Today’s LivHOME guest blog comes from Joan at New Mornings, a placement company that helps families find the best assisted living facility for their loved ones. Below is a past client placement story involving a long distance caregiver and her father who suffers from dementia.
One of the most rewarding aspects of our assisted living/dementia placement business is being able to help families find the right place for their loved ones while minimizing effort on the part of the family.
Recently we received a call from an out-of-state daughter (Alicia) who wanted us to assist her in finding a place for her father in the San Diego area. Alicia had been referred to New Mornings by her father’s banker who had worked with us in the past and felt we were honest, compassionate, and capable of finding a loving new home for her father in a minimum amount of time.
On the phone Alicia explained that her father (“Mr. P”) was 90 years old, had early dementia, had recently lost his wife, and was now experiencing depression and isolation. Even though he was still living in his lovely home of many years, most of the neighbors he’d known had either passed away or moved, and any new ones were younger and working. The daughter was concerned that her father was no longer eating well, that his personal hygiene was no longer a priority to him, that he was lonely, and that he was basically unsafe living alone.
Alicia told us that she’d spent many hours “on-line” looking at San Diego communities, but felt no better equipped to pick a place than before she started her search. From long distance, she couldn’t judge if the communities were in safe neighborhoods, how close they were to doctors or hospitals, nor could she really get the “feel” of them any way. By the time Alicia called us, she was very frustrated by her search, and irritated with her father because he refused to move closer to her so she could oversee his care. Therefore, Alicia needed to find time in her busy schedule to fly out here, find a new home for her father, and start the ball rolling to sell his existing home.
The plan was for Alica to come to San Diego on a Friday, spend Saturday and Sunday looking at communities (and hopefully pick one), take her father to the doctor to get the required paperwork done, clean out his home, and, finally, put it on the market to sell (a tall order for five days!) We agreed to pick Alicia up at her father’s home, and to take her to tour three communities we felt she would like for her father. We were instructed, “Don’t waste my time. I don’t want you to run me around to a bunch of places that won’t be appropriate for my dad.” She further noted that her dad and mom had had a very nice lifestyle in the past, that they’d been very social, and that she’d like something similar for him now.
Given Alicia’s specific instructions, we chose three lovely communities (two board & cares and one community) that we knew could meet her dad’s needs physically, as well as appeal to both Alicia and her dad aesthetically. Happily, Alicia really liked the first place we took her, but upon entering the second she said, “THIS IS IT!!” Within an hour’s time we had taken her to the perfect place for her dad. She was ecstatic. And so were we!!
Alicia’s dad moved shortly thereafter into a beautiful Board and Care community where he can live the rest of his life. Alicia was able to sell his house quickly. As she left San Diego, she called to thank us and said, “I couldn’t have done it without you!” Our favorite words!