|National Assisted Living Week|
|Thursday, September 6, 2012|
It’s time to move, Dad!
By Therese Casler
My parents lived near Norfolk, Va. when my mother died in 2003 of ALS and, after years of caring for her at home, my father was diagnosed with Parkinson ’s disease. Concerned about his mobility and living in another state, I suggested moving to an assisted living community for his safety. “It’s time to move, Dad,” I’d tell him. “Not until I can’t get around anymore,” he’d say. I told him he could still drive and visit friends, but he wouldn’t have to worry about the lawn, grocery shopping or housekeeping.
It didn’t happen right away. Like most families, it took a crisis. Dad fell off the pier, broke multiple bones and was in rehab for two months. It was an easy transition to the assisted living from there. I remember telling him, “Watch out…you’ll be the only rooster in the hen house.” He’d laugh and say there was only one woman for him and that was my mother…until four months later when he said to tell my brothers he met someone and they’re ‘exploring their options’. What?
My dad was happy in assisted living. He was so busy going on trips, attending musical events, playing games and enjoying all the meals…and planning a wedding. He did marry his sweetheart, but sadly, a year later, she suffered multiple strokes and died. Dad had the comfort and support of the other residents to get him through his grief. Unfortunately his disease is a progressive one and the family was concerned about his driving. “It’s time to move, Dad”. It took hitting cars in the assisted living parking lot to finally give up the keys and move to Nashville to be closer to two of his children and the grandchildren. Once again, he’s very happy at his assisted living community where he made new friends.
Life is about change and we all want to age in place, but sometimes home is not the safest place to be or it can become a burden. Assisted living is basically apartment living with your own belongings surrounding you. There is staff, though, onsite 24/7 if you need personal care assistance. I say it’s a community because that is where you live, socialize, enjoy meals and entertainment, receive healthcare, get your hair done and much more. It’s still home, but better!
I recommend to my clients and their families, when consulting about planning for long term care, to initiate those dialogues about what to do when life changes. If the cost concerns you, there is a benefit for veterans or their surviving spouses to help pay for care. Look into the values of assisted living now and visit some of our wonderful communities in the area to see what they have to offer. You’ll agree that the dignity and quality of life can be preserved for mom or dad. And maybe one day you’ll say, “It’s time to move, Dad”!
National Assisted Living Week Events
Elmcroft of Hendersonville
Monday, Sept. 10-One Word Band (a cappella gospel band), 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 11-Port of Call- Hawaii-Luau, pig roast, hoola hoop contest, music by Michael Roberts, 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 12- All Day Music Extravaganza (10:15 a.m. - Music by Luke, 1:30 p.m.-The Happy 5 Band, 3 p.m. - Afternoon Tea, cello music by Tanner, 6 p.m. - Elvis is in the building).
Thursday, Sept. 13. - Activity Fair featuring activities developed to stimulate and enrich the lives of those suffering from dementia (open to the public), 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 13- Thursday Night Pickers (bluegrass music), 6 p.m.
Monday, Sept.10-The Art of Storytelling with Patsy Lawson, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept.11-The Art of Music with Keith Longbothem, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 12 – The Art of History with Melinda Gaines reenactment of First Lady Rachel Jackson, 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept.13 – The Art of Many Talents, residents talent show with dancing, music, art and poetry, 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 14– The Art of Tradition, monthly celebration to honor residents and staff, songs and piano tunes by Gail Davis, 12 p.m.
Sterling House and Clare Bridge
Saturday, Oct. 6 - The Walk to End Alzheimers, starts at 9 a.m. at 3001 Business Park Circle in Goodlettsville. For more information, call Kelly Stagg or Carol Rachuj at 855-2040.
The Hearth of Hendersonville
Monday, Sept.10 - The Art of Cardio, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept.11 - The Art of Wine, 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 12 - The Art of Music, 2 p.m.
Thursday, Sept.13 - The Art of Folk Art (special displays)
Friday, Sept. 14- The Art of Tai Chi, 1:30 p.m.