A Supportive, Loving Approach to Discussing Assisted Living Among Family

It was a warm, sunny summer afternoon when Marcy pulled into the driveway. She had been sort of dreading this conversation, but knew it had to happen. Her 81-year-old mother, having lived alone for almost a decade since Marcy’s father passed away, was showing signs of slowing down, having difficulty taking care of herself, and was constantly calling her for help.

Marcy was career minded.

Assisted Living Pascagoula, AL: Discussing Assisted Living

Assisted Living Pascagoula, AL: Discussing Assisted Living

She had a full-time job, upward mobility, and her children were grown, either off at college or building their own lives; she didn’t want to become a full-time caregiver, not for her mother or anyone else. Yet, for the past several months, that’s exactly what she was.

Right now, she knew her mother would benefit from assisted living.

Unfortunately, she believed her mother was adamantly opposed to the idea but wasn’t exactly certain why. She knew bringing up this topic was going to be touchy, to say the least, but if things continued the way they were going, it was going to lead to confrontation and that was something Marcy did not want to face.

She took a moment to compose herself before shutting off the engine, getting out of the car, and walking toward the back door. She knocked lightly a couple times and let herself in. Her mother was waiting, almost expectantly, by her demeanor, at the kitchen table.

Marcy smiled and greeted her mother who, in turn, did the same. It had become a ritual to greet one another the same way for months. However, this day there was a hint of tension between them and Marcy didn’t know why. She wasn’t sure if it was coming from her or exuding from both of them.
Marcy sat down, looked at her mother who returned her gaze, but gave nothing away in that expression, and started her conversation.

“Mom,” she said, “I know you’re having trouble taking care of yourself. I’m so glad I can be here to help you. But I also feel as though you’re missing out on something, wishing there was something more. Is that true?”

With some hesitation, a few glances down at her fingers, Marcy’s mother finally responded. “Yes,” she replied, “there are many times I feel completely alone.”

They went on to talk openly and honestly about their fears, worries, trepidation’s, and hopes. Marcy found the opportunity to begin talking about assisted living, and not by chance, either. She had done her research, visited a couple facilities in the area, and saw firsthand what they could offer. When she began talking about these places, the prospect of being active, making new friends, and even reconnecting with people she hadn’t seen in years, it piqued her interest and Marcy’s mother became more open to the idea of assisted living.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Assisted Living near Pascagoula AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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