Begin by Getting the Facts
Looking for the right assisted living facility is a challenging task for many people, so if you are here because you need advice, or are not quite ready to make that step for placement of your loved one, call us for tips, techniques and additional resources available to you for continued care in the home. We believe the best place for your loved one is always at home first, but there comes a time when Caregivers must take care themselves, and reach out for assistance for options available to assure a quality of life for you, your family, and your loved one.
Some other considerations are when safety, proper hygiene, nutrition, medication management, and the lack of physical, social and emotional support become a concern; it is time to access community resources to seek the best possible arrangement for your loved one. Research and educate yourself and know all your options available before choosing any one plan of care or facility. You can learn more about how to best care for your loved one on our Resources page.
My Experience with Elder Care
My experience with elder care begins with my step-father. From 1998 to 2002 I was the court appointed Conservator for him. My responsibilities consisted of Estate and Health Care Management, as well as the monitoring of his emotional and cognitive needs. My step-father, diagnosed with dementia, was placed in an Assisted Living Facility (38-40 bed), where unbeknown to me the care was standard, but not of quality or individualized. He was in and out of the hospital often due to numerous falls, urinary tract infections, dehydration, pneumonia and being over medicated.
I soon found the his care responsibilities to be a full-time job, not to mention the emotional concerns out of fear for his wellness which I lived with daily. It was necessary to request of his care team to understand that regardless of his dementia diagnosis it is important that they regard him as a gentleman and treat him with respect and dignity. Simple things such as a smile, warm approach, saying hello, informing him of a procedure to be done, as well as explaining what’s being done were often overlooked.
When I had visited other Care Homes and asked about activities or exercise, often times I was told they tried to do games and activities with the Residents and the Residents did not participate or care for it. If you ask a 93 year old man if he would like to color a page or do a craft project, his answer would be "No!" The change of mind and outlook happens from the communication and gentle coaching approach used amidst a structured day program of varied crafts and games, group meals, and other group activities. It is also important that all the Staff speak English as their first language to avoid potential confusion to the Resident who can't hear well, or has a dementia diagnosis, to avoid further isolation and confusion. What I was most surprised by is that the majority of the Care Homes I had visited had reeked of urine - I was shocked and disappointed!
Then I discovered a warm and healing environment at a small six-bed Care Home where my step-father lived for two years longer than was expected. In 2001, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Due to my past experiences with larger facilities it was an easy decision to care for my mom at home. She is very healthy and has been at home with me and my husband for the last 12 years.
If it's done right assisted living gives you less to worry about. Over time you will know whether the owners and Staff actually care about your loved one or if it's just 'a job' to them. We have an Open-Door policy and encourage families to visit and participate in any function at any time of the day. Ideally, the Care Home you choose should offer the same since transparency is important.
I know from my own experience caring for my parents, and from many of the families I have talked with, that we each shared a worry that the Care Home or day program we chose would ignore our parents and that they would not be happy there. Recently a lady explained how distraught her daughter was that now their mother had to go to an assisted living facility. A common fear is that this was the end of the line, or that she was going there to die. I know I felt this way the first time I had to take mom to a Day care program for dementia; I remember after dropping her off, I had to pull over because I was crying, struck by the realization that mom was changing and the fact that I had to leave her in the care of others. Mostly I was worried that no one would pay attention to her, as she was back then quiet unless approached ... I also remember her saying that she did not want to go sit with all those old people so it was a struggle on some days to get her to go. Of course it is quite normal to feel this way, and experience has shown that the important thing is to get the know the Staff and be involved in their care to ensure they are getting the best.
Families are shocked by the difference our care team can make in a Resident’s life, and often comment on their surprise at mom or dad’s more positive outlook and favorable cognitive changes since coming to stay with us. Some Residents have come to us by wheelchair, with pressure sores, dehydrated, malnourished and weak from lack of movement, however we take great pride in helping our Residents to get back on their feet and healthy for a continued quality of life with us or even back at home with the family. We are here for all of our beloved elders who need help getting back on track.
In my capacity as a family Caregiver I have attended numerous support group training and counseling sessions and have been involved in planning and facilitating related resources for the community. This experience included the role of a Substitute Facilitator for a Caregiver Support Group at a local Alzheimer's organization, providing coaching and support for Caregivers and families - with an emphasis on assisting families to learn new approaches and communication techniques to achieve a more enjoyable and positive approach to their individual care situation, and at times acting as an elder advocate in achieving appropriate care of a family’s loved ones in various care environments.
Feel free to contact us anytime for questions or concerns. We will always find the time to help in any way we can. If our services are required we promise to make it as easy as possible and will work with you, comfort you and show you that making the choice of assisted living is not as daunting as you probably thought but is filled with days of joys in an environment where people really care about the well being of your loved one.
You Are Taking an Important Step
By choosing Golden Moments, you will gain the satisfaction of knowing that your loved one will be surrounded by friendly companionship in a safe and enriching environment, and that you are taking a vitally important step to continue caring for your loved one—that is, you are taking care of yourself. Golden Moments offers Residents a sense of success and accomplishment through carefully designed activities and the friendship of other Residents, Staff and visiting family members.
At Golden Moments Care Home we pride ourselves in giving our Special Care Residents a quality, active and enriched lifestyle. Our mission is to love and nourish the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of each of our Residents and their families.