Monday, February 10, 2014

CHECKING OUT ASSISTED LIVING HOMES

My "New Life" in an assisted living home started 5 years ago. So much has happened in that time, and so little. Sounds like life, doesn't it. Well, for me anyway, always seems one step forward--two back, rinse, repeat.

Anyhoo, I learned a lot about assisted living homes and that ilk. My in-laws spent time in several, my mother is in one and I am in one. At some point in your life the chances are that you too will spend time in such a facility or a loved one will.

It is a daunting thought, but there you have it. I am looking to move to a new home and I suggest this start after doing your reading on line---visit the place unexpectedly.

I think my new 'aimed for' home hates me for it, but in an hour I learned much more than the "marketing" person showed me. I sat with a resident, I talked to receptionists and other 'lower' staff. Sit and watch.

When I first moved here, I was told they accepted no dementia or Alzheimer's residents. Just like the recent place I checked out, within a short time a resident appeared who had no idea where they were.

She looked about 80, so sweet, just sitting by the front doors. We smiled at each other. Then the receptionist walked over and squatted next to her. "Are you going out today, Ruby?"

"Yes. I'm waiting on my ride. (wait for it) I'm going home."
"Ruby, you ARE home."
"I am? Is this a nice place?"
"Yes, very nice."
"Oh, good, I hate to wait on cars."
The receptionist left. Ruby sat awhile, then stood and walked into the dining room where a server greeted her.
"Hi, Ruby!'
"Hello. I am going home. I just hate waiting on my ride." Ruby sat at a table.
"Would you like a ham sandwich, Ruby?"
" Is it good?"
"You had one yesterday."
"Did I like it?"
"Yes."
"Oh. good," looking around, "I have to go home today."
"Ruby, you ARE home."
"I AM? Good, I hate to wait for a car."
"I'll bring your lunch."
"Thank you."

What I saw was wonderful. Staff knew her, cared for her, treated her with respect. She was happy. She was clean and dressed nicely.

I tune out the white noise of the marketing staff, and look at the details. Is the place clean? Talk to a server, a housekeeper, most importantly a few residents. (Not just one.) I spoke to 5 residents and 7 staffers before the marketing person got me.

And it was a good experience. 

1 comments:

aman said...

My "New Life" in an assisted living home started 5 years ago. So much has happened in that time, and so little. Sounds like life, doesn't it. Well, for me anyway, always seems one step forward--two back, rinse, repeat.

Anyhoo, I learned a lot about assisted living homes and that ilk. My in-laws spent time in several, my mother is in one and I am in one. At some point in your life the chances are that you too will spend time in such a facility or a loved one will.

It is a daunting thought, but there you have it. I am looking to move to a new home and I suggest this start after doing your reading on line---visit the place unexpectedly.

I think my new 'aimed for' home hates me for it, but in an hour I learned much more than the "marketing" person showed me. I sat with a resident, I talked to receptionists and other 'lower' staff. Sit and watch.

When I first moved here, I was told they accepted no dementia or Alzheimer's residents. Just like the recent place I checked out, within a short time a resident appeared who had no idea where they were.

She looked about 80, so sweet, just sitting by the front doors. We smiled at each other. Then the receptionist walked over and squatted next to her. "Are you going out today, Ruby?"

"Yes. I'm waiting on my ride. (wait for it) I'm going home."
"Ruby, you ARE home."
"I am? Is this a nice place?"
"Yes, very nice."
"Oh, good, I hate to wait on cars."
The receptionist left. Ruby sat awhile, then stood and walked into the dining room where a server greeted her.
"Hi, Ruby!'
"Hello. I am going home. I just hate waiting on my ride." Ruby sat at a table.
"Would you like a ham sandwich, Ruby?"
" Is it good?"
"You had one yesterday."
"Did I like it?"
"Yes."
"Oh. good," looking around, "I have to go home today."
"Ruby, you ARE home."
"I AM? Good, I hate to wait for a car."
"I'll bring your lunch."
"Thank you."

What I saw was wonderful. Staff knew her, cared for her, treated her with respect. She was happy. She was clean and dressed nicely.

I tune out the white noise of the marketing staff, and look at the details. Is the place clean? Talk to a server, a housekeeper, most importantly a few residents. (Not just one.) I spoke to 5 residents and 7 staffers before the marketing person got me.

And it was a good experience. 

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