Delores Peich
(909) 931-2822

Senior Living Placement, Referral, & Advisory Services Completely Free.

 

NEWS SENIOR CARE

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As I sit here at my desk today, I am reflecting on all that has happened this year.

I left a “career job” I had had for 22 years, not knowing what the change would bring. I can say wholeheartedly that it was the best decision of my life. I loved my former job, but for a few years, I had really been thinking a lot about a change, not knowing what kind of change I would want or need. Joining Assisted Transition has proved to me more than I never imagined! The ‘coincidence’ that this job opportunity came to me on the first anniversary of my Mom’s death, was Divine Intervention. Not by accident!

As many of us begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel, with our kids almost out of the house and college loans beginning to be paid off, another big obstacle is thrown in our way. We find ourselves being sandwiched between our own adult (or nearly adult) children and our parents. Suddenly, we are struck with the responsibility of having to make decisions for our parents when their health begins to fail and they can no longer live alone safely in their own homes. We may have noticed Mom or Dad forgetting appointments, asking the same questions repeatedly, or even letting their yards or housekeeping go, when they used to be so meticulous. These are really important signs to watch for and can sometimes mean other things in their lives are slipping. Don’t wait until your parents are not able to make important decisions on their own. Here are some suggestions for starting “The Conversation” with your Mom and Dad.

About a month ago, a friend gave me the idea to ‘adopt’ an assisted living community for the holidays, perhaps one where the residents don’t get a lot of visitors. I put a few phone calls in to places I was familiar with, and immediately received a call for help. Coincidentally, it was the same community my mother had lived at for ten years. I couldn’t say no to their request.

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She had been kind of ‘out of it’ from the time I arrived for dinner. The memory care center where my Mom lived always had activities going on and once a month they held a Candlelight Dinner. This was a neat time, because I was able to go to these dinners with my Dad, sit at lovely tables (all decorated beautifully) and enjoy whatever type of entertainment they had booked for the evening. This was their annual Holiday Candlelight Dinner and I was a little nervous about how she would do. Mom lived at a fairly small place, so these dinners usually had about 50 people total in attendance. Usually, I could get Mom to get into a conversation with me, but not tonight. She just wasn’t in the mood. She was sullen, looked tired and appeared as though she would rather be in her room than in this beautiful dining area. Dementia is funny like that. Good days and bad days, sometimes even hour to hour her emotional state could change and tonight she was NOT in the mood. At the front of the room was an upright piano. Then the ‘entertainment’ arrived.

So, I was in a breakfast meeting the other day, and my friend Kevin (who is also my financial planner) was talking about retirement planning, and strategies to make sure we have ‘enough’ to actually retire…in the not so distant future! Many of us have waited until our 40′s or 50′s to SERIOUSLY start making a plan, so in 15 years or so, we can actually retire and start doing some things we have always wanted to do. Some of us have already done some of our bucket list trips, but the majority of people in my circle are putting these indulgences off so that they are ‘prepared’ to do them on a ‘retirement’ income.

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