Friday, 24 February 2017

Pitfalls to Avoid When Considering a Retirement Home - Guest Blog by Lianas Services

Every now and then we come across and article that we think our followers might be interested in.
This week we would like to share an article by Lianas Services. It has been reprinted with permission.

Whether you are considering a move into a retirement home or if you are part of the “Sandwich Generation” that is concerned about the health and well being of your parents, the thought process of potentially making the big move is very often emotional, overwhelming and confusing.
Here are some pitfalls to avoid when considering a move:
Waiting Too Long
It is only human nature to want to stay at home as long as possible.  However, you will be in a much better position to move into a retirement home when you are in control of the situation.  Be proactive instead of reactive.  Be aware of warning signs such as risks of slips and falls, mobility challenges, cognitive issues, safety and security, nutrition, loneliness and caregiver stress.  They tend to become more prevalent as one ages which increases the risk of creating a reactive scenario as opposed to the desired proactive option.  A frequent comment after a move-in is “I should have done this a long time ago”.
Rushing Into a Move
At the other end of the spectrum, you should try not to rush things if you have the luxury of time.  This can be an emotional, challenging time for families.  Try to plant seeds, do your research, take some tours and keep the lines of communication open with parents and family members.  Nobody likes surprises, and seniors, specifically, do not like to be rushed and would prefer to do things on their terms.
Geographic Convenience for Adult Children
Location is one of the most important features when deciding on a retirement home.  However, avoid the trap of choosing a residence solely based on geography.  The question needs to be “What is best for mom?” and not “What is best for me?”.  Important features such as proper care levels; staff-to-resident’s ratios; 24/7 nursing care; amenities; culinary options; environment; culture; safety and security all play an important role in the decision making process.
Finding the Ideal Retirement Home on Your Own
The search process is extremely time consuming.  In many cases, it can easily exceed 100 hours.  It can be confusing, stressful, emotional and overwhelming.  Talk to friends and other family members that have been through the process for guidance and support.  Do research on line.  For some, the easiest thing to do is to call a transition specialist.
In general, the thought of moving into a retirement home can be daunting.  However, with proper planning, guidance and support, the end result can be fulfilling and rewarding.  Many new residents will initially need some time to adjust but it is quite common to see significant benefits including an enhanced social life, improved nutrition levels, higher levels of care and a secure and safe environment.
Lianas provides families with knowledge, resources and services to assist seniors in transition. To find out more about Lianas Services visit lianasservices.com or call 1-877-450-3365.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Have you had an Essential Conversation™??

Have you 'had the talk' with your aging parents? If you are elderly, have you told your children your wishes if you are unable to make decisions in the future? Have you planned financially for your elder years? Do you have a Will? Do you have Powers of Attorney? If you are a business owner, do you have a plan for what you would like to do with your business when you retire or are unable to work any longer? Have you discussed they kind of care you want if you can't look after yourself in the future?

I attended an interesting meeting today that I thought would be something our followers might want to learn about especially if any of the above questions strike a chord.  Have you heard of The Essential Conversation Project®?

Born out of both professional and personal experiences of two social works with a tremendous passion for helping families with elder loved ones, this organization trains professionals to have the important and "essential conversations" with families to help them with decision making and planning issues around aging. At the same time the company builds partnerships with many different professionals to enable a network of helpers who can assist with any and all specialized issues for their clients and can connect their clients who need help, to an Essential Conversations Facilitator.

Over the many years I have worked with seniors, it is clear that there are certain topics that are much harder for some to broach with their families - topics around aging, care needs, legal and financial issues and death and dying are taboo in many families. And, often no one will even try to raise a concern until there is crisis. Often this limits options and, decision making may be pressured or, not in the best interest of the person involved. If conversations are had in advance of something bad happening it is so much easier for families to deal with the difficult decisions because they know what their loved one wants.

The concept of the The Essential Conversation Project® is simple at its core (in a nutshell, creating a community of helpers to support families dealing with aging issues) but also brilliant and much needed with our ever growing aging population. Sometimes having a neutral professional involved to help with the important conversations and connect you to helpful professionals who understand your situation and needs can make a world of difference.  Check out their website at www.essentialconversationsproject.com.