Maintaining the health, wellness, and safety of our residents is our number one priority. Due to the COVID-19 situation, effective immediately we are restricting visitors to our community. This is in cooperation with federal mandates regarding this situation. Letters regarding specific details are being sent to the responsible parties for our residents to provide them with more detailed information. In addition to restricting visits, our staff will be screened prior to the starting of their shifts and have been trained on the symptoms of COVID-19 as well as infection prevention techniques. This is a fluid situation and we will keep you informed as the situation changes. We appreciate your cooperation and patience. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
We hope you realize by now that we pride ourselves here at Gateway Gardens Assisted Living & Memory Care (here in Bethlehem) for helping more than our residents and their families. We take great pride in helping you, our neighbors here in Bethlehem who lovingly provide at-home assisted living and/or memory care services to your loved ones. Trust us, we know your challenges and consider you all heroes for your selfless and loving investment to family.
An at-home care giver communicated that her mother is 81, her arthritis is painful, but she gets around with a walker. Her mind is okay for now, though she is sometimes forgetful. She feels lonely. Her care giver is worried about her safety and has been telling her for several years that she needs help. She hates the thought of her falling and not having help, There is a fantastic assisted living close by, but will she listen? No! She just stubbornly says that she’s fine so I should leave her alone.”
Well, she’s likely right that her mom would be safer if she had someone checking on her regularly. Also, depending on her mom’s personality, her mom might be happier with the easy availability of companionship that assisted living offers. Why the resistance?
We often forget that our parents are adults who have lived long, and in most cases, responsible lives. They may have been poor parents, ordinary parents, or stellar parents, but the fact that we are trying to help them at this stage implies that they most likely did raise us. While occasionally you’ll meet an elder who willingly turns over all decisions to others, most will continue to want their autonomy. They want to make the decisions that rule their lives.
So, when they need help, what do you do? You take a step back and then try a different approach.
When possible talk with your parents about all kinds of things, not just their health and impending frailty. In other words, have real conversations.
Within those conversations, you’ll likely see opportunities to discuss their ideal wishes. Even if they are already at a stage where they probably should make adjustments in how they are living, approach it by asking how they see their future. Let your parent or parents know that you want to follow their wishes if you can, and you will always do your best to care for them, but that you need information in order to do that.
Try this: Rather than “Mom, you aren’t safe alone and you need help,” say, “Mom, I’m wondering if you could benefit from some help around the house?”
Suggesting some housekeeping help could open the door to the idea. From there, you could move to help with showering, medications, and other daily needs.
If she says she doesn’t want people in her home (she probably will), you could bring up assisted living. Again, mention that she might be able to benefit from this arrangement.
Why does it matter how you present the issues? My mantra is put yourself in their place.
Sometimes it’s about fear. Other times it’s simply about saving face. Whatever the reason, ask yourself how you’d feel if someone decades younger than you suddenly started telling what you needed to do to “stay safe.”
Remember, YOU want them safe. They want to live their lives. Think about where they are rather than your fear for them.
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