True North Living: 18/4 Shorewood 18/4 - Page 3

Now is the time to Start the C onversation Starting at the end of 2015, something changed. Grandma was still getting great care, but needed more stimulation from people of her age. While she loved being around the family, something was missing. She hired a companion to take her to some senior activities and was continuing to attend monthly Red Hatter’s meetings. Grandma had so much fun attending the activities at the senior center, but was reluctant to move. Tensions were starting in the household, as grandma was not very tolerant of her two grandsons running around the house. She stayed in her room resting a lot. Still, she, my son and daughter-in-law were reluctant to start looking at alternative living for grandma. During my visit in December 2015, I broached the idea of assisted living with grandma, my son, and daughter-in-law. The seed was planted, but after I left grandma was not happy that I talked with them about it. To her surprise, grandma was open to the idea. They looked at several communities and grandma decided she wanted to live in a smaller one because the bigger ones would make her feel like she was living in a hotel. She made the decision to move in April of 2016. Tough choice~great choice. While it took just a little while for grandma to adjust, she now loves her new home. She is participating in activities, loving the meals, and making new friends. She is more lively and enjoying her time with her family, as they visit several times a week. They can now be in a relationship as a family again and not caregivers to their elder grandma. Once again, tough choice~great choice, and the BEST choice she could have made for herself at this time in her life, at the age of 87. I work in eldercare, and see families and elder adults struggling with the same tough choices as my family. We all have basic human needs to live purposeful lives, and to be part of a social structure that allows us companionship and the opportunity to continue to extend care to others. For my children’s grandmother, the tough choices were made with the primary goal to do what would result in a happy decision for all. Good choice! Candis Willis is the Director of Operations for the Southwest Region for Compass Senior Living. She is also a licensed nurse, with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. For over 20 years Candis has had a passion for education and elder care. To learn more contact Candis at cwillis@compass-living.com. Call Shorewood for more information. Balance Class Mondays and Wednesdays at 9am. Yoga on Tuesdays at 11am. Art Club Fridays at 1:30pm. Pinochle games on Tuesday and Thursday at 1 pm - Join us! All are welcome! To receive more information on these or other activities, please contact Vanessa at 541.997.8202/vuhrig@shorewoodsl.com 1451 Spruce Street, Florence, OR 97439 During the course of the next three and a half years, things on the home front were good. Grandma improved significantly as my daughter-in-law watched grandma’s mental and physical health issues closely, taking her to physicians when necessary, and keeping up with her daily regime of prescribed medications as well as supplements. Grandma was happy and my son’s family was happy as well. During the first months of 2016, my daughter-in-law decided to take grandma around to show her assisted living and independent living communities. In 2012 my son brought his paternal grandmother home to live with his family. At the time, she was in a less than desirable relationship, which required some changes be made. That was a tough choice, but turned out to be a great choice. Shorewoodsl.com | 3