I did not know how much my mom had deteriorated until my dad went into the hospital. Mom had seemed forgetful for awhile, but when dad was suddenly hospitalized one evening I learned that Mom’s problem was more than just a little forgetfulness. I went down to stay with her and for the first week dad was sick, I thought that she was just sad and frazzled because he was not around. However, when he passed away the next week, I learned that she had been relying on my dad to remember everything for years — even for little things like whether she remembered to put the groceries away and whether she had her glasses on.
My brothers are not the most reliable pair, so it became my responsibility to arrange everything for my dad’s funeral, administer his estate and take care of my mom. I thought about moving her into my house, but I could not be home all day to watch her. She would often forget that she could not remember things and I feared that she would turn the bath on and forget, or even something worse like a gas burner on the stove. I have to admit that I am also not a senior care expert who is able to take care of all of her needs. As much as I did not like the idea, it was time to find a retirement home for my mom. Of course, my brothers could not be counted on to help with that either.
I was not sure what type of retirement home to put mom in. The last experience I had with one had been decades before when my husband’s great aunt lived in dreadfully stale state nursing home. I knew that was not the type of place that I wanted for my mom. Other than that, however, I did not know what I was looking for.
After a little research online, I discovered that there were a many different types of retirement homes, but that did not tell me what was the best choice for my mom. With everything going on after my dad’s death, I just did not have the time to visit a bunch of different facilities and talk to all of the people, so the next time I took Mom to a doctor’s appointment, I asked the nurse if she had a few minutes to spare to talk to me about retirement homes.
Fortunately, the nurse knew my mom and exactly what was needed. After a short conversation lasting only a few minutes, I learned that my mom needed an assisted living facility. The nurse told me that with assisted living, a trained senior care staff would take care of my mom’s daily tasks and make sure that she did not forget anything important.
With that information, I was able to go back online and find assisted living facilities in my town. The one that intrigued me the most said that it was both an independent living facility and an assisted living facility. After a short phone call to the place, I arranged a visit with the retirement home’s director.
The director gave me a tour and told me all about how they handled their assisted living residents. It seemed like a great deal for my mom because he said that the senior care staff only help their residents with things that the residents actually need help with. For everything else they let the residents have the freedom to live on their own. He also told me that the senior care staff continuously monitor the assisted living residents’ situations and offer more assistance when the residents deteriorate more.
Of course, I had to ask what the residents do during the day. I did not want my mom to be bored sitting in a room all day like my husband’s great aunt was. The director showed me a lot of different rooms with seniors doing all sorts of things. At first, I was nervous because he showed me things that I knew my mom would not like very much, such as billiards and bowling. But, when he showed me the cooking class, I knew that I had found the perfect retirement home for my mom.
I wish that I had never had to put my mom into assisted living at all. When her forgetfulness worsened and became full-blown Alzheimer’s, I was glad I did and I was equally glad that I chose the right assisted living facility for her with the right senior care staff. How the staff helped mom through that awful disease is a story for another day though.
Sarah Dowling has been working for several retirement communities in Downey, CA. If you are looking for assisted living facility or retirement homes in Downey, CA, visit Lakewood Park Manor community website, a fully licensed independent and assisted living facility located in Downey minutes from shopping centers, restaurants, medical offices and hospitals.