There are many areas of life that we plan for, including where to raise our families, what schools our children will attend, what nearby transportation is available for my career, and how much do I need to do to save for college? Yet, an area that many avoid planning for is aging; whether it be for yourself or an aging parent. I suspect that most people are not considering the future needs of their elder loved one, such as, “How much does assisted living cost?”, “What are the best assisted living communities near me?” or “What amenities will my loved one need if he or she has physical limitations?” It is common to be caught off guard due to a sudden event or health-related instance, and families are faced with having to quickly consider residential living options for an aging loved one.
Several years ago, I experienced this exact scenario with my own parent and had to navigate this from 400 miles away as my mom lives out of state. If it were not for the help of a Senior Care Advisor, I would have made hurried decisions. She had the knowledge, experience, and connections to find the perfect place for mom. She knew the right questions to ask, and served as a guide with potential living communities.
My mom moved from her apartment into senior community with a floor plan that was better suited to her physical needs. This positive experience was influential in my decision to become a Certified Senior Advisor.
Senior Care Consultants are an excellent resource, particularly during a challenging time for families. They serve as a guide, confidant, resource, and ally. If you are in need of advice for you or your loved one, contact SilverBridge Senior Advisors. We are located in the west suburbs of Chicago in DuPage County and can be trusted to help you navigate next steps.
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Thank you SilverBridge for helping my family navigate uncharted territory. 2019 had been a year of stress. My father was struggling with dementia, my mom suffered a minor stroke, my brother had a major health issue, and my other brother resides out of town. This left me managing care for my parents at their home while working full time as a nurse, and carving out time with my own children.
Eventually I recognized that dad needed more care than we were able to provide at home. I met with Brian of SilverBridge and so began the journey of searching for a compassionate memory care community. Brian is an empathetic person and gently guided us during this unfamiliar process. His caring demeanor, kind words, and professional advice were exactly what we needed; helping us find the perfect community. I give Brian my highest recommendation and confidently refer others to him.
Denise C. of Lisle, IL
Denise is a Registered Nurse and SilverBridge Client
The past 18 months has been a year of change for many friends. My age group has reached the point where some have lost a parent and are helping the other parent cope with the change of living alone. I find myself having conversations with several friends about what illness or physical issue their aging parent is struggling with. Instead of driving carpools from our own children’s sporting events, we are spending more and more time running errands with or for our own parent(s). Whether it be visits to pick-up medications, doctor’s appointments, or the hair salon, our days are filled with making sure mom and / or dad are taken care of and not feeling lonely.
We are not the first generation to encounter this nor will we be the last. What is different is the changes in senior living communities. It is likely that you hear less about nursing homes, but more about retirement communities. You see advertisements showcasing all of the activities and amenities available. Plus, there are options of assisted living or step-up facilities that are able to manage the changing needs of their senior residents or couples. The choices are abundant, the offerings are pleasing, and yet sometimes the decisions are overwhelming; especially when you are faced with making a decision for a parent and often during a time of stress.
The SilverBridge Senior Advisor team has made site visits, met with multiple residential communities, are familiar with the offerings of each community, and we can refer you to various supplemental service providers. You can rest easy knowing that you are not alone when making the decision about what is next for you or your loved one. SilverBridge is here to guide you.
Upon making the decision to move into a senior living community, one of the first items they will request is to schedule a Care Conference. A Care Conference or Care Plan meeting often includes the resident, family, advocate, doctor, nurse, pharmacist, dietitian, therapist, activity coordinator, or social worker. It can bring stress and worry for the new resident because they are the subject of the meeting. A meeting like this will occur right after move-in and at regular intervals depending upon what level of care the resident requires. For instance, in Assisted Living, a Care Conference would be scheduled once per year or as needed if there is a change in health status.
Last week, I attended a Care Conference with a resident. Her level of anxiety decreased knowing that I would be attending with her. It is helpful to have another person listening and advocating for you during these meetings. She and I had a “pre-meeting” to go over the agenda to ensure that she would have a positive experience and receive the highest quality of care at the new community.
I reminded her that the purpose of the meeting was to share her thoughts, ask questions, and align on goals. I assured her that I would take notes and we would debrief afterwards. She initially felt intimidated when we walked into the private dining room as all eyes were on her. Yet once the team members introduced themselves and discussed how they could help her to become more independent while she was rehabbing at their community, she felt more at ease.
It can be overwhelming to have multiple healthcare staff members talking to you about private matters such as your health; yet having an advocate with you is beneficial and I am glad I was present for this meeting. At the conclusion of the Care Conference, we went back to her room, reviewed the notes, and discussed our feelings about the meeting. We highlighted the 3 goals from the meeting for her to work on during her time in rehab so that she could make best use of her time healing.
If you are in need of advice for senior care or senior living communities, contact SilverBridge Senior Advisors for a free consultation.
This post was written by Julie Ryan. Julie is a Senior Advisor at SilverBridge Senior Advisors. She has decades of experience as an advocate and professional in senior care.