The following interview with Pamala Temple aired on KONG TV in
Seattle, Washington on June 16, 2008.
Starting a Search for Elder Care
Watch the KONG TV interview by A
Place for Mom President Pamala Temple.
Brad Goode: You know it is a very difficult question facing
hundreds of thousands of families across this country, as mom and
dad get older what is the best way to care for them? Joining us
this morning is Pamela Temple, founder of the Seattle based A Place
For Mom, is a free elder care referral service. Pamela, thanks for
being here. This is an issue that so many Americans are having to
deal with more and more. So we know many people are dealing with
this family issue, tell us about why and how you started A Place
Pamela Temple: Absolutely, well I have been in the elder care
industry for many years, fifteen years prior to starting it and
really just saw that families needed personal professional
assistance when making this kind of very important decision for
somebody who they've loved all their life. And people were
frequently finding elder care through driving by, advertising, and
there are so many great options out there that they probably didn't
know of and that's why we started the company.
Goode: All right, so you've been in business eight years, I take
it business has exploded because it just seems that more and more
people need services and don't know where to go.
Temple: It's so true we ah, we're actually one of the fastest
growing companies here in Washington and it's really just because
so many people need the service and there are so few options out
there to talk with folks when you're going through this difficult
time. There are a lot of questions that come up and...
Goode: Let's talk about that, because I think that's the core
issue for everybody here saying I need help, I have a lot of
questions, what are some of the questions that people ask when
they're trying to figure out, you know, is it time for elder care,
what do I do, what do I look for, what type of elder care do I
Temple: All those things come into peoples minds and I think the
biggest thing we ask people to look for: Are you seeing any
physical changes that could cause a person to be unsafe? Many times
a fall can lead to devastating things and even death so you want to
make sure that if they're having physical problems to get on that
right away, to start asking those questions, maybe have a family
meeting to talk about some of the things you're seeing. You're also
seeing memory loss. People are very concerned about what does that
mean and when might this mean that mom is unsafe at home?
Nutritional issues, are people eating right? Are they getting
physical activity? Those types of things come to mind.
Goode: You know I want to touch a little bit on the Alzheimer's
situation because we know that's a growing issue in this country, I
do a lot of work with the Alzheimer's Association here, and many
people are confronted with, when do I know it's time to put mom and
dad in care because a lot of times, you know, they get backlash
from mom and dad saying I can handle myself, I'm fine, I'm just
forgetting a few things and there's concern that maybe they can't.
How do you help people through that process?
Temple: We do, it's a very difficult thing for the adult child,
as we say, because you know frequently and just like with, with my
grandmother you know you've heard "I don't want to go into a home",
"I don't need that". Well it's something that the adult children
really just need to face and understand you have to push your way
through and really just communicate with the elderly in terms of
let's talk about what's going on. You might get your doctors
involved. You might ask them, you know you're in charge of your
life mom but what about toying with me, why don't we go out and
take a look at these places I've heard they're really nice these
days. Because I think the elderly have an idea of what elder care
is many, many years ago and there are so many great options out
there now that can really make their life so much better if we just
give them that chance and really create a bridge.
Goode: What's the best way for that adult child to deal with the
guilt that they're putting mom or dad in a home to be cared
Temple: It's so hard.
Goode: It's so hard.
Temple: The guilt is there but I would say try to put it aside
and put their safety first and understand that feeling the guilt is
normal, but that if we let the guilt stop us from making the right
choices for them - that could mean a terrible fall, that could mean
them not taking their medication correctly, which could lead to bad
things. So we just have to kind of plow through that and good
communication. Bring in other family members. You know some of the
family members might be stronger at this than others.
Goode: True. I think it takes a family effort indeed; no doubt
you need the support. I'm sure one of the big questions as well, I
want to end with this, is of course the cost of elder care. People
see that, they hear that, and they just fear huge numbers. Is there
help for people out there with the cost?
Temple: Yeah, there is help. Essentially we do say you know you
want to make sure a lot of these options are private pay ranging
anywhere from $80 to $150 a day, similar to a hotel but you also
get care in that. So the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit is a
great one for veterans. Medicare does cover some things in nursing
homes. Medicaid, the Pace program, people are also sometimes
cashing in their life insurance policies, there are some things
they can do there to help with the finances. Sometimes family
members chip in, so lots of different options.
Goode: I know there's a lot of lobbying I was with the
Alzheimer's Association down in Olympia to get lawmakers to listen
to this need and how it's growing so they are looking at setting
more and more money aside for elder care because they realize it's
just something, I mean it could become an epidemic in this country
and it's got to be handled and there's got to be resources for that
Goode: Thank you for coming in to talk about it. It's something
we don't want to talk about, and many of us are going to have to
Temple: Absolutely, thanks for having me.
Goode: All right. If you'd like to learn some more about A Place
For Mom and some of the free resources that they have available
we've set up a link on our website, go to king5.com and click on
news links and we'll get you some of those answers that perhaps you