling with aging parents who refuse help, you’re far from alone. According to a recent study conducted by Penn State University, a whopping 77% of adult children believe their parents are stubborn about taking their advice or getting help with daily tasks. Fortunately, the situation isn’t hopeless.

How do you get your aging parents to listen to you?

It’s not uncommon for adult children to make numerous suggestions about improving their parents’ quality of life only to consistently be turned down. Aging care and health professionals recommend the following steps to relieve the resentment and anxiety that can accompany caring for aging parents and loved ones:

  • Try to understand the motivation behind their behavior

Aging is a difficult process for virtually everyone. Many older adults are living with dementia or mental health issues including anxiety and depression. Taking time to understand how your parents might be feeling can help you communicate with them better. Realizing that your parents’ autonomy is important to them can be beneficial. As your yourself some key questions about your loved one’s behavior:

Are their actions –

  • Due to force of habit?
  • To assert independence?
  • Due to depression?
  • Because they’re confused or have dementia?

What are they mostly afraid of?

Identifying the root cause, or causes, of your parents’ behavior can help you identify the best way to make positive changes.

  • Accept the situation

While you might wish you could control your elderly parents for their own good, the reality is you can’t force them to do anything. Your parents are adults with the right to make decisions even poor ones. Accepting this fact as hard as it is at times can help lower your stress and even improve your relationship with your mother and/or father.

  • Pick and choose your battles

People don’t respond well to nagging, real or perceived. In the long run, it might help your case to stop insisting your parents update their phones, join a fitness class, or complete other beneficial, but non-essential tasks. Instead, decide what issues are the most important and focus on them at least initially. Matters involving your parents’ safety, for instance, should take top priority. But remember, they’re much more likely to take your concerns seriously if you don’t bombard them with several at once, no matter how valid they may be.

  • Treat your aging parents like adults

While it may feel as if you and your parents have switched roles at times, they’re still your parents, and want to be treated with respect. Dealing with a stubborn parent is not the same as dealing with a stubborn child. Older people should be autonomous. When it comes to dealing with aging parents, remember this: above all, the goal is to help your parents receive the best care possible. Avoid infantilizing your parents! You’re much more likely to get positive results by treating your aging parents like the adults they are. This goes for simple tasks, such as helping your parents remember to take their medications, and harder tasks, like helping them get treatment for diabetes.

  • Ask them to do if for the kids (or grandkids)

If mom isn’t willing to change her behavior for herself, maybe she will for a loved one. Another approach to dealing with aging parents is to be direct about how it affects you. Communicate your worries to your parent and explain how your anxieties will be tempered if he or she follows your advice.

  • Find an outlet for your feelings.

If you’re angry or resentful that your elderly parent refuses to move to a safer living situation or take their medication as directed, it’s important to vent but not to your parents. Instead, confide in, or strategize with a friend, sibling, therapist, online support group, or senior living advisor. This is especially important if you are the primary caregiver to your aging parents.

No matter how deeply you care about your mom and dad, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with frustration, fear, and anxiety when constantly dealing with their irrational behavior. Guard against this by caring for yourself and finding activities to help release negative emotions.

  • Plan ahead and talk about those plans

Even if your parent has not been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, living with any kind of memory loss can be very difficult for seniors to deal with, or even acknowledge. Helping your aging parents remember important dates eases frustration for everyone. Is there a family celebration they want to attend that’s coming up, such as an anniversary, graduation, or wedding? Bring it up. Talk about it frequently. Share in the excite together.

What do you do when an elderly parent refuses needed care?

Ironically, you should listen.

By paying attention to your aging parents’ needs and heeding the advice of health professionals, you can make dealing with aging parents less stressful for everyone even if Mom and Dad don’t always listen to you.

Is Now an OK Time to Move Your Loved One to Assisted Living?

Is Now an OK Time to Move Your Loved One to Assisted Living?

With All the Pandemic Concerns, Is Now an OK Time to Move Your Loved One to Assisted Living?

The short answer is, yes! An assisted living community can provide significant advantages to older adults who are feeling isolated and would benefit from extra support with activities of daily living or families who are struggling with caregiver burnout.

An Assisted Living Community Surrounds Your Loved One with Experts

You are definitely an expert when it comes to knowing your loved one. However, you may not be trained and educated on taking care of them. The staff and administrative team at assisted living communities have extensive backgrounds in the type of work needed to make sure your loved one feels at home while also receiving the best possible care.

Additionally, staff in assisted living communities have now had months of training and experience in creating a safe environment during the pandemic. There is no doubt you trying as hard as you can to do the same, but it’s unlikely that you have access to the same type of resources found in assisted living communities. At The Classic, our care staff are kept totally up-to-date with pertinent guidance and protocols surrounding Covid-19. Our care teams are continually adapting to appropriate information based on the latest information provided by the Department of Health Services, the Centers of Disease Control, and City-County Health Department. You can rest assured knowing your loved one is receiving the best care possible.

Caretakers Have Less Chance of Being Exposed

If you or other family members have been taking care of your loved one, it is safe to say that is not your only responsibility. You may be working from home, but you still have to leave occasionally and risk exposure. While the virus may not substantially affect you, you could still pass it along to your loved one even if you are trying to be careful. At The Classic, we continue to implement rigorous virus sanitizing protocols daily. The City-County Health Department continues to direct our actions. Resident’s temperatures are taken twice a day and our care teams are vigilantly monitoring all signs and symptoms for everyone who lives and works in our community.

Your Loved One Will Have More Resources to Ride Out the Pandemic

Social distancing has been difficult for everyone, introverts and extroverts alike. Older adults were already at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation before the pandemic, and that risk has only risen in the past few months. You want your loved one to be socially active, but it can be difficult to do that safely right now if they live alone.

Some older adults rely heavily on restaurants for their meals and do not cook for themselves. While restrictions have eased a bit in some part of the country, some elders may simply not feel comfortable going out to eat. In an assisted living community, residents have access to chef-planned and prepared meals every day. Housekeeping and linen service, medication management, transportation to medical appointments are just some of the services offered by senior living communities like The Classic.

Vital Social Connection

A neighborhood of potential friends is part of an assisted living community. At The Classic, our goal is to strike balances between the crucial need to maintain physical health with mental health leading to happiness.

During this unprecedented time, our Life Enrichment team is finding creative ways to keep residents active while keeping them safe and connected with their families in ways that feel fulfilling.

How the Virus Affects Your Decision

Ultimately, the pandemic should not affect your decision to move or not move. It should, however, affect how you move.

In other words, if you would consider moving your loved one to an assisted living community before the pandemic, or would be considering it, then odds are you should still be considering this now. You just need to consider if the older adult in your life would feel safer and more supported in an assisted living community.

We are here to help you navigate this important decision. Learn more about our unique assisted living community has to offer at: https://theclassichg.com/living-options/assisted-living/.