In almost twenty years in the assisted living industry, the one thing I have come to realize is with the elderly people at this stage it’s all about choice. I’ve tried over the years to put myself in their shoes. They have been living for a long time independently and suddenly their world changes drastically through no fault of their own because of illness, accidents or some other life changing event. They no longer can live independently because doing so becomes unsafe. All of a sudden, their world as they have known it ceases to exist. They now have to depend on others to make a lot of decisions on their behalf. Some people realize this reality and yet others go kicking and screaming but at the heart of all of it is the loss of choice. They no longer feel they have any choices or their independence.
I have counseled with many families about talking openly with their parents about how much they love them and they truly believe these changes are in their best interest. I have also told them to have some things that they can still have input into such as what items they will bring to decorate their apartments, etc.
Here at Argent Court, we realize this phenomenon and try to allow residents to continue to have as many things as possible to choose from. For instance, we have a set menu in the dining room but also offer alternatives. We have some residents who “choose” to not come to the dining room for breakfast, they would rather sleep in. When we have residents who we assist with bathing or dressing, we leave it up to them when they would like to have that assistance. Some people like to bathe in the morning and others like to bathe at night. We try to accommodate these “choices” as much as possible. We have a myriad of activities at each of our communities and we leave it up to the residents about which activities they want to participate in and in fact ask for their input on what activities they would like.
We encourage people to look for an assisted living community long before they need it so they can be fully aware of what is out there and make an educated “choice.” We are fully aware how difficult the transition to a long term care facility is and we are happy to help. Feel free to call us if we can help in any way to make this choice the right one.