Hear author Diane Masson articulate home care, assisted living and skilled nursing costs. Which one do you think costs the most? You might be surprised.
Learn tips on comparing home care to assisted living and how Continuing Care Retirement Communities can offer financial security. She shares what happened when her mother ran out of assets in assisted living and how to plan ahead for future health care costs if you own a home. Diane shares how her mother-in-law is paying $8,000 a month for long-term care and may run out of assets. Be smart and educate yourself before a health care crisis.
Diane Masson has empowered thousands of seniors to plan ahead and gives great tips for adult children whose parents are in a health care crisis. “Your Senior Housing Options,” can answer all your questions and empower you to help any struggling senior. More free tips at Tips2Seniors.com.
It is important that seniors make a plan while they are healthy and well OR they will find themselves in a situation where family members have to “put them someplace.” My in-laws waited for a health care crisis that you can read about HERE and the adult children were forced to “put them” in more supportive environments. The doctor told my father-in-law that he needed 24/7 assisted living care and another doctor required that my mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s move into a secured memory care simultaneously.
How do you find a good retirement community, assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing care? “Your Senior Housing Options,” gives tips and advice on exactly what questions a senior needs to ask in order to determine if a senior living provider is great or mediocre.
Almost every week I speak to 50 to 75 seniors about their future health care and housing options. Two months ago, I created a new presentation based on my book, “Your Senior Housing Options.” What an impact it has made. Seniors share how grateful they are for clear and concise information that they can apply immediately in making a decision for themselves. This is my passion and I want to help seniors make a wise choice.
The book articulates the costs and consequences of the various senior living options. I share the ramifications of waiting too long and how a senior can save money and stress by planning ahead.
Seniors can take away valuable tips they can utilize immediately as they begin to research and explore long-term health choices. Most seniors have no knowledge of how to select a reputable home care company or retirement community. It’s important to know states vary on requirements for caregiver training, drug screening and finger printing. Due diligence of care choices can prevent elder abuse!
Ultimately, a senior can continue to live by a river in Egypt called denial or they can make proactive decisions and create a plan for their future health care. It is scary for seniors to contemplate running out of resources in a higher level of care, but it can happen (my own mom ran out of money living in assisted living for seven years). Hopefully, seniors choose a plan that has a safety net, in case they run out of money.
Current presentations based on this new book are helping seniors make proactive decisions for their future health care needs. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a movement to educate seniors.
I can’t stop thinking about my surprise visit with my mom yesterday. I arrived Sunday afternoon about 2:30 PM to Freedom Village Healthcare Center in California. She was not in her usual places – where was she? A caregiver said, “Oh, your mom is down in the activity room.” I said to my husband Chris, “We really need to pay more attention to the activity calendar, so we don’t visit during those times. I want her to enjoy all the social times and I can visit her when nothing else is going on.”
We happened upon the activity calendar and all the activities were done for the day. So what was she doing? As we turned the corner, we saw my mom’s beaming face. She was playing bingo. The caregiver smiled at me and said, “Oh, do you want to take your mom?” I said, “Absolutely not, let her enjoy herself.” It was great to see pure joy – when she said, “Bingo!”
What was interesting to me was her interacting with the other residents and helping them play too. My mom has severe vascular dementia. When she speaks it is about 70% non-reality. What a great activity to really stimulate her brain. The caregiver said to me, “We decided to put on a bingo game for them, they like it and it gives them something to do.”
Well, bless those two caregivers who created an unscheduled resident activity to help with the resident’s quality of life. This was a huge “Wow” for me and I can’t stop thinking about how happy my mom was. For those of you who follow my blog, I moved my mom 1000 miles to be near me about three months ago. This was the best day of my mom’s life here in California.
After each resident said bingo, the caregiver would call the resident by name and say, “You won a cookie.” No cookies appeared. I thought to myself, well the residents have dementia – they won’t remember the cookie promise. To my utter surprise – cookies appeared at the end of the last game. One cookie for each resident. When the caregiver was handing out the last cookie, the resident said, “I don’t get one – I didn’t win.” The caregiver said, “That’s okay, you are a winner for even being here.” There are tears in my eyes writing this, because these staff went above and beyond!
As the afternoon progressed – my mom continued being animated and talking nonstop. It did not matter that 60% was non-reality. She was having a great time and I loved spending quality time with her. Some people think people with dementia have nothing to offer in life, well, they are 100% wrong.
Please share your success, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.
Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating. The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum. Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy. Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets. She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states. Most recently Masson was recruited to consult for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California. Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.
Up to now, it has been a tough six-week transition for my mother. Right after we moved my mom to skilled nursing care, she was announcing to those who would listen that she was kidnapped. Really?? Oh my!! This was actually the clearest thing she was saying and the rest was random scattered memories mixed with 75 – 95 percent delusions. It was very tough for me to see. But I never gave up on her clarity coming back.
Tomorrow, on Monday, it will be six weeks since I moved my mom from Seattle to California. You may have missed my previous blog posts on the preparations for moving my mom because she was diagnosed with breast cancer (Part 1) and the trauma and joy of moving day itself (Part 2).
It has been a tough road as a boomer daughter with a ton of paperwork, but it has a happy ending. My mom lives at a wonderful community that I represent in Lake Forest, CA.
Who was the worst marketer for about three weeks? Yup, my mom!! She was announcing daily that she had not been fed breakfast. My mom was so convincing that two different department heads (who don’t work in the health care center), believed her when they walked by and tried to get her more food. I appreciate both of them always watching out for all our residents, including my mom.
It turned out that my mom’s thyroid was out of whack. Now, my mother is back to her happy dementia self. Today, it was a joy to witness her having 70 percent clarity of mind. She said, “l love it here.” “The food is great!” “We get to have lunch outside and I like it.” “Remember years ago, I lived here?” (She went to college at UCLA and it has happy memories for her.) She saw my computer and asked if there were pictures to see on it. (This was huge remembering a computer could have photos.) My mom knew today that she lived in California!
We browsed through the Sunday paper together (I was pointing out good highlights). She loved sitting outside talking, feeling the breeze, seeing the birds and watching the fountain in the courtyard.
So the proof is in the pudding! Someone with severe vascular dementia can put a new home in his or hers long-term memory. It has taken six weeks for my mom to be comfortable with her new routine. I just want to continue to enjoy her clarity moments and I am always grateful that she can call me by name and still knows who I am. Today, she shared smiles and laughter with me. God is good!
Please share your success, failures or comment to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.
My husband Chris and I received this unappetizing text, with a photo of food, from our friend Dave in rehab. This was the text:
Chris: How are you, what are you doing?
Dave: Nothing, this is my meal…
Chris: That looks horrible.
Dave: Yeah tell me about it. This tastes as good as it looks – which is terrible.
Diane: Which rehab are you at?
Dave: XXXX in Federal Way, WA.
Diane: The food looks disgusting, I am so sorry, how have the other meals been?
Dave: Just as bad…
Would I ever recommend this place to anyone based on this photo – no way! Get ready for the boomers texting their meals to their other boomer friends.
Institutional food is a thing of the past. Most retirement communities offer chef prepared meals now. The boomers have a discriminating palette and won’t tolerate bad food.
Are you proud of the food you are serving at your Rehab, Skilled Nursing Center, Healthcare Center, Long-term Care Facility, Assisted Living, Independent Living, Memory Care or Continuing Care Retirement Community? Would you eat it?
Please comment to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.