Moving a Reluctant Parent – Part 16

  • Posted on Sep. 4th, 2014


Moving a reluctant parentby Joy Loverde

Over the past two years (I began this journey the summer of 2012) my Aunt has remained adamant about staying put. And if you have been reading my blog posts along the way (Moving a Reluctant Parents Parts 1-15) then you know there has not been much progress in spite of numerous falls, mishaps, and setbacks. I’ve been patient and yet fully aware that anything could happen at any time.

Last week all hell finally broke loose just as I predicted it would. Here’s what happened.

Every August we celebrate my brother’s birthday by gathering family together at our house. And every year my Aunt joins us for the festivities. She stays overnight in one of the guest bedrooms and we get to enjoy her company for a few days before she heads back to her home to the Chicago suburbs.

As soon as my Aunt arrived at the party, every single member of my family noticed a change in her immediately: She had difficulty staying focused; she repeated questions; she could not find her way to the bedroom on numerous occasions; and more often than not she sat by herself and stared into space.

One morning when we were alone in the bedroom having coffee, I noticed a huge bandage on her leg. She got quite upset when I asked her what had happened. It turns out that she fell on the sidewalk outside her home – and never bothered to go to the doctor. By now her leg was swollen and a bright shade of red. My Aunt also admitted to having difficulty with household tasks such as cooking as well as getting lost driving from time to time.

The trust level between us is extremely high and my Aunt asked me to promise not to say anything about her leg and the rest of her problems to the other family members. I gave her my word. At the same time I had all the evidence I needed to conclude that she is no longer safe living in her home alone. Something had to be done immediately – but what?

I am known as the family photographer. Whenever there is a family gathering everyone counts on me to take photos and share them via email. And that’s exactly what I did to jumpstart the relocation process. I sent the birthday-party photos to everyone including my Aunt’s son who lives in Michigan. Five minutes after the photos arrive in his e-mail box my phone rang.

My cousin said he was shocked at how his Mom looked in the photos I had sent and that he knew something was terribly wrong. He said his game plan is to sell the house immediately and relocate his Mom to Michigan to live near him and his family.

Four days later, he and his brother and the realtor met in my Aunt’s living room. She quietly signed the papers to sell the house and handed over the keys to the car; then she went upstairs to take a nap.

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Going Shopping? Joy Loverde advises you to demand respect

  • Posted on Aug. 7th, 2014

By Joy Loverde

Dignity and respectBoomer women listen up! We make up 85% of global spending and that alone makes us VIPs when it comes to companies that are trying to sell us stuff.

If you have a moment, please check out the interview I recently conducted with an innovative company called Remodista.  Kelly Stickel, Founder and President of Remodista is behind the effort to educate marketers on what it takes to treat consumers of all ages with respect and dignity.

When we decide to make a purchase, the decision is not made lightly. At this stage in life, parting with the almighty dollar means that we will give up the opportunity to buy something somewhere else. The possibility of living a long life means spending wisely so the money doesn’t run out.

Do you get that sales people??? Do you fully understand that we are not messing around when we go shopping? We are there to buy. Plain and simple. And when the experience of shopping with you is unfulfilling, we walk out the door without buying anything and don’t look back and… we may be gone forever.

In the meantime, don’t think for a minute that when you are conducting a transaction with us that your language is not important. Who came up with “No problem” and “No worries?” And how about a sincere, “Thank you for your purchase” when you hand back our change or credit card? If we ask you where something is you will be smart to walk us to the aisle and, if the item is small enough, pick it up and hand it to us. It’s called customer service, ladies and gentlemen.

By now, boomer men and women have weathered quite a few storms in their life – aging parents, illness, dwindling funds, job demands – and companies that focus on gaining the respect of this particular consumer will win out every time.

Thank you, Remodista  for educating executives and thought leaders on the importance of service excellence.

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Assisted Living Providers Add Solutions for Hospital Referrals

  • Posted on Jul. 31st, 2014

assisted livingBy Carol Marak

Assisted Living Providers Add Solutions for Hospital Referrals

What’s the fastest way assisted living facilities increase occupancy?

If you guessed hospital patients, you’re right!

Several senior living companies, big ones like Brookdale Senior Living and non-profit ones like Eskaton look to growing their post-acute care services. They have strategies in place that emphasizes care management, chronic health care services, and on-site medical teams. Private payers are the target for these transitional models, taking patients from hospitals to assisted living to home.

The secret formula includes branding transition care and surrounding your company with partners that hospitals recognize. It may not be your core business—just a need in the marketplace where you’ll find help when challenged with occupancy.

Senior living operators work with discharge planners for short-term care plans for patients allowing them to transition from acute care back to their home. Ultimately, managed care will look to assisted living for patients with less-critical illness and as an alternative to skilled care and home care.

Assisted living can be the place that offers access to a nurse supervising residents around the clock. By retooling one’s transitional care for the short-term patient, assisted living may find a quick fix to occupancy issues.

In a 2010 survey of residential care homes by The Center for Disease Control, they found only 27% of assisted living facilities offered short-term care.

Other findings in the CDC study:

55% offer Case management

35% offer Social counseling

95% offer simple Health monitoring

90% offer Special diets

45% offer Physical therapy

40% offer Occupational therapy

40% offer Skilled nursing services

If you’re interested in seeing graphs and illustrations on CDC’s residential care facility study, go to Services Offered by Assisted Living Communities.

By adding services like these, hospitals can then refer patients who don’t qualify for an admission or skilled nursing coverage to the assisted living community on a short-term basis. Patients preparing for surgery can opt for assisted living and those with orthopedic procedures have access to the protocols they need for therapy post-surgery.

Assisted living emerges from a popular senior living option for older adults seeking a place to reside, to a place for all patients to find medical monitoring and minor medical care while receiving personal privacy and freedom.

It’s a great solution for assisted living operators looking to increase occupancy. The revenue from the short-term stay may seem like a wash but it takes a lot of energy to moving a person in. But some operators know that at some point in time, that person may need to move in permanently, and that community will be at the top of their list.

Carol Marak is a contributor for the senior living and health care market. Carol writes on tough topics that older adults and family caregivers face. Her work is found on  and . Contact Carol at

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