Miller Law Office, PLLC - March 2020

March 2020 214.292.4225

An Eye-Opening Experience Ensuring My Mother Is Comfortable and Happy

Last year my mother and father moved from Alaska to live with my sister due to, as many of my readers may already know, my mom’s severe memory problems. She’s been going through a hard time dealing with Alzheimer’s, which has significantly impacted her life, as well as my sister’s and my dad’s, who have been her caretakers. Over the past several months, her condition gradually grew worse, getting to the point where we realized she shouldn’t be living in my sister’s home. It was a hard decision for us, but we realized the best course of action was to find a memory care community that could give her the level of care we couldn’t. First, we needed to research memory care communities, as they are much different than nursing homes. Memory care communities function more like assisted living homes and focus specifically on people with memory issues. The residents are generally more mobile and can often still do things for themselves, while a nursing home patient is more likely to need round-the-clock care. Doing research to find a perfect community for my mom was an eye-opening experience. Each location seemed to offer a different level of care. Given my line of work, I’ve helped lots of people find quality nursing homes. But in Texas, memory care communities do not receive the same government benefits as nursing homes, so looking and choosing an assisted living facility was a new experience for me. During our research, we found a memory care facility that looked great, so we decided to go in and take a look at it. One of the biggest reasons we liked this place so much is because the staff treats the residents like adults rather than kids. They offer actual curricula and activities — more than just arts

and crafts — to engage the people living there. We knew this was the place where Mom would be the most comfortable and treated the best, but I was in for a bit of a shock when ironing out the details. I didn’t expect it would take so long to get Mom into the facility and all situated, but it took a couple weeks. We had to fill out many forms, and she needed even more doctor visits. The facility wanted to ensure Mom was as healthy as she could be before being accepted. When she finally moved in, it was about a week before Thanksgiving. We went back and forth on the timing of that. One the one hand, we didn’t want her to miss Thanksgiving with the family. On the other hand, we knew she needed a change as soon possible, and she did not like the noise and bustle involved with preparing and enjoying a holiday meal. In the end, we decided we needed to bite the bullet and move her in. In the several months she’s been there, my mom has been really, really happy. We’re also extremely pleased with the amount of care and attention the staff gives her. Despite a few hiccups now and then, we are very pleased with how things have turned out. Yet, even though things are going so well, my sister, dad, and I still have some lingering guilt about putting her into a facility. I’ve had many people tell me they’ll never put their parents into a home because, in their words, it’s a “horrible thing.” But, while keeping your parents at home is ideal in theory, it might be drastically different in reality. We knew she wasn’t getting the best care she could be receiving, and by putting her in capable and professional hands, she is now getting excellent care. Not only that, but my sister can now be a daughter again,

just as my dad can be a husband. Neither has to worry about also being a caregiver. It’s helped tremendously with their relationships. This experience, while difficult, has given me a chance to relate to many of my clients who are going through or have gone through similar situations. At times, I wish I could do more for people who face these difficult situations, but what I can provide is support, comfort, and possibly a little advice. We have a book entitled “You’re Not Alone,” which comes in two versions: one for caregivers and another for the Alzheimer’s patient. Both books provide good information on Alzheimer’s or dementia resources. If you are facing this issue in your family and you are interested in reading either of these books, call our office. Scarlett will be happy to give you a copy. | 1 -Aaron Miller

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