A Family Member Caught in the Middle of a Fierce Discussion About Assisted Living Doesn’t Have to Remain There

Roger and Melissa lived in the same town in which they grew up. Brother and sister, they looked after one another and their parents as they got older. After their father passed away, both Roger and Melissa stepped up to take care of their mother. As time passed, though, and life pulled them in different directions, they were available less frequently. In recent months, they both noticed their mother having extreme difficulty taking care of herself in a safe and healthy manner.

Assisted Living in Saraland AL: Stuck in the Middle

Assisted Living in Saraland AL: Stuck in the Middle

That’s when Roger began talking about assisted living.

When both Roger and Melissa would stop by to visit their mother at the same time, he assumed his sister would be on board and supportive. He began talking about assisted living as an option, and when their mother became hostile and belligerent, talking about never having to be put into a facility like that, or that they didn’t really care about her and just wanted to ‘pawn her off on someone else,’ Melissa didn’t say anything at all.

Melissa wasn’t quite sure this was the best option.

She understood there were various benefits to assisted living, but she also realized that her mother was an independent, autonomous individual who had every right to decide where she lived and what happened to her in the future.

She felt caught in the middle and Roger couldn’t understand her complete silence on the subject. He was getting drawn into arguments with his mother, looking to Melissa to support him, and finding no assistance. He was frustrated and even angry.

For Melissa, feeling caught in the middle wasn’t just a matter of trying to do the right thing, but to avoid confrontation. As long as Roger was taking the ‘heat,’ she seemed okay with that. However, the longer this went on for, the more it concerned her.

What she did, because she didn’t really know much about assisted living, was contacted a few facilities in the region. She went on a couple of tours, sat down with an administrator, and learned more about the benefits it offered. She began to realize her brother had been more right than she ever could have imagined.

She knew her mother would be in a great place with a particular assisted living facility. She finally concurred and when the discussions came up, she sided with her brother, but she also understood her mother needed to make this decision without feeling pressured.

It took time, but with family on the same ‘page,’ it made all the difference in the world, not just for Roger, but their mother as well.

If you or an aging loved one are considering assisted living in Saraland, 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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