“You get a good night’s sleep.”
That’s what Steve Anderson has to say about the benefits of assisted living and of helping a loved one make the move to an assisted living community. And he’s not alone. It seems the perks of assisted living don’t stop with the residents; they extend throughout the family.
When Anderson made the call, he and his family chose Brightmore of Wilmington for his folks. “It had gotten to the point that my parents were going to need assistance, whether it was in their home, or in assisted living,” he says. “We started looking around, and we found that assisted living was, by far, the better choice from an economic standpoint, as well as the socialization part.”
And he soon got a taste of the peace of mind a move like that can offer. “I know mom is at a good level of care, and they will come in and give her her medicines and everything. She has her three meals a day, in a very nice dining room. And it’s just comforting know that the CNAs are right there. She has a pendant that she wears around her neck, and just know that if something happens, within a minute or two, someone will be to her, who has her history, is a huge comfort.”
Barbara Goodman has had a similar experience with Brightmore. When her mother fell and broke her hip, the family knew it was time for a move to assisted living. “It has totally saved me,” she says. “I was taking care of her 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and running a restaurant at the same time. I was really at the end of my rope. I’m back to being her daughter again, instead of her mother, which was the role I had when I was her caregiver. And I’m really enjoying being her daughter again.”
Of course, that relief for families couldn’t exist without exceptional care, and there’s no shortage of that in the area’s assisted living facilities. Rick Watson, whose mother lives at Meadowview Assisted Living, knows that firsthand. “I’m an only child, and my father passed away,” Watson says. “I don’t have any siblings to help me. I don’t know how to tell you what a burden it is for an only child to have a mother, in her 80s, who has dementia, and probably won’t get better. Now I know she’s taken care of. Even the guy in the kitchen: if he doesn’t see her at breakfast, he’ll go get her a tray, and she eats in her room. He makes sure she gets to eat. It gives me peace of mind.”
Watson knew the place was right for his mother when they were able to make her feel right at home. “I was able to explain to the nurses about what my mother’s condition was: about her dementia and her apprehension about being there,” he says. “I thought they really went the extra mile to make her comfortable. In the beginning, she would not participate in any of the activities. After a very short while, working with the activities director, she was participating in just about everything they do. And it keeps her busy all day long.”
Dianne Gardner’s mother also needed special care for her dementia, but she still wanted the active lifestyle of an assisted living community. Gardner found that balance at Brookdale Assisted Living. “Brookdale is sort of a combination of assisted living and memory care,” she says. “So, now she has the freedom to have a quality of life, and also get assistance with memory care. It’s peace of mind. It has calmed us down so much.”
Ann Marie Cassella also made the decision to use assisted living, and she chose The Covington as her community. “It has given everyone some breathing room as well as respite in our own lives, which you don’t get as the primary caregiver,” she says. “It has allowed our family to not have to be constantly worried about what she may be doing as when she was living with me and I had to go to work and often leave her alone. This gives much assurance that she’s safe and being helped when needed. It has also given her space as well as the ability to stand on her own two feet and not feel that she could be a burden to her family based on her care needs.”
So, if your loved one needs a little extra care, and you need a little extra confidence, it might be time to look into assisted living. And Steve Anderson offers some advice on the most important thing to do when choosing a facility. “Talk,” he says. “Talk and be open, about your fears and the unknown.”
And once that’s all on the table, it’s time to let those fears go with a little help from assisted living.