Most every web site has a very special About Us story. So here is ours.
My friend and consultant, Marsha, and I both experienced challenges with care for elderly parents at the same time. We’d both had many years of experience working with seniors in various ways.
I was the manager and activities director of a luxury apartment complex whose population was predominantly over 50, and several folks in their 90s. Over the years I’ve also worked with seniors in assisted living, nursing homes, and memory care. I’m currently on the Board of Directors and Activity Committee of a senior housing complex.
But when things happened in our own families, it was very, very different. My family had to suddenly rush Dad, who was a 93-year-old widower, from his retirement home in Arizona of 25 years, back up to his home state to live by me, in a really nice assisted living facility.
In Dad’s situation, he had total sudden hearing loss in one ear with only 50% hearing in the other. He was almost deaf. Then he lost almost total sight in one eye from macular degeneration, and had serious vision loss in the other.
It culminated and hit over night. He woke up one day and couldn’t see to drive, read labels (or anything for that matter), shop, etc.
What hit him hardest was the impact on his activities. What was he going to do to entertain himself and fill all those hours.
When Dad arrived back here, he first lived in a wonderful assisted living facility about four blocks from me, for almost a year. I was over there every single day, sometimes two or three times.
He was almost deaf and blind and thus could not socialize or do much with activities. He knew no one, couldn’t see who was talking with him, had no way of recognizing anybody the next time, and couldn’t hear what they said anyway.
With only 40% hearing in just one ear, he could only hear certain frequencies as well. A new hearing aid helped a little, but we all had to learn to communicate with, and relate to him differently. He was so lonely and disoriented at assisted living, that we then decided he’d move in with me, since I worked from home.
Dad has always had a positive attitude. And despite everything, he tells me all the time that “a person should wake up cheerful and satisfied.” Now he’s 97+, still doing really well and still living with me.
Lack of hearing and vision are his main issues. (Finding a variety of fun activities for him became a challenge). Other than that, he is still in very good health, is ambulatory, and can do almost everything for himself except cooking, entertainment, etc.
I had to review what I knew about activities for the elderly and what could work for him.
Both my friend Marsha and I have experienced a very intense flurry of activity, decisions, and talking to various experts and consultants we know in related fields. We certainly have acquired lots of new learning.
We worked with our families and talked to other friends who had different experiences and knowledge — a certified financial planner, a CPA, a Medicare expert, and an RN who works in geriatrics.
Marsha and I then pooled our expertise and learning together to help each other deal. And then decided to share what we knew and learned in this web site, covering a wide range of elderly issues.
There is no universal “recipe” or To-Do list to help our elderly loved ones. Because everybody’s situation is different. But it helps to make a plan. These pages hopefully will offer some insight, tips, and also senior activity ideas and fun.
We can’t forget the fun – it can always be found. And that is what this web site focuses on — keeping busy with fun things to do (and eat). Even with my Dad’s dilemma, we did find solutions to help him have a quality life. He is comforted and encouraged.
We continue to learn and grow. And so does our web site. Please feel free to share your story too. And feel free to Contact Us with any comments or things you’d like to see on our site. Now you know About Us. And we’d love to learn About You!
The best to you,