“Why does Mom need memory care? She isn’t that bad — yet. Is she?”
Ellen was struggling with the decision to move her mother, Jill, from her apartment in an assisted living facility to a memory care unit. Over the past year Jill, who had Alzheimer’s disease, was having increasing difficulty with the activities of daily living. I had arranged for in-home services several times a week and eventually upped it to every day, but I was concerned that it wasn’t enough.
Moreover, Jill was frail and had diabetes, and she’d fallen a few months earlier when she’d been alone at night and had forgotten to use her walker. Fortunately she hadn’t broken any bones, but it was another red flag.
As a case manager who’s helped hundreds of families through the years, I understood Ellen’s mixed emotions and the guilt she was feeling about moving her mother. But I reminded her that waiting longer – and risking a health crisis that forced a decision – wasn’t necessarily in her mother’s best interest.
“It’s hard for people with dementia to move,” I said, “but it’s even harder later on as the disease progresses. I’ve noticed over the past few months that your mother’s been more forgetful. You know that she’s left the stove on and the doors unlocked. It isn’t safe for her to live by herself anymore.”
“I know,” Ellen said, and I could see she was trying not to cry. “It’s just so difficult and I don’t want her to be unhappy in a new place.”
“Why don’t we visit the memory care unit together?” I suggested. Visiting the facility could ease Ellen’s mind. One of things I do as a case manager is assist families with choosing an appropriate memory care unit that meets the needs of their loved one, guide them through the paperwork process, and then monitor how their loved one is doing after the transition. It’s not unusual to see the person thrive in the right environment.
Ellen agreed, and we visited a memory care unit that same week. Ellen was reassured that maybe this was the right place and the right time, and we started the process.
Are you in a similar situation? Do you have questions about the next steps if a loved one can’t live alone? A case manager can help you sort through the options and make informed decisions.
Senior Transitions helps families with aging parents or grandparents to find the best life possible care options and help the aging family members live with independence. There are many care options and each individual is unique. We have been providing services in the Tallahassee area for over 30 years.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help your family, please contact us:
Receive Our Free E-Book - Aging in Tallahassee
Are you considering whether you or a loved one will age in Tallahassee? There are many good reasons to choose Tallahassee for your retirement and aging years and we would be happy to welcome you! Here is an e-book with information gathered to help you in your decision making.