Get Your Ducks in a Row and Plan Ahead
We all know that there are things you plan for and times you fly by the seat of your pants. I work full-time, my husband runs his own small business, and we have two young children and a puppy. I know my days look like every other parents’ in terms of getting everyone ready in the morning, working a full day, picking up kids, cooking dinner, giving baths, reading bedtime stories and then squeezing in a conversation with my husband after the kids are in bed and before we fall asleep watching Big Bang Theory reruns.
We do our best to plan and communicate, but sometimes life happens and it all falls apart. I read something recently that made me laugh out loud, mainly because I felt it summed up my life perfectly. It said “I do not have ducks. I have squirrels, and they are at a rave.” I take a lot of things day-by-day for the most part.
Having stated that, there are certain things that life requires one to plan ahead for such as vacations, retirement, and even a funeral. All of these are important and provide an individual and his or her family a great deal of peace of mind knowing they’re taken care of.
Here’s the thing, I work at an assisted living and I talk to people on a regular basis who have planned for everything...except what might happen if they were no longer able to live in their home. I’m not referring to financial planning (although that part is crucial). I’m referring to the fact that, if necessary, a move to assisted living is as big of a decision as buying a new house, and you wouldn’t want to move into a house you’ve never seen before. Each assisted living has its own personality and you should discover that before you’re in crisis mode and don’t have the opportunity to take your time. Essentially, tour now so you don’t have to panic about the unknown later.
Giving tours is one of my favorite parts of my job. Some people have been here before to see a loved one and some have never set foot inside an assisted living. Some come with a written list of questions and others don’t know what to ask. We can discuss cost and what’s included, amenities, the history of our community and the Ganton family that owns and operates it, what type of activity schedule we have, what our dining program looks like and anything else you would need to know to make an informed decision.
There are people that I’ve toured with two years ago that just moved in and others who toured and still don’t need to make the transition. The important thing is that they’ve been here, they’ve gotten a feel for Lakeview, perhaps they even joined us for a meal and, when the time came, it wasn’t a total shock to the system. They were moving into a community they trusted and felt comfortable in.
Not doing research in advance can result in sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, friends and even neighbors calling to request a tour because their loved one had an unexpected medical emergency and the hospital or skilled nursing facility just informed them that returning home is not safe. The potential resident can’t tour him or herself and I can see the stress all over the face of the friend or family member that’s ultimately been given the task of making a huge decision. Don’t get me wrong, we can definitely help in those situations too, but it’s sometimes avoidable.
Many times when I introduce myself to someone I’m only able to say, “Hi, I’m Christi with Lakeview Assisted Living…” before I’m cut off with a statement such as “oh, I’m not ready for that,” or “I hope I never need you!” I hope you never need assisted living either...but what if you do someday?
Touring and choosing an assisted living is no different than making a plan for any other major life event. You may not need it, but if you do it’ll be an enormous comfort to everyone involved that you picked out a community ahead of time, of your own accord.
Knowing that I have a big picture plan gives me peace of mind and makes it a lot easier to deal with the daily chaos. I’ll continue to lose my keys multiple times a day and run to the grocery store several times a week for the items I keep forgetting to grab. That’s just life, and I’ve got it covered.