Elderly Care Kuel Category Expert: Cynthia Perthuis
Do you have a parent or older adult in your life that is trying to decide on living arrangements for the last part of their life? Have you all made a pinkie promise to each other that this older adult(s) will be able to stay at home, no matter the situation, and live out their days in that home?
The Clash was an English rock band formed in London in 1976 and were a key player in the original wave of British Punk Rock. One of their popular songs was “Do I Stay or Do I Go Now”. While I am sure that they were not referring to a move to Assisted Living, these lyrics take on a new meaning when looked at through the prism of the “Move Discussion”.
“Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double”
I’m Not Old Enough!
The number one thing I hear from my clients is that they are not old enough to move to Assisted Living. Very regularly, when we take a tour, the client will walk away and say “Those people are too old, what will I talk to them about? We have nothing in common”. They think that if they go, there will be trouble.
Do you feel younger than the age on your driver’s license? If you are like most Baby Boomers, you regularly talk about how young you feel and act and look. However, at the end of the day, we are all slowing down and, at the age of 60, we do not do the same things in the same way that we did at 30 nor can we physically do those things. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to do a cartwheel in years even though I was a gymnast in school.
When considering moving to a new place with other aging adults, there is a concern about loss of independence and control. However, in some circumstances, it is the safest and healthiest place for everyone. If you are close to an older adult and there is a concern about safety and health, it is time to do some investigation because if they stay there may be double trouble.
12 Signs Of Imminent Crisis:
- Increased falls or risk of falls
- Wandering from and/or getting lost
- EMS has been called to the home more than once
- Unable to self-administer medications; has multiple expired medications
- Normally outgoing, has become withdrawn or secretive
- Difficulty with one or more activities of daily living such as bathing, preparing meals, using the bathroom, etc.
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Repeating questions or making multiple phone calls asking the same questions
- Confusion, agitation, unfounded accusations or suspiciousness
- Diagnosis of dehydration and/or malnutrition
- Unsafe behavior (leaving the stove on, exterior doors opened)
- Deterioration of personal hygiene
Keep your strength and stamina in gear when deciding next steps for your loved one. It is a process and it will take all of your energy to make the decision and then, if the decision is to move, it will take even more of your energy to get everything in place. Make sure you are surrounded by your own support system. And remember, as The Clash sang,
“If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double”
About the Author
Cynthia Perthuis left her cushy life in Corporate America in 2018 to use her personal experience with her parents and her entrepreneurial background to help the 10,000 people a day turning 65 in the US. The stress of helping aging loved ones and working full-time and caring for her own family while living over 1500 miles apart was overwhelming at times. She often wished there was a non-conflicted industry professional to help when facing these life-changing decisions. She has created her team at Senior Care Authority (www.scanyfl.com) for that purpose. Her team supports over 300 families a year as they navigate these decisions.
Cynthia is originally from Texas and holds a degree from Baylor University. She has made her home, for the past 18 years in New York City and recently added a home in Southwest Florida. She enjoys travel and outdoor activities and has practiced yoga regularly for over 15 years.