Finding Holiday Cheer in Assisted Living
When Shirley reached out to my CarePatrol office in the fall, her husband had recently died and she was struggling to make life work on her own. How do I choose a plumber? Why are the passwords on my accounts all different? How do I decide if the emails are legitimate bills or if someone is trying to steal my money? She was lonely, isolated in her home, and struggling with the activities of daily living. The holiday season was approaching quickly, and Shirley was starting to feel depressed. She knew she needed help and could no longer manage her house, but leaving the comfort and safety of her home was no easy feat.
Shirley spent her career as an accountant. She was insightful and logical about her situation, but was struggling to process the emotions. I decided to create a spreadsheet that reflected all the information I had obtained during our CareDiscovery, and use the data and insight to show her how an assisted living community could meet her needs. She hummed as she reviewed the document. She had several items that were non-negotiable: the cat was coming with her, she wanted to celebrate Hanukkah, she had to have a beer before bed, and she played mahjong not bridge. Her heart was heavy, but she decided to move as soon as we found an assisted living community that met her needs.
The community’s holiday party was her first big event in the multipurpose room. At first, Shirley was hesitant to mingle with other residents, most of whom were strangers to her. But as the evening wore on, she found herself laughing and chatting with a group of friendly seniors who had also recently moved into the community. As they exchanged stories, she began to feel a sense of camaraderie with her new friends. Her neighbor led the group in a few Christmas songs and she taught them how to play a raucous game of dreidel, something she hadn’t done in years. For some reason, I don’t remember dreidel being a drinking game? She exchanged ethnic dishes with a Swedish neighbor and found out that they had gravid lax (lox) in common. She loved the kottbullar (meatballs), hated the lutefisk, and said her latkes (potato pancakes) were the talk of the floor.
The day after Christmas, Shirley called me to say that this holiday season turned out to be one of the most memorable and enjoyable in recent years. She may have left behind her old home, but she found a new family in her assisted living friends. She told me she had a lot to be thankful for.
At CarePatrol, our job is to help you navigate these situations and to find the care solution best suited for your family. We understand what you are going through, and no one is better at helping seniors and their families deal with the realities of aging than CarePatrol.
If you need help finding care for a senior, please give us a call. Our services are free, and we are here to help.
You can reach Eric Klein, CSA, BCPA, CPRS at 847-653-1213.