Your Local Senior Placement Service. Call today! 541-954-2602

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Call today! 541-954-2602

Your Personal Senior Living Advisor

Serving Eugene, Springfield and outlying areas

Life is all about timing: you snooze your alarm clock, you hit rush hour traffic, and now you’re late, which can set off a whole chain of consequences. Let’s say you’re late for a new job interview, so you make a bad first impression, and you end up missing out on the job you need so badly to get out of unemployment. Once again, you’re plunged into crisis, and the resulting stress actually hinders your ability to make good decisions under pressure. This is why, when I’m asked, “When is the best time to start looking for an assisted living facility?” I answer, “When you’re not under the stress of a crisis.”
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Is it too late to change your life?

“You’re one minute early,” said the tall man with the big smile, opening the door to his home at 9:59 am.
“I’m sorry,” I replied, “I’ll go back to my car and be back in one minute.” I can spot a good sense of humor a mile away, and Larry sure had a top-notch one!
Larry and his girlfriend Mary, both 91 years old, called me after Mary’s doctor recommended moving to an assisted living facility.
I sat with Larry and Mary in the living room of the house Mary had shared with her deceased husband of fifty years. “Larry and I were high-school sweethearts,” said Mary, “but Larry was mean to one of his friends, and I didn’t appreciate it, so I left him and ended up marrying my husband.”
 “Are you two married now?” I asked, thinking it’s never too late for these two love birds. “She wouldn’t marry me,” replied Larry, “I was married three times, and three times my wives died, so she’s afraid of being my wife.” he chuckled.  
Years passed, and Mary and Larry reconnected during a high school reunion. Ten years ago, Mary asked Larry to move in with her. “I was lonely, and I wanted to have someone keeping me company. Larry was the perfect guy, as we were already long-time friends.”


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A few years after Larry moved in, Mary suffered a stroke. Larry, true to the promise he made to the woman he loved, took on the role of her caregiver. He now helps Mary get out of bed and get dressed in the morning, he cooks their meals, he does the laundry, and, most importantly, he keeps her laughing. But Larry wasn’t getting any younger, and his health declined even as Mary’s care needs increased. With the help of Mary’s family, they hired a caregiver who helped Larry with Mary’s care for a few hours each week. But over time, Mary’s care needs continued to increase to the point that she needed a caregiver available to her 24/7.

Is it too early to change your life?

Many of the calls I get for help in finding a senior care facility are from people who have a family member in crisis. Most common are a hip fracture resulting from a fall, a stroke, a sudden increase in confusion, or a death of the spouse who was a primary caregiver.
“My doctor thinks it’s not safe for Larry to care for me due to his heart condition. He recommended that we’d be better off receiving full care in an assisted living facility. I think he’s right, and I think it’s time we move out of our home, even though I wish I could stay here forever.” At this point, it was clear to Mary (and her doctor) that a crisis could be just around the corner. It would be better to plan a move than to be forced to move during a stressful situation. My conversation with Mary and Larry was full of laughter, thanks to Larry’s sense of humor. But, at the same time, it was tinged with sadness, as they both realized that it was time to move out of their home, which was full of memories, to a new place and an unknown future.


How do I help you plan for your future?

When I meet with a person planning a future move that is free of the stress of a crisis, there’s a lot I can do to help with their preparation. I call it “planning for your future.”
When planning for the future, I look at all the small pieces that constitute the big picture. In addition to completing my detailed assessment of a person’s current physical, cognitive, and financial abilities, I consider progressive factors.
If a person has a progressive disease such as Parkinson’s and they’re independent regarding their care needs, I know that despite their current capabilities, in the future their physical and perhaps cognitive abilities will decline. This person may be independent for now, but to avoid several unnecessary second moves, I may recommend a senior care facility that will be able to provide future care needs.
I may be working with a couple who needs help with dressing and bathing, but one of them is already showing early signs of dementia. In this case, I’ll consider the future in which one of them may require memory care while the other needs to be in an assisted living facility. When planning for their future, I’ll guide them toward senior care facilities with assisted living and memory care under the same roof. This will allow the couple to stay close to one another, despite their different care needs.


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How do I connect timing and information? 

One is never too old to move to a care facility. A few years ago, I got a call from a woman whose 102-year-old grandmother needed to move from her home into a senior care facility. 
It’s never too early to start planning for a future when you might no longer be able to live at home. I recently got a call from a 55-year-old man with multiple sclerosis who wanted to educate himself on his options in preparation for when he would no longer be able to care for himself.
It’s my job to be familiar with all the senior care facilities in town. The more information I know about the person who’s looking to move, the better I can match the person with the right senior care facility.

Mary and Larry: Not a Happy Ending

I met with Mary and Larry twice, and they both felt that by increasing the hours of their paid caregiver, they could extend their stay at home. We talked about the different care options and the indications that a move would best occur sooner than later. Unfortunately, they chose not to tour any assisted living facilities at that time.
Nine months later, I got a call from Mary’s daughter. Unfortunately, they ignored the red flags we discussed. Now Mary was in rehab after a fall that resulted in a broken hip. That inevitable crisis forced them to make a move, and now it had to be done under the stress of limited time. 

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It’s All About Timing

The best time to start planning for a possible move into any senior care facility is when you feel the force of inevitable changes in your home life. This is especially true when you feel that these changes may result in care needs that require more help than you can get at home.
If this is true for you now, don’t wait for a crisis. Reach out for the help you need, we can provide the support. Let’s start the conversation now. 

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