Monthly Archives: June 2018

Talking to your Loved Ones about Senior Living

Do you have loved ones who are struggling to maintain their independence at home? It may seem obvious to
you that they need to consider a senior living environment for their own safety, but, it may not be so obvious to
them. How, then, do you talk to them about your concerns in a serious but respectful way? Here are some tips.

Consider the setting, and stay positive

Be mindful of the appropriate place for a discussion. Is your loved one likely to be more at ease in their favorite restaurant or coffee shop, or is home the best place? When everyone is comfortable in their surroundings, the stage is set for a more productive discussion. Remember, too, that it is all about your loved ones. You obviously love them and want the best for them – but don’t forget to tell them that!

A Primrose employee visits with a resident about her family.

A Primrose employee visits with a resident about her family.

It is important to share your concerns and fears, and to do so in love. Give specific examples, like “you took the wrong medicine dosage twice last week,” or “lately, I’ve been over two or three times a week to help you out and I’m concerned what might happen if I am not here to answer your call the next time you need something.” This can be a difficult conversation to have, and your loved ones may react in one of several different ways:

  • They may deny that there is a problem.
  • They may become angry or confused about you questioning their ability to be independent.
  • They may accept the truth that they need help.
  • They may shut down and refuse to discuss the situation any further.

Regardless of the reaction, they need to know the truth, even if it may take some time for them to think things through.

Talk about solutions

Finding a resolution to the issue is more important than the issue itself. Talk with your loved ones about possible solutions that you can work on together. Remember, just like your concerns about their safety, they have their own concerns when it comes to moving out of a home they have lived in for so many decades. Share resources with them, online and in print. Have a no-pressure lunch at a local retirement community as an introduction to the world of senior living. Start slow, ask lots of questions, and be there to support your loved ones. In the end, you will be glad you did..

If you have additional questions about senior living, Primrose would be honored to assist you. Just go to www.primroseretirement.com for more info.

Addressing the Myths of Memory Care

If you are researching memory care options, it is important to be able to separate the fact from the fiction. There are many misconceptions floating around regarding memory care, but with a little bit of sound education, you’ll be able to confidently work your way through the information minefield and find the best option for your loved one. To give you a head start, here are some important memory care myths to be aware of:

A mother and her daughter share stories from childhood at Primrose.

A mother and her daughter share stories from childhood at Primrose.

Gloomy gray floor tiles. Shared rooms separated by just a curtain. Indifferent staff. These are all figments of an outdated perception of what memory care communities are really like. Modern memory care residents enjoy beautifully designed private apartments, modern amenities, and a nursing staff dedicated not just to caring for their needs but enriching their lives by preserving and celebrating their identity and their legacy. In short, it is all about our residents.

Myth #2 – Memory care communities are not safe

Those living with dementia are generally much safer living in a community like Primrose than they would be living alone. Our nursing staff are here 24/7, so professional care is available any time it is needed. Our communities are also secured to help ensure that nobody comes or goes without the staff knowing. This provides peace of mind for family members and residents.

Myth #3 – Memory care communities are too expensive

When compared to many nursing homes or around-the-clock home healthcare, memory care communities can prove to be much more affordable than you might think. When researching your options, be sure to ask about doing a cost comparison with someone at the community so that you can see the benefit for yourself. You’ll also want to ask about any options that may be available to you to get additional assistance in paying for care.

Myth #4 – It is best for everyone if I take care of my loved ones myself

What many caregivers learn is that as dementia advances, the demands on their personal time and their own physical and emotional health can become excessive. We want the best for our loved ones, and sometimes we feel guilty about asking them to make a move to a memory care community. Our jobs, families, churches, and community responsibilities already keep us very busy. Even though our intentions are good, the addition of caregiving to our already hectic schedules can lead to burnout.  At Primrose, caregivers in our memory care communities participate in ongoing training to help them truly understand the process of dementia and how they can modify and adapt what they do each day to add meaning and value to our residents’ lives.

Remember, if you need help, ask! Primrose can visit with you about your loved ones and help talk through what your next steps should be. We would be honored to help you. Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for additional information.

Moving a Loved One with Dementia

Are you are taking care of a loved one with dementia? Perhaps you have reached a point where you believe that a move to a memory care community is the best choice for the health and happiness of both you and your loved one. This topic can seem difficult and intimidating, especially if there is resistance to the idea. Here are a few things to consider before having that conversation:

A Family spends time together at Primrose Retirement Community

A Family spends time together at Primrose Retirement Community

Are your loved ones capable of making this decision on their own? Remember, if their dementia easily leads to confusion or causes them to struggle with small decisions, they will likely struggle with more significant ones as well. Someone who is having trouble remembering faces, or who requires assistance dressing or taking medications on time and in the right amounts, is likely unable to determine on their own whether or not they can live alone safely.

Know what to say and who will say it

It is important to remember that anything can happen when the topic of moving to a memory care community is discussed. Your loved ones may agree that they need to make a move for their own safety and for the well-being of their family. They may also react in anger and say things in response that you may find shocking. If this happens, you have to remember that it is the dementia talking and not your loved one. It can be difficult for someone living with dementia to control their emotions, so it is important that the person doing the talking is strong enough to handle it if the reply is less than courteous.  If they are unhappy with the idea of making a move, try talking through the issue with them. Ask them why they are struggling. Help your loved ones to think through their fears and verbalize them so you can have a discussion together. Reassure them by letting them know that they will be moving to a place where they can still do all the things that they love. Let them know that you love them and that you want them to be safe and happy, but stay focused and keep your concerns front and center.

Making the move

No matter your age or physical condition, moving is difficult. It will take time, perhaps six months or more, for your loved ones to get used to living in a new place – but when moving day arrives, there are some things that can be done to make the process a bit easier.  Re-create the place that makes them most comfortable. Where do your loved ones feel the most comfortable in their home? Around the kitchen table? In their favorite living room chair? At their sewing desk? Wherever that place may be, you’ll want to move it to their new home and re-create it exactly as it is in their current one. This will provide a sense of familiarity and comfort.

Preserve routines

When getting up in the morning, does your loved one prefer coffee and a newspaper prior to getting ready? If your loved one had a tough day, would they prefer to wind down alone while sipping their favorite drink or would they prefer to be around a few people they love to help them chat about their day? After they are done reading their favorite book, do they put it on a shelf or do they place it under their pillow? It is important to observe these types of small routines and then replicate them. So after you’ve made the bed, be sure to place that favorite book under the pillow, just as it was at home.

If you have questions about dementia and how it is affecting your loved ones, Primrose would be honored to help you. Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for additional assistance.