Tapestry Wickliffe is committed to bringing you assisted living and memory care services in a comfortable and engaging environment. That’s why we’ve collected the most common questions about our community and the numerous amenities and services we provide. Click on each question to view their answers, below.
Do my parents need continuing care?
Deciding to move your parents from their home to a retirement community is one of the most difficult decisions a son or daughter can make. It’s not a decision to be made overnight, but one that must be carefully approached.
Start the process by first asking yourself these questions.
Are your parents…
- Beginning to have trouble with their daily tasks?
- Beginning to have difficulty with movement, balance and general mobility?
- Having trouble or experiencing uncertainty or confusion with tasks that should be familiar?
There are plenty of other indicators, but if your family member can identify with either of these three issues, then it may be time to consider that a senior living community is right for them. In other cases, things may not be as black and white as a parent experiencing movement or memory problems, however if you are concerned about whether your parents have the physical ability to take care of themselves then it may be time to consider a senior living community. This is especially true if your mother or father lives in a remote area and experience difficulty being able to receive immediate assistance in the event of an emergency.
What are the signs that Assisted Living is right for my parents?
If an individual under your care is experiencing any of the following, then an Assisted Living community may be the best way to provide the care they need without taking away their independence.
If you are seeing the following signs on a reoccurring basis, it may be beneficial to consider Assisted Living:
- Spoiled food that should be thrown away
- History of missing appointments
- Difficulty getting up from a seated position
- Difficulty walking, with balance and mobility
- Confusion or uncertainty with once-familiar tasks
- General forgetfulness
- Poor hygiene or strong body odors
- Strong smell of urine in home
- Noticeable decline in personal care and grooming habits
- Dirty, cluttered house
- Increasingly unopened mail
- Late payments or bounced checks
- Poor diet or weight loss
- Loss of interest in hobbies or usual activities
- Extreme mood swings or changes in mood
- Forgetfulness of medications
- Taking incorrect doses of medications
- Unexplained bruises or injuries
- Unexplained damage to vehicle or belongings
What do I do if my parents need Assisted Living?
If your parents are having difficulty accomplishing daily tasks, then an assisted living community may be best for them. If you decide that it is time to consider assisted living for your loved one, then start by getting your family and siblings involved. This is a family matter and should be approached together.
The next step is to determine what you can afford. Assisted living can offer tremendous value to residents when compared to receiving care at home. When you’ve found a community that’s right for your family member, contact an advisor or someone who can help determine what needs your family member have — medical or otherwise. If the community can accommodate your family member, then take a tour. It’s important that your parents feel comfortable with their new home as this can be a major life-changing decision for them.
Your parent’s mental and physical health should be a primary factor when making this decision as a family. Remember, many communities offer a continuum of care, allowing for the level of care to be adjusted as the need demands it. Once a proper plan is determined, the move can be made.
How do I start the conversation with my parents?
Recognizing that your parents require continuing care is challenging, but if you determine that your loved one would be better in an assisted living community, the first step is to prepare for the conversation. While it can be difficult to discuss where, when and how your family member will spend the next chapter of their life, it’s important to discuss care, financial and legal matters before a crisis can occur.
Start by collecting your thoughts, whether on paper or having a practice conversation with your family members before talking to your parents. It may help to create a list of topics that you’d like to discuss with your family member, which can help to keep you focused and able to overcome any objections your parents may have. The decision to move to a senior living community isn’t one to be made overnight, so don’t expect instant results. Instead, prepare for it to be a discussion managed over time. You may find that inviting your parents to tour different senior living communities, and even taking part in social events, can help sway even the most stubborn mind. It may also help your parents come to terms with the situation by discussing how their own parents were cared for in their later years, and what they would have done differently. Finally, don’t let your parents feel as if they don’t have a voice in this conversation. Ask what their own care preferences are and make sure that they are heard.
The most important aspect of this conversation is to not be hasty and to take the time to convey your concerns. Today seniors have a wide range of living options to choose from and having an open dialogue with them will help to narrow down what is right for your parents as they age.
How do I know if a community is right for my parents?
This can be a very tough step, but the most important thing is to ask questions with any prospective community to make sure that it suits your family member’s needs.
As you begin your search for different communities, we recommend keeping these questions in mind:
- What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
- What training and experience does the staff have?
- How many staff members are on duty overnight?
- Can staff administer medications?
- Is there a 24/7 staff nurse?
- Is there an initial assessment prior to admission?
- What types of floorplans are available?
- What monthly costs are there?
- Are all services included in monthly fees?
- If there is a wait list, how many are on it and what is the policy?
- What sort of additional services are available if the needs of the resident changes?
- What is the discharge policy?
- What are current residents like?
- Are there outdoor spaces?
- What sort of social events are offered?
How to cope with the transition?
Initially, any move for an older adult can be difficult for the resident and their family. It’s much easier if there has been buy-in from both parties from the start, but for many adults, this next chapter of life can be very difficult. It can be a stressful process for both the caregiver and the family member. In other instances, older adults may be looking forward to this next step in life, as they may see it as a chance to meet new people and do new things in a maintenance-free environment.
Regardless of your parents’ demeanor, it’s important to focus on making the transition as easy for your loved one as possible. It may be tough for them to adjust to their new surroundings and new routines, even if they’re looking forward to the change. Your parents may find that the first few months are the most challenging, but they’ll find that ongoing communication with you will help significantly in their adjustment process.
Other tips to help your parents adjust to their new settings are:
- Make it easy to continue a hobby or established routine. Your parents will find it easier to adjust if the habits they’ve built over a lifetime are carried into their new home. For instance, if your father starts the day off with the newspaper every morning, then be sure to forward the newspaper to their new address.
- Keep communication open. Speaking to your parents frequently, and encouraging other family members to as well, can be a great way to make them feel as though they’re not forgotten, and that they’re being taken care of.
- Visit regularly. There’s no more convincing way to show that you care about your parents than taking time to spend with them. You can go alone, bring the full family, or even bring one of your family member’s old friends or neighbors so that they can keep those bonds strong. Encourage your parents to partake in activities and occasionally join them.
- Encourage your loved ones to maintain ties to familiar surroundings and activities. If your dad wants to be taken to see his old home or your mother wants to visit her old hairdresser then encourage them to do so. Opportunities for your parents to reminisce can be very positive and beneficial to their psyche.
- Encourage your loved one to socialize with other residents. It can be very lonely to move into a new place, which will leave a heavy mental toll on your loved one. Encouraging them to actively engage with those around them, making friends or acquaintances will help make a new home feel familiar.