This case is probably very relatable to many families, so we really wanted to share more than 30 seconds. This family reached out to Aging Advocates CNY last summer after their mom had been living with them for 8 months and realizing they could use some professional help. Mom lost her husband (they were living in Buffalo) which is what sparked the move to Syracuse with her son and daughter in law. Also, like many couples, they both had some medical need for assistance but were able to lean on each other and manage, but once she became a widow, she was unsafe alone.
The son was very apprehensive to the idea of his beloved mother moving to what he referred to as a “nursing home.” He had terrible memories of these sterile facilities from growing up, and did not want that for his mom. The first thing we were able to do was simply educate him on the various levels of care and types of senior communities that are a far cry from his “nursing home” vision. We did a series of interviews to gather information on what types of daily tasks mom could do independently and what she needed assistance with. We were able to get to know her personality- likes and dislikes and get a sense of who she was and who she is know (both lovely). We provided the family with recommendations for assistance to keep her in the home as well as a few communities we felt would be a good fit for her. The in home recommendations included enrolling in services with AURORA of CNY for her vision impairment, options for in home physical therapy, senior day centers, and caregivers for respite so they could have a date night!
After determining she was likely appropriate for assisted living (not memory care or skilled nursing) based on her current physical and cognitive condition, we named three communities for consideration. *Please note we are not diagnosing, we are gathering the information and advising based on what levels of care the communities are licensed for. Each community does their own intake assessment in conjunction with the client’s physician to determine their appropriateness.
The family picked two of the three communities in which we toured together, which they found very eye opening. The communities recommended were not only able to meet their mother’s needs but looked nothing like the nursing homes the son was worried about. The Aging Advocates team member was able to ask relevant questions to the community representative and help guide the family on the pros and cons. *We always try to set REALISTIC expectations. No community or service will be perfect, but we try to prioritize based on the client’s specific situation.
The family ended up choosing a community and made the difficult decision to move mom to her next chapter of life. In this case, the transition was without a doubt harder on the family than the older adult themselves. Also, very common for families to feel guilt and worry about such a big transition. We followed up with the family nearly 1 year later, and this “commercial” is a real testimony to her outcome. This was not scripted or steered in any way. They were simply asked “what was your experience with Aging Advocates?” To hear that our client is not only doing well, but her quality of life despite her circumstances has IMPROVED was the best outcome we could have hoped for. THIS is why we do what we do. We hope you will share with anyone considering any senior care options!