about someone very near and dear to me. My husband is the kind of guy that people ultimately turn to when they have a problem. Not because he has lots of money or friends in high places. But because he is kind and capable and wants to help everyone. He also happens to have an elevated sense of responsibility. He can’t say no to a need.
Four years ago, his aging father wanted to live closer to us. We spent months searching for the perfect independent living community, thoughtfully furnished it for ease of living, and excitedly planned family meals, trips and holidays that he would now be part of. But mostly? We dreamed it would be a chance for father and son to finally connect in a meaningful way.
We helped him pack, drove him the eight hours to our hometown and moved him in. We were ready for the adventure to begin! Guess what? It wasn’t the fairy tale we had envisioned. First of all, his dad had way more grooming needs than the independent living community offered. We didn’t know we had the option of hiring a home care company to help him with those grooming needs. Instead, my husband helped him.
He also had other needs. In addition to eating in the dining room, he wanted snack options for his apartment. He didn’t always have the energy to walk down the long halls to the mailbox for his mail. He often needed personal items – clothing from Walmart, prescription pick-ups, bird feeders on his deck, birthday presents for family members. All reasonable and necessary things. He didn’t have the energy to ride the community’s van when they went out for these errands. To assistance with grooming, we added in errands. One night at 10:00 PM, he called for cottage cheese! And no way did he want to do his laundry! A Personal Assistant (some call us a Concierge) would have been the perfect person to hire for these needs.
His living community offered wonderful activities. He rarely participated. This made him feel lonely, which probably impacted his health. Would he have participated if he’d had someone to accompany him? A compassionate and alert Personal Assistant anticipates the needs of a senior. They anticipate physical needs, such as sudden thirst or the need for a quick snack. They are sensitive to the stamina of each individual client and plan for it. Knowing you have someone watching out for your needs gives an aging adult confidence. Confidence that they will have companionship. Confidence that they can venture out and not have a physical meltdown, thus embarrassing themselves. Confidence to continue living as fully as possible.
Obviously, we were newbies. We didn’t know about Concierge/Personal Assistant services. We didn’t know about home care companies. We just worked harder. We don’t mind hard work. In fact, we believe in it! But doing all of the necessary things was super time-consuming. We were exhausted, with no time left over for doing enjoyable things with him. It’s embarrassing to admit, but we found ourselves resenting him. How sad! And how human.
Sunflower Family Concierge can help you manage many of the details of life. Give us your list of necessary errands and tasks to complete. Then you can enjoy your aging parents, and have time for your family, marriage and career again. You might even fit a game of golf in! Or a manicure! Your aging parents can stay in their homes where they are at ease, with just the simple addition of an extra set of hands from one of our dedicated Personal Assistants. They can still have control over their lives. And you can enjoy your time with them instead of being their caregiver.
Sunflower Family Concierge can also help if they’re in an Independent Living Community, where they most likely have friends and feel established.
In Assisted Living, seniors usually need help outside of the staff assigned to them by their facility. Having help in any of these three scenarios allows seniors to have independence, dignity and a fuller life.
No one wants to enter the last decade of life feeling fearful, isolated or frustrated.
You don’t have to do it all. Honestly. You don’t. And your parents don’t have to give up things they value.
Choose to enjoy life more. Remember the things that really matter. Life is a gift!
Call or Text 785-551-1656 or find us at www.sunflowerfamilyconcierge.com.