Embracing Change: Dorothy's Adventure to Assisted Living


Senior Care Authority

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Senior Care Authority

Posted on

Jul 23, 2023


Florida - Southwest

Share This

Imagine this: Dorothy, a lively and independent woman, was enjoying a visit with her daughter and son-in-law in beautiful Cape Coral. Little did she know that this vacation would mark a turning point in her life. During her stay, she had an unfortunate fall that sent her to the hospital. It was a wake-up call for her family. Should mom move into assisted living? Was it safe for her to live alone in Ohio, where she did not have any family?

After her hospital stay, Dorothy expressed her determination to return to her home in Ohio and maintain her independence. However, fate had a different plan. A few months later, Dorothy experienced another fall. This event became the catalyst that led her to move to Florida and into an assisted living community, closer to her daughter Julie.

Dorothy and her husband, who had been married for an incredible 60 years, originally hailed from Akron, Ohio. Their love story began during Dorothy's freshman year at a high school football game. Ah, those spaces between the bleachers, where Joseph awaited the chance to meet Dorothy! Together, they raised three beautiful daughters who now reside in different states, including Texas, Chicago, and Florida. Dorothy also has a sister living in Bonita Springs, Florida, which made moving to Florida the right choice for her new home.

Julie, Dorothy's daughter, expresses her heartfelt gratitude for the assistance they received from Senior Care Authority. “Their expertise made a significant difference, as they helped narrow down the choices and made the entire process easier.” Julie also noticed the exceptional quality of the staff and the meaningful interactions, especially during the move-in process. Both Julie and Dorothy are excited about the prospect of being closer to one another and the opportunity for Dorothy to connect with her peers.

Moving into an assisted living community is a decision that many elderly individuals face at some point in their lives. It is a choice that requires careful consideration, considering various factors such as health, safety, and social well-being. Dorothy's journey serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of family, support, and finding a place that feels like home.

As we age, our needs change, and transitioning to an assisted living community can provide numerous benefits. Safety measures are in place to minimize accidents and ensure immediate assistance is available if needed. The presence of trained professionals can offer peace of mind, not only to the residents but also to their loved ones. Additionally, the opportunity for social interaction and the chance to connect with peers can combat loneliness and foster a sense of belonging.

It's essential to remember that moving into an assisted living community is not a loss of independence, but rather a new chapter filled with opportunities for growth, companionship, and personalized care. Every individual's journey is unique, just like Dorothy's, and it is crucial to find a community that aligns with personal preferences and needs. While it may initially seem daunting, the support, safety, and social aspects offered by these communities can greatly enhance quality of life. Whether it's finding a community near loved ones or simply seeking a fresh start in a new environment, the decision to move into an assisted living community is an opportunity for seniors to embrace change and embark on a new and fulfilling chapter of their lives. 

Other Articles You May Like

Informed Decisions: Benefits of Professional Senior Living Advice | Podcast

Informed Decisions: Benefits of Professional Senior Living AdvicePosted: February 22, 2024 , in My Care Advisors PodcastFor older adults, few decisions carry as much weight as selecting the ideal Assisted Living Community to meet their needs. With a staggering number of nearly 31,000 Assisted Living Communities across the U.S., the task of finding the perfect match can feel daunting, overwhelming, and emotionally draining.However, enlisting the expertise of a seasoned senior living advisor can help alleviate these burdens. By partnering with a knowledgeable professional who comprehensively understands the continuum of senior care options, tailored to individual needs and preferences, you can navigate this pivotal transition with confidence. Such advisors not only ensure the quality of life for you or your loved one but also offer invaluable support throughout every step of the decision-making process. From clarifying intricate details to providing emotional reassurance, their guidance proves indispensable in securing a comfortable and fulfilling living arrangement for seniors.Click to listen to this episode:Tune in for insights and resources from Tracy Toomer, Certified Senior Advisor and Owner at CarePatrol Collin County-Central.About Tracy Toomer:Tracy Toomer is President and Owner of CarePatrol of Collin County. CarePatrol is the nations largest senior care solutions franchise in the United States. Through more than 200 offices in 35 states, local senior advisors provide a free service in helping families find quality, top-rated assisted living, independent living, memory care, and in-home care.Toomer is a seasoned business executive with more than 25 years of experience in the specialty retail, grocery, restaurant, fitness and now in senior healthcare. In recent years Toomer served as vice-president of operations for the largest Planet Fitness Franchise, with over 168 locations in 14 states. There she built an operations team of seven regional directors and grew from 69 gyms to 168 gyms through two acquisitions and organic growth.Toomer holds a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) designation awarded to qualified, multidisciplinary professionals serving older adults. Tracy is active in the senior community and brings a creditable and important voice to finding safer senior living. Each month, Tracy facilitates mental aerobics at the Wellness center for Older Adults in Plano, Texas.In 2022 Tracy earned the Compassion Ambassador Award from CarePatrol Franchises, LLC amongst her 180 Franchise peers. Her dedication to the families and those living with dementia inspired the Franchisees to do more; to contribute more for a huge segment of their client base.Tracy Toomer is a proud southern California native but currently resides in Allen, Texas with her parents and four-legged brother Bruno. Show/Episode Notes:Learn what the role of a Senior Living Advisor means and some of the services they offerDiscover how working with a Senior Living Advisor can help you navigate the complicated world of Assisted LivingHear about the importance of working with a Senior Living Advisor to avoid potential dangers or hazardsWalk away with tips and tricks from Tracy Toomers past experiences Determine some of the resources available to you and where to find them

5 Things You Need to Discuss With Your Aging Parents

You may have started to notice some changes in your parents abilities as time goes on. Whether they seem more forgetful or are having more trouble moving around the house, changes in ability are inevitable as we age. We all want the best for our parents and relatives. Sometimes this means having difficult conversations about aging, plans, needs, and lifestyle changes.Though never easy, it is important to have these conversations before something life-altering occurs. This allows both you and your parents plenty of time to make decisions and plans everyone agrees upon without being rushed or stressed.How to have difficult conversations with your aging parentsStarting a conversation with your parents about their aging needs and decisions can feel intimidating. Seniors can sometimes be reluctant to discuss matters related to aging for a number of reasons. Some worry about a loss of independence and autonomy, which can be upsetting. Others do not feel like they need help, or do not want to feel like a burden to their family. And some are simply unsure of what their next best step should be.Therefore, it is important to meet your parents worries with empathy and patience. These conversations take time, which is why you should begin having them as early as possible. Start small, and provide plenty of reassurance that you are there to support them throughout the process. Try to have these discussions in a place where your parents feel comfortable and relaxed. It is also helpful to have another close family member there, but be cautious of involving too many others you do not want your parents to feel threatened or embarrassed.Overall, offer a listening ear and be sure to emphasize the positives of the situation. Mention how relieving it will feel to get documents in place and important decisions made. Bring up the benefits of a senior living community if that is part of the discussion. Reassure them that you have their best interest at heart and want them to have more independence, safety, and a better quality of life. And, give it time. The more you ease into these difficult conversations, the more your parents will feel open to having them.Topics to discuss with your aging parentsThe subject of aging can lead to many conversations with our loved ones. Below are 5 major topics you should discuss with your parents as they enter their later years of life. With each topic are example questions you can use as conversation starters that will keep the discussion productive and focused.1. Healthcare needsHealth and medical care is an extremely important topic for people as they age. Between legal documents, healthcare delivery decisions and treatment preferences, there are many scenarios you should go over with your aging parents regarding their health. While it might seem unpleasant, it is best to be familiar with all this information before you need it. That way, your parents will receive future medical care based on their wishes.Here are some questions to ask your aging parents about healthcare needs:Are you following a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and exercise?Do you have advance healthcare directives including a living will, health care proxy, do not resuscitate (DNR) and do not intubate (DNI) orders, and HIPPA release?Do you have a durable power of attorney for medical decisions? Do you have a list of all your doctors contact information?Do you have a list of all your medications and pharmacy information?Can a loved one accompany you to your medical appointments if needed?Do you need any mobility aids such as a rollator, walker, cane, wheelchair, or power scooter?Will any of your health conditions eventually require additional care?What are your preferences about end-of-life care?2. Living arrangementsHousing choices can be one of the more contentious topics for aging parents. It can be hard for seniors to accept that their needs and abilities may be changing. But, it is an important discussion that will affect your parents future happiness and well-being especially before a crisis occurs. Questions to ask your aging parents about their current and future living situations:Would you consider downsizing to a more accessible home that is easier to manage? Would you consider moving to be closer to friends or family members?Would you consider moving somewhere with a warmer climate, like Florida?In the future, would you prefer to stay home and age in place?Are you willing to hire in-home care if you decide to age at home?If you can no longer live at home, would you rather move in with a family member or move to a senior living community?Could you benefit from no longer having the responsibility of maintaining a home?Could you use more social interaction?What types of senior living communities are you interested in? Retirement communities, CCRCs, independent living, assisted living, or memory care?  Can we or a trusted senior advisor accompany you on tours of senior living communities?What questions do you have about senior living communities? 3. Legal documentsAnother major topic to discuss with your aging relatives is getting legal documents in place. Again, it is of the utmost importance to have these documents completed before they need to be used. This way, you can be sure all legal decisions are made based on your parents wishes. You may need to enlist the help of a professional elder law attorney to make sure all necessary paperwork is completed accurately.  Questions to ask your aging parents about financial and legal documents:Do you have an up-to-date will?Do you have a living will?Do you have an elder law attorney to help with estate planning?Do you have a durable power of attorney for financial decisions?Where are all your important documents located? 4. Home safetyHome safety and accessibility is an important matter to discuss with aging relatives, especially because it affects their day-to-day well-being. Remind your parents that the safer their home is, the longer they can live there independently. It is always better to prevent future issues proactively than to be forced to react to them after they occur. Questions to ask your aging parents about their safety at home:Is your house accessible, especially if your physical abilities change? (Is it a single-level home? Are the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room accessible? Is it located near hospitals, doctors, or loved ones in case of emergency?)Does the house need any safety modifications to prevent falls, such as ramps, grab bars, additional lighting, etc.?Are you able to navigate through the house safely?Will you wear a Life-Alert button in case of a fall?5. Insurance and financesWhile not always the most comfortable topic to discuss, knowing your parents financial situation is crucial when making decisions about health care and living arrangements. Meeting with a trusted financial planner is always helpful regarding financial matters. They can advise you on your financial decisions based on your income, assets, pensions, social security payments, veterans benefits, insurance, and more.Some questions to ask your aging parents about financial matters and insurance are as follows:Do you have a reliable financial planner who can advise you on financial decisions?Do you have long-term care insurance?What is your current health insurance coverage?Do you need to sign up for Medicare or Medicaid?How do you plan on paying for long-term care? (Retirement savings, pensions, social security, real estate, veterans benefits, etc.)Would assisted living be a better financial choice for you than aging in place?Do you need help managing your finances (paying bills, checking statements, making purchases etc.) from someone else, like a loved one?ConclusionIf you need more guidance navigating senior living and care for your loved ones, it is always wise to enlist the help of an expert. Florida Senior Consultings expert senior advisors can guide you through every step of the process and help your loved ones have a better quality of life as they age. Whether its aging at home or moving to a senior living community, we are here to help you through it all.Give us a call at (800) 969-7176 or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com to get started today!Senior living on your terms. The choice should be yours.

The Importance of Care Management for Seniors Aging at Home

What is Aging in Place?There are many options available for seniors as they age, including retirement communities, independent living, assisted living, memory care, and more. But, the most favored option by 90% of seniors is to age at home, also known as aging in place.Aging in place can be a great option for seniors as they enter their later years. Staying in your own home feels safe, familiar and comfortable. You can keep the same routine, neighborhood, and lifestyle youre accustomed to. You may live near friends and family who you see often. And, aging in place can sometimes be less expensive than moving to a senior living community. These are some common reasons why most seniors would prefer to spend their later years at home.How Can Seniors Age at Home?Aging in place takes plenty of planning to remain safe and comfortable in your home.One question seniors should consider when deciding to age in place is if their home is safe and accessible. Are the bedroom, bathroom, and laundry room on the main floor, or are stairs involved? Are the doorways wide enough to fit mobility devices if they are needed in the future? Does the house need safety modifications like ramps, grab bars in the bathroom, or improved lighting to prevent falls? Is the home going to be affected by possibly dangerous weather like ice and snow storms, or is it somewhere warm like Florida?Also, beyond home modifications, seniors wishing to age in place need to consider their ability to live independently. Independence can be affected by certain diseases like Parkinsons, dementia or Alzheimers. It can also be impacted by someones mobility level and ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) like dressing, eating, grooming, and managing medications. Oftentimes these circumstances require further help and care from a caregiver.What is Home Health Care?One of the best ways seniors can both age at home and receive the care they need is through home health care. With home health care, professional caregivers like nurses, aides, or therapists come to the seniors home to provide their needed care and assistance. These services can include help with ADLs like dressing and grooming, managing household tasks, rehabilitative or therapeutic services, and nursing care for an illness, injury, disease or disability.But how do you find the in-home care you need? And how do you ensure youre receiving the highest quality care at home? This is where geriatric care management can be essential. Keep reading to learn more about geriatric care management and why it is so important for seniors who are aging in place.What is Geriatric Care Management?Geriatric care management involves a professional care manager who coordinates all aspects of your needed senior care. This includes finding and evaluating hired caregivers and home health aides. A geriatric care manager also acts as a guide and advocate on your behalf as you navigate the healthcare system, helping you make informed decisions along the way. Overall, they ensure you or your loved ones are in the best hands and receive the best senior care possible.What Does a Geriatric Care Manager Do?Some services that can be provided by geriatric care managers include:Completing initial assessments of needsCreating short- and long-term care plansCoordinating in-home care services provided by caregivers like home health aidesArranging therapeutic services such as physical or occupational therapyEvaluating and monitoring hired caregiversActing as a liaison between hired caregivers and clients or their family members, especially if they live far awayIdentifying government programs and services that the client could useScheduling medical appointments and transportationReferring clients to other trusted professionals such as elder care attorneys and financial plannersAnswering questions and educating clients and family members on complex topics, such as those related to health care How Do I Pay For Geriatric Care Management?The most common way to pay for geriatric care management is out of pocket. Some long-term care insurance plans will cover care management, but most private insurance policies do not. Medicare and Medicaid also do not cover geriatric care management.One possible payment option to explore is employee assistance programs, which will sometimes cover a portion of geriatric care management fees for a senior relative. This is because about 60% of family caregivers also have full or part-time jobs. Over half of this group reports having to take time off from their jobs to attend to their caregiving duties. Many workplaces want to prevent employees from missing work time due to caregiving responsibilities so they can focus more on their jobs. Therefore, caregivers who are also employed elsewhere should look into their employee assistance program to see if it can help cover some of the costs.What are the Benefits of Geriatric Care Management?Geriatric care management can be essential for seniors who decide to age at home. Between finding doctors, scheduling appointments, and coordinating in-home care, there can be a lot to manage when aging in place. Geriatric care managers take on those responsibilities and more, giving peace of mind to seniors and their family. Below are some specific benefits of geriatric care management.1. Geriatric care management allows you to have a proactive approach to health care and aging, rather than a reactive approach. Having a reactive approach to health care means you respond to issues after they occur. On the other hand, a proactive approach means you take measures in advance to prevent issues from occurring in the future.Having a reactive approach to health care and the aging process tends to be less effective than taking a proactive approach. Specifically, those who are reactive tend to have worse health outcomes, spend more money on care, and experience more stress and anxiety about their situation. Being proactive about health care decisions is always the best option to regain control of your future. An expert geriatric care manager can help you take a more proactive approach to the aging process, preventing problems that could arise in the future. Overall, they help you make informed decisions about your future health care and aging process to make it as smooth as possible.2. Geriatric care managers foster independence for seniors. Using a geriatric care manager can lead to an improved quality of life for the seniors with more independence for longer. Geriatric care managers accomplish this by proactively managing seniors health and well-being, ensuring their living arrangements are safe and accessible, and arranging the best care for their needs. Managing overall health and well-being enables seniors to be more independent as they age. 3. Geriatric care managers are a support system for families.Seniors frequently live far away from their family members. Or, even if they do live nearby, their loved ones may be busy with a career or taking care of their own families. Enlisting a geriatric care manager is a great way for families to stay informed and ensure their senior loved ones are taken care of properly. These are just some of the many benefits of geriatric care management.  What Questions Should I Ask Before Hiring a Care Manager?As with anything involving senior care, it is important to do your research before hiring a geriatric care manager. You should also be prepared to ask the right questions to prospective care managers. Examples of some of these questions include:What credentials and licensure do you have?How long have you been providing geriatric care management?Do you have experience with specific conditions like Parinkinsons, dementia etc.? (If applicable)What are the main services you provide?Do you charge a fee for consultation? If so, how much?What is your fee structure? (Be sure to ask for this in writing)How often and in what way will you keep in contact with us?Are you available in case of an emergency?Do you have any references I can contact who have used your services before?How Much Does Geriatric Care Management Cost?The cost of geriatric care management can vary, and so can the way care managers charge clients. Most charge hourly, usually in the range of about $50-$250 per hour. Some care managers charge separately for an initial assessment, which generally costs $800-$2,000. Keep in mind these services do not include the cost of the in-home care itself. In Florida, home health care costs an average of about $28 per hour. Of course this cost can vary based on the level and amount of care being provided. Is Care Management Cheaper Than Assisted Living?While paying for geriatric care management out of pocket can seem like a substantial expense, it is commonly a cheaper option than assisted living or other residential care homes. This is because the client is able to receive only the personalized services they need at the time.For example, a senior may require 3 hours a week of care management, and 2 hours a day of home health care. If the care management is $120 per hour and the in-home care is $28 per hour, that would be around $2,040 per month for all the services together. Compared to the average cost of assisted living in Florida, which is about $4,700 in 2023, this price is much less. That is because assisted living communities also offer services that the senior may not want or need at the current time, like meal preparation or special programming and events. However, if a senior requires more significant care management and more hours of home health care, the price can quickly add up to cost more than a Florida assisted living community. And if someone needs round-the-clock care at home, that cost is almost always higher than an assisted living community, as well.A trusted senior advisor can help you evaluate all the options available and decide the most cost-effective path for you.How Do I Find Geriatric Care Management Near Me?Geriatric care managers can advise you on important senior care decisions and help you find and coordinate the best care at home. If this sounds like a service you might need, look no further than Florida Senior Consulting. Our local, professional senior advisors offer expert care management services for Florida seniors and their families.We are connected with some of the top senior care providers in Florida, from home health aides and nurses to physical therapists and speciality doctors. We will ensure you receive the best senior care on your terms, because the choice should always be yours.Call us at (800) 969-7176 or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com to learn how we can support you through your senior living journey. Were with you every step of the way!

Local Services By This Author

Senior Care Authority

Transition Specialists 8805 Tamiami Trail N, Naples, Florida, 34108

We know that navigating senior care options can be overwhelming for you and your family. As your advocate, we can do the homework for you.Well help you sort through and understand all your care options, traverse a complex healthcare system, get accurate and up-to-date information, and connect you to vetted local resources. How can we help you make the best choices for your loved one?