The Girlfriends’ Guide to Senior Living

I’m the co-host of the YouTube/Podcast show “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Senior Living.” My friend Gail Peacock and I share our 20+ years of senior living experience in an educational and fun way. Past show topics have included, “When it’s time to Give Up Driving”, “How to Pay for Senior Living” and “Downsizing”.

Be sure to check out our YouTube channel to view all shows …and SUBSCRIBE!

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC1oxfLrn0MZJCBVdaHautXQ

Nothing Sweeter Than Honey

In senior housing the goal is to improve and enrich the quality of each seniors life. Sometimes we meet people working in senior communities who go above and beyond to ensure a senior is happy and thriving. In my opinion they are “Senior Angels” and should be recognized. This is the story about Jack and Honey, and the two angels that brought them together.

I was contacted in January by Jack’s son. At age 90, and living alone in Amarillo, the family was concerned for his well-being. A year earlier, Jack had lost his wife of 70 years, Patsy and was now alone in his house with the exception of his faithful canine companion, Maggie. Jack agreed to move to a retirement community closer to his son, but only if he could bring Maggie. Independent Living community Pinewood Hills in Flower Mound, Texas was a perfect match.  Jack selected a first floor unit, with a backdoor opening to a lush and gorgeous greenbelt. A section of the yard could even be fenced in so Maggie had an area to play. Jack was packed up and ready to transition into his new life when tragedy struck…Maggie died the day before he was scheduled to move.

Through his sadness, Jack moved in to his new home. He did well for the first few weeks and even made a couple of new friends, but then Rhonda Bedrick, Resident Experience Coordinator noticed that he was regressing and no longer coming to the dining room for his meals. Rhonda visited with Jack to find out what was going on. She says “his face always lit up with every conversation about Maggie. I realized that the light was getting dimmer and he needed a dog.” For Rhonda, this isn’t so much a job as it is a calling. She had tears in her eyes as she shared “our goal is to prevent isolation and depression. We give our residents purpose, strength and belonging. When it’s all said and done, the residents bring me so much joy, and they give ME purpose, strength and belonging.”

Jack needed a dog, and the search was on. One of Jack’s new friends, Katie searched online, while Sales Leader, Debbie Welker posted on her Facebook page. Rhonda scoured community pages on Facebook, and her search quickly paid off when the Pelican Bay Animal Control Shelter posted a picture of a “perfect little dog for Jack.” Rhonda explained the situation to Bill at Pelican Bay and he agreed that this dog would be a great fit. After sharing the information with Jack’s son and getting his okay, Rhonda drove to Pelican Bay to pick up the dog. Bill waived all fees, and said that he would be on the lookout for dogs for future Pinewood Hills residents.

Jack was overjoyed when he was introduced to his new dog. He promptly named her Honey. When I asked him why he chose that name, he replied “because she’s a honey.” As Honey nestled onto Jack’s lap, he was all smiles as he said “She’s perfect for me. She sure is a blessing.”

The change in Jack was immediate. Debbie stated “he’s excited about life again, and coming to meals. The dog was the missing ingredient.” Rhonda says, “Jack needed a reason to get up every morning. Honey needs him to take care of her, and he has so much love to give her. Honey is the center of his attention and gives him a purpose.”

Rhonda and Debbie took the initiative to spend their personal time searching for the perfect dog for Jack. These two ladies have a heart and passion for seniors, which is why they are Senior Angels. Thank you both for bringing joy back into Jack’s life.

On a side note, Rhonda can now add “Dog Whisperer” to her resume. She is currently searching for dogs for three of her residents!

Lori Williams is the owner of the senior referral service, Lori Williams – Senior Services. She helps seniors and their families find senior communities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Lori has worked in senior living for over 12 years, and uses her extensive knowledge and resources to assist families as they transition into senior housing. This is a no-cost service.

www.loriwilliams-seniorservices.com

How do you pay for Senior Living/Resources?

This is the #1 question on most peoples mind. There is so much misinformation out there – Gail and I share our knowledge on this episode of “The Girlfriends’ Guide to Senior Living”.

Be sure to contact me if you have additional questions or need help finding resources for yourself or for a family member!

 

Dealing with Dementia

Did you know that Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and accounts for 60-80% of Dementia cases? I’m the co-host of the show, “The Girlfriends’ Guide to Senior Living” and we just recorded a show where we share the basics of this disease. If you have a family member with Dementia, I hope you will find value in this video. Also, pleas share it with your friends.

If you need help locating senior housing or resources, be sure to reach out to me. My services are completely free to seniors and their families.

The Girlfriends’ Guide To Senior Living

Hey Friends,
In case you don’t know, I am the co-host of the weekly YouTube and Podcast show, “The Girlfriends’ Guide to Senior Living. My dear friend, Gail Peacock and I share our combined 20 years of experience in senior living, to help educate families searching for senior resources. Please check it out…I hope you learn something new, and be sure to follow the show!!

Role Reversal – Becoming Your Parent’s Caregiver

Caring for an aging parent is a challenging role reversal for both the adult child and their parents. It’s not easy to have conversations about finances, taking away the car keys, or making the decision to move from the family home in to senior housing.

When a parent has dementia or other medical issues, the adult children have to step into the role of caregiver—feeling much like they are now the parent. Your parents made sure you were safe, ate nutritious meals, took your medicine and practiced good hygiene…and now you are doing the same for them. This role reversal can be extremely overwhelming and stressful. Know that you are not alone, and there are excellent support groups and senior care options available.

Need help finding support groups, in-home care, or senior housing/care options? Please call or message me. My services are always free to seniors and their families. 214-783-1222

Lorwilliams-seniorservices.com

AD133300-A7D5-4259-A02E-8E8D63E5930E

Keeping Seniors HYDRATED!

B1EB2B67-D512-49CC-97EA-64A3EAFAEC9EWith the temperatures in North Texas exceeding 100 degrees for the next week or longer, it’s critical to ensure that everyone, especially our seniors are staying hydrated. Seniors are more vulnerable to dehydration for several reasons. With age, our body’s ability to conserve water is reduced, making it more difficult to adapt to things like fluctuating temperatures. Also, our sense of thirst diminishes with age. By the time someone actually feels thirsty, they could already be dehydrated. Some medications, like diuretics, laxatives and corticosteroids can cause frequent urination that deplete the body of water and electrolytes. Medical conditions, like dementia may cause seniors to forget to eat and drink. Another factor, seniors who experience incontinence often purposely refuse or limit fluids in order to avoid embarrassing accidents.

Most adults need 48- 64 ounces of fluid every day. NOTE: the amount increases with heat and humidity and can change based on medications and health conditions.

Tips to Stay Hydrated:

  • Drink a glass of water or juice when you wake up.
  • Keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day, especially if you’re out running errands.
  • Drink before, after and during exercise.
  • Take water breaks throughout the day.
  • Water isn’t the only option, many foods are hydrating. Snack on cucumbers, tomato, watermelon, bell pepper, grapes, blueberries, popsicles, smoothies and broth.

Need help locating resources or housing for yourself or a senior loved one? We are here to help.

 

Have you heard the term “Sandwich Generation”?

It’s a real term! Here’s the Wikipedia definition… “The Sandwich Generation is a generation of people (usually in their 30s or 40s) who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children.” This term was added to both the Merriam-Webster and Oxford English dictionaries in 2006.

Maybe you are reading this and realized that you are a member of the Sandwich Generation. Pat yourself on the back, because you my friend are a superhero! While there are certainly benefits of living in a multi-generational family, there can also be incredible stress on the primary caregiver. Caring for children, plus the needs of an elderly parent can be a recipe for burnout. In many families, the primary caregiver is also working a full-time job.

infant-1052620_1920Below are 5 tips to help prevent caregiver burnout:
1) It helps to know that you are not alone. There are some excellent books available that address the issues you face as a caregiver. I like “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” by Roz Chast and “The Caregiver’s Survival Handbook: How to Care for Your Aging Parent Without Losing Yourself” by Alexis Abramson.
2) Join a support group. If your parent has Alzheimer’s, there are many excellent support groups that meet in churches and in Assisted Living/Memory Care communities. The Alzheimer’s Association website offers information on support groups.
3) Give yourself a break. Ask a friend or family member to take over for a few hours so you can do something for yourself. If you have no one to help, consider a Home Care service or check out Adult Day Care centers in your community. Some memory care communities have drop in care one day a week.
4) If your senior family member is still active, be sure to check out your local senior center. There are lots of wonderful activities and would not only give you a break, but would be a way for your parent to engage with other seniors.
5) Take care of your health! It’s easy to slip into a routine of putting yourself last. Try to establish a good sleep routine, eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Share with your family doctor that you are a caregiver, and bring up any concerns you may have.

If you need help with locating Home Care or Caregiver resources, please reach out to me. If you decide it’s time to explore other options, I would be happy to help you locate Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care and Group Homes. My services are always free to families.

 

 

What is a Residential Care Home?

Most people have heard the terms Assisted Living and Memory Care, but what about …Residential Care Homes? Also called, Group Homes or Care Homes. I bet you would be surprised to know that you’ve likely driven past one, and there may even be one in your neighborhood!senior lady with caregiver

Residential Care Homes are private homes that have been converted and staffed to care for seniors. These homes can provide a high level of care, similar to a skilled nursing facility, but in a home-like setting. The seniors choose, based on their budget, either a private room or shared room. They enjoy home-cooked meals, and assistance with their personal care (bathing, dressing, incontinence care, medication management, etc.). The homes usually have 3-6 residents, but some are set up to take more. In recent years, there have been smaller, home-like facilities built for up to 20 residents. These are basically a hybrid of a Residential Care Home and an Assisted Living/Memory Care, and are becoming a very popular option.

Who is a good candidate for a Residential Care Home? Seniors with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, mobility issues, or a senior who simply prefers the feel of a smaller setting. Some of the homes specialize in memory care and are secure. Others cater to higher-functioning residents, and some are all female or all male homes.

How much do they cost? On average, most fall between $3,000 – $5,000/month depending on care needs. There are some that are less, which is an attractive option for seniors on a limited budget.

Help is only a phone call away! Do you need help determining which type of senior living option is best for yourself or a family member? I can assist you with that…and my service is always FREE to families.

Lori Williams – Senior Services  214-783-1222

Downsizing Tips

You know it’s time to make that move to senior living, BUT you’re overwhelmed by all the stuff you’ve accumulated throughout the years. I totally get that!! I’ve been in my house for 21 years and the thought of moving is daunting. Imagine 50+ years in your home? I LOVE these awesome tips for “Rightsizing” from Realtor, Tricia Spurrier.

Don’t let the fear of getting rid of your “stuff” stop you from moving onto the next chapter of your life!!!

fullsizeoutput_62c5