5 Sage Tips for Caregivers From A Place for Mom Advisors
Last Updated: March 25, 2019
Senior Living Advisors are the “heart and soul” of A Place for Mom’s service. Located throughout North America, our Advisors provide local information and support to families who are searching for senior care. Our advisors act as empathetic listeners and knowing guides, empowering seniors and their families to make informed senior living decisions.
Since our Advisors work with numerous families each day, they’re keenly aware of the challenges families face when a parent or senior loved one’s health begins to decline. Their practical experience uniquely qualifies them to offer meaningful and useful advice to families grappling with senior living decisions.
5 Tips for Caregivers From A Place for Mom Advisors
Here are five tips for caregivers from our Senior Living Advisors in their own words:
1. On dealing with a parent who is combative due to Alzheimer’s or dementia. – Shelane Barrett, National Account Manager, Chicago
“At this point, you have to step out of the box and try to gain a new perspective. If you were sitting with a friend, and she described the exact same situation to you about her parents, what would your advice be? It isn’t easy to watch our parents go through this or to make decisions for them, but it’s a time where making decisions for them is critical to their safety.
Remember that you may need to support yourself and that you’re not alone. It may be helpful to join a support group for caregivers and loved ones of people with memory loss.”
2. On touring communities with your parent. – Ronnie Ashline, former Senior Living Advisor, Seattle
“Visit many potential options yourself first and find one that you believe your parent will truly enjoy. Work with the staff to schedule a lunch tour or to join in an activity that is happening at the community.
Many communities have events that are open to the public so this may be a non-threatening and simple way for your Dad or Mom to see the community for the first time.”
3. On when a parent who is unsafe alone resists moving to a senior living community. – Martina O’Donoghue, Senior Living Advisor, Wayne, New Jersey
“Use an educational approach. Explain that you want to show them what the options are so that they can make their own decisions about their golden years. Many seniors are not aware that senior living communities can offer a very independent, pleasant lifestyle. They often think they are going to look at nursing homes or “old folks” homes.
Arrange to visit senior communities and compare costs to the upkeep of the house. Highlight, for your parent, the aspects of life alone at home that are becoming difficult or unsafe (driving, stairs, yard maintenance etc.)
Unless the situation is urgent, be gentle, empathetic and patient. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their concerns and fears.”
4. On when siblings don’t agree on a parent’s care. – Dovid Grossman, Senior Living Advisor, Chicago
“I once helped a senior gentleman with seven children, each wanting to help Dad as much as possible… but each had a different idea of what was best for Dad. Keep him home where he is most familiar; move him to assisted living where there are other seniors; move in with one of the kids, etc. They even had three different Senior Living Advisors since three different siblings had contacted A Place for Mom individually.
They agreed to have a conference call together and work with a single advisor. Their advisor was able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of their ideas and help them weigh the benefits of each. The family kept notes in one shared place online as they each visited the senior communities in their respective states. After a couple more conference calls, they were able to make a joint decision on how to best support their dad together.
Having an outside third party Advisor helped keep the family focused on Dad and move forward as a happy, unified family.”
5. On when your aging parent lives out of state. – Shelane Barrett, National Account Manager, Chicago
“‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is the furthest thing from the truth when it comes to loved ones. When you aren’t able to stop by and your communication is limited to phone calls, you may not have a clear picture of what is happening — which can be very unsettling. Many of the families I work with are in a constant state of worry, always wondering: ‘Is Mom okay?’ ‘Did she actually take her medications?’ ‘Why isn’t she answering the phone?’
When your parent moves to a trusted senior community, the day to day activities that you have been biting your nails about are taken care of! If Mom doesn’t answer the phone, you can call the building staff to check on her. There is practically an endless supply of services available to seniors in a community… and for you? Peace of mind.”
Does any of this advice resonate with you? What other tips would you like to hear from Senior Living Advisors? We’d like you to share your questions in the comments below.
We Can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.
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