Assisted Living Facilities: How Far is Too Far?

Deciding when your mom or dad is ready for assisted living is not an easy decision. In many cases, it often comes after a fall or other tragic incident and made in a short time period.

It is so important that the choice to look at assisted living facilities is a family decision. The next big choice is determining what location is ideal.

While exceptions do exist, two choices that many people have to decide between are choosing a community near their parents’ home or choosing one close to their own homes. We have put together the pros and cons of both options—to give you some guidance in this matter.

A Facility Near Your Parents’ Home

The biggest benefit to this option is that the transition may be less stressful for your mom or dad. After all, he or she may be able to go to the same church, shop at the same stores, and visit the same doctor as before transitioning to assisted living. Familiarity is especially beneficial for Alzheimer’s and Dementia care residents.

Being close by, the move itself may be more affordable. Your mom or dad will likely get plenty of visitors, too! The Harvard School of Public Health Study stated that seniors who have an active social life may be less likely to experience memory loss.

However, choosing an assisted living facility near mom or dad’s home can be less convenient for family who may live further away. Staying connected is often key to a successful transition.

A Facility Near Your Own Home

On the other hand, choosing a facility near your house, can be a good option in some cases. Your parents will love being nearby and it will be easier to include Mom or Dad.

One possible downside to moving your parents near you is that it can make the transition even more complex. If your parents live far from you, chances are that your mom or dad may not know many people in the area. The feeling of “starting over” completely makes the idea of moving to an assisted living facility even more stressful.

If you have brothers or sisters,  deciding on a community can be even more complex. While every sibling may not be available to take an active role, it is important to remain on the same page. Use these 4 tips to work together as a family.

›Get together: Don’t try to make this decision via email or phone. Get the family together and discuss it in person.

›Think About Logistics: While you may be tempted to want the parent nearby, it doesn’t always make sense. Think about keeping mom or dad in a familiar space or at least near the child who will be best able to serve the needs of the parents.

›Consider Cost:Assisted living costs can vary from one place to another. This can be a determining factor.

›Remember Mom or Dad: At the end of the day, the idea is to make mom or dad happy. Don’t let you and your siblings’ desires get in the way of keeping your parents happy.

Your family will certainly want to come together to make the choice of assisted living for your parents.While deciding on location is often the first biggest choice to choose, the next big step is determining which community can accommodate the appropriate care needed.

A senior care advisor is someone who knows about assisted living in Atlanta and can provide unbiased advice. If you reach out to us at CareChoice, we can help guide you to the appropriate community for your loved one’s care in the area you wish! If you would like to chat with one of our experts, call us at (404) 402-1499, or visit us online at, ourcarechoice.com

Five Quick Ways to Combat Caregiver Burnout  

Serving as a caregiver for your mom, dad, grandparents or other loved one can be both highly rewarding and immensely challenging. In many ways, it can be like a full-time job—without benefits! However, there is no better feeling than knowing you can pitch in and care for someone who gave their all to help you too. While it can be easy to get stressed from the caregiving process, if you take a few precautions, this will be much less likely. We’ve put together a brief guide of five ideas that may help you avoid “caregiver burnout.”

Take Time for Yourself

While taking care of mom or dad is crucial, you are important too. You need to find some time for yourself, away from the stress of caring for others. Don’t allow the care routines to keep you from doing the things you love. If you have a hobby, make sure you pursue it. If you prefer to relax with a massage or a cup of hot tea, make time for that. Visit with friends and other loved ones too. Taking time for yourself allows you to be the best caregiver you can be.

Don’t Do It All Alone

While some days it may feel like you take the burden of the work, in reality, you shouldn’t have to do it all alone. If you are the only child or your siblings don’t live close by, it can feel like you do take on all of the responsibility. However, think a bit outside the box and you might find that there are others that can help. Are there any teenagers in the family that could help with yard work, cooking, and cleaning? Could your spouse stop by for medicine time on his or her way to work? What about neighbors or friends who offer to run errands or take your mom or dad to the store? These little efforts can add up to help reduce your workload in a tremendous way.

Hire Outside Help

You may think that hiring outside services for housekeeping, yard work or even nursing is an expense you simply can’t afford. While there will be a cost involved, this is a cost that is sometimes well worth paying. While it may be a cliché, it is a cliché for a reason: time is money. Hiring someone to take on some of the more strenuous tasks will free up your days to work on other things. If this free time allows you to pursue other important matters, the cost could be worthwhile.

Utilize Free Services

In addition to paid services, have you looked into the possibility of free services? Depending on your mom or dad’s income levels and medical needs, there may be programs available that will help. These programs can include meal services, nursing or perhaps rides to and from the doctor. Each person and community may have different programs and qualifications. Check with the insurance company and your mom or dad’s doctor to find out if there are any recommendations. Additionally, look online for any community-based programs.

Consider Assisted Living in Atlanta

While you may not want to think about the possibility, there may come a time that the best option for your parent, as well as you, is to consider assisted living in Atlanta. If you have not toured one of these facilities lately, you may be amazed at how impressive they can be. Many of these communities include private apartments, full-service dining rooms, and exciting activities, as well as assistance with the day-to-day care that your mom or dad may need. Plus, unlike a nursing home or other facility, an assisted living community allows seniors to maintain a sense of independence.

Remember, if you wind up overdoing it and “burning out,” you will not be able to help your mom, dad or anyone else. That is why it is so important to take things step by step and not allow yourself to get to the burnout stage. You are NOT alone. If you have questions about senior care or would like some advice about other options, reach out to us at CareChoice. We are a trusted team of senior care advisors who can help you and your family—no matter what type of senior care arrangements you need. You can reach us by phone at (404) 402-1499 or check out our website at www.ourcarechoice.com. We look forward to helping you and your family.

Three Unique Ways To Pay for Assisted Living

As your parents reach a certain age, there may come a time when what has always worked in terms of living arrangements just does not function anymore. It may be that your mom or dad can no longer drive at night, or at all. Perhaps it is a challenge for your parent to take his or her medication according to a strict schedule. It could also become dangerous for your loved one to walk up or down the stairs and shower alone. In some cases, you can step in and help out—but is that enough? Assisted living in Atlanta is another alternative that can help alleviate the stress on you, and help assure that your mom or dad receives the care that is needed. Plus, assisted living facilities offer a chance for socialization, balanced meals, and structured activities.

The problem many families face when considering assisted living in Atlanta is cost. Yes, at first, that price may seem a bit daunting. However, with a bit of planning and consideration, you may find it is more affordable than you think. Here are three ways that you can pay for assisted living—even if you think it may be out of reach.

Remember that certain other expenses will be less

While at first the cost of an assisted living facility may seem daunting, remember that the price paid will often include much more than just “rent.” Depending on the facility, this cost will likely include meals, utilities, laundry service, activities and perhaps even cable and WiFi. Also, if your mom or dad is moving out of a full-size home, there will no longer be the need to pay for lawn service, housekeeping and other extras that go along with maintaining a home. It is vital that you compare apples to apples when looking at different assisted living facilities and make sure you pick one that gives you a solid value—not just a lower cost.

Utilize current high property values

A few years ago the real estate “bubble” burst. Many people are still living with the thought that their homes are worth what they were five or eight years ago. However, in many instances, this isn’t the case. Many homes and other properties have seen a spike in value. With this spike, it could be a very good time to sell. If mom or dad happens to have some land around the family home, this could be even more significant than you think since there is a desire for new homes, and thus the need for empty land for building. Working with a qualified real estate agent can assure you are getting a good value if you sell a home or property—and reduce the stress involved with paying for assisted living.

Consider selling unused items using consignment/eBay

Along the same lines as selling property, have you looked into selling some of the articles your mom or dad has, that no one is using? While everyone has certain family heirlooms that may not be suitable for selling, think about things that are merely taking up space. Perhaps there is some old artwork in the attic or jewelry no one has worn in decades. Even things such as vintage clothing, tools and crafting supplies can have a higher value than many people think. Selling these items can be easier than you would imagine, especially if you use a consignment service that does the selling for you. Additionally, if you are computer-savvy, eBay or other online selling tools can be a good option too. Depending on the items you sell, the value could add up quickly and be a big help with the assisted living cost.

While these ideas may help you with paying for assisted living, or any senior care solution, it is crucial that you find the ideal facility for your loved one too. With thorough research, you can rest assured that your parent is in a facility that meets all of his or her needs—without costing you more than is necessary.

 

CareChoice LLC is Atlanta’s choice for complementary guidance to senior care in the area. Our Family Advocates are knowledgeable, dependable professionals that can help you navigate the maze of senior care and find the facility that will best serve your mom or dad. If you would like to work with a Family Advocate who can guide you as you make these difficult decisions, call us today at (404) 402-1499 or visit our website at ourcarechoice.com.

How to Find Assisted Living in Atlanta That Meets Your Needs

You may have noticed a few facilities around town. You might have also viewed brochures, watched commercials, visited relatives, or just heard about options through the grapevine. There are many choices when it comes to assisted living in Atlanta.

When it comes time to choose a place for your mom or dad, having choices is a mixed blessing. These alternatives are a good thing because it means you have the best chance to find the perfect place for your loved one to call home. However, it can be an overwhelming decision. Here are three things you should do to find assisted living in Atlanta that meets your needs, and those of your mom or dad.

Talk to a True Expert

While researching the subject on your own can be eye-opening, in reality, you have a very limited scope when it comes to checking out assisted living in Atlanta. You may have toured a couple of nearby facilities or perhaps have heard about one through a friend or co-worker. The reality is that there are hundreds of options for senior care in the Atlanta area, including assisted living, residential care homes, and in-home care.

Working with a senior living advisor can be an amazing solution for you and your parents. Your family advocate will listen to your needs, look over all of the potential solutions and make suggestions from a new perspective.

Discuss Care Needs and Review Online Options

When you need to choose an assisted living community rise, you may already have a few ideas of your own. Ultimately, though, it is your mom or dad who will be calling this place home. It is important that you sit down as a family and discuss all of the care needs, the budget, all of the “wants” regarding activities and living arrangements, and perhaps some of your wants (such as a convenient location for visiting) too. Your next step may be to review a few options online. Reviewing online allows you to view the basic amenities and check out reviews from other residents and families. Perhaps you can eliminate a few options solely based on online profiles. It is best to consult with your Family Advocate at CareChoice as reviews can be misleading.  They can assist as much or as little as needed in having these conversations. As you go through this process, make sure it remains a project you work on together—so that both you and your mom or dad are pleased with the options.

Go On a Few Tours of Assisted Living in Atlanta

You can learn a lot about these senior care and assisted living communities by looking online and making phone calls. Online information can be beneficial, but you cannot get a good idea of how the facility “feels.” Nor can you experience how friendly the staff is, how welcoming the other residents are, what the rooms feel like or how delicious dinner will taste. After determining the best options with your Family Advocate, take a tour of your top choices. These are a crucial step in your decision-making process. Your Family Advocate will assist in scheduling tours at your convenience. Most assisted living communities are more than happy to schedule a tour on very short notice. Dropping by a community can also be a good idea because it will give you a better idea of what is going on day to day.

Contact CareChoice at (404) 402-1499 or visit our website at ourcarechoice.com for more information about your options for assisted living and other senior care solutions in the Atlanta metro area.
Once you have reviewed the options online, in person, and with expert guidance, you will likely have a “gut instinct” about what facilities feel best. Do not ignore those instincts. The truth is, an assisted living facility will serve as a home for your mom or dad. The employees will become both caretakers and friends. It is vital to find the right place—the one that feels right and that meets your needs. Take your time and do not let anyone pressure you into making a decision. You will know when you have found the place for mom or dad to call home.

 

 

5 Things People Don’t Think About When Becoming Their Parent’s Main Caregiver

As your parents become older, there may come a time that they can no longer take care of themselves in the manner that they once could.

At first, it may be that mom or dad can only drive in the daytime. After that, it could be that you need to help with medications. Before long, those little things add up and become big things.

Becoming a caregiver for your elderly parent is not something many of us plan for; however, it can become a necessity — both in short-term and long-term cases.

If you find yourself moving into this role, it is important to think about how it will affect your entire life. Consider these five things that many people fail to think about when they become the primary caregiver for their parent or parents.

It Changes the Relationship

When you are just stopping in now and then to check up on mom or dad, you maintain that “parent/child relationship.” Once you cross into the caregiver role, the entire relationship changes.

Sometimes, that change goes well. It can be seamless, in fact. On other occasions, it is a difficult pill to swallow for everyone involved.

Your parent may resent the fact that you are taking over, and you may resent the fact that you need to do so. It is vital that you work out these feelings, even if it involves talking with a professional.

It Is a Full-time Job

It cannot be emphasized enough how much work goes into taking care of another person. Even if you are not living with your mom or dad, you will find that you spend nearly as much time at their house as you do your own. If you are working at the same time, your stress level will be high.

If you take time off of work or away from your family to care for your parents, you may develop resentment. The time you must commit is incredible, and it is admirable that you would consider doing so.

There Will Be Added Stress and Worries

Chances are, you will find something new to worry about each and every day. Is your mom getting a well-balanced diet when you aren’t around? Are those handrails you installed strong enough? What would happen if someone came to the door late at night?

The worries pile up–it’s only natural. These concerns can quickly turn into anxiety if not managed and kept in check, which makes caring for your parents more difficult.

We suggest that people pay close attention to the things being worried about; often, anxiety becomes a habit. If they write down their concerns, they can be evaluated in a healthy way once the emotion of a moment has passed.

It is Easy to Lose Yourself

As with any demanding job, those caring for their parents are prone to falling into “caregiver depression.” It’s understandable; when you are putting someone else’s needs before your own and spending so much time focusing on taking care of them, your personal life falls down the priority line. This takes a toll on your emotions, and can manifest in a variety of ways.  

Be aware of potential feelings of sadness, loneliness, and even resentment, as they can turn into depression–which is even less conducive to caring for your loved one the way you want to. Whenever possible, remember to care for yourself; don’t run yourself into the ground trying to do it all.

Flexibility is Key

Caring for your parent is an unpredictable job; it’s impossible to know what tomorrow may bring. Whether an unexpected circumstance in your own life (perhaps your child needs a chaperone for a field trip,) or an incident with your parent (one fall could have a big impact on mobility,) the job description of caring for your parent is ever-changing.

Few people are fortunate enough to have enough flexibility in their lives to roll with the changes without complication, which is why many people look at other options — such as assisted living or care communities — to add stability to the routine.

Being the main caregiver for a parent is incredibly tough, but it doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Even if you don’t have other family members nearby that can pitch in and help, there is assistance available.

Senior Living Advisers are completely free consultants who advise and assist those considering out-of-home care or an in-home care provider. CareChoice is a senior advisory firm that offers this advice and assistance in this complicated, emotional, and confusing situation.

If you are interested in learning about assisted living in Atlanta, give us a call at (404) 402-1499 or visit our website for more information. It is our goal to reduce your worries and make the next steps easier. 

 

 

How to Stay Connected with Your Aging Parents

Today more than ever before it is easy to become so busy with work and social activities that the little things in life pass by unnoticed. Many of us spend hours every day tied down to computers, smartphones and tablets, and lose track of what is most important — staying connected with those we love most.

As your life moves on, do not forget that your parents are aging and every chance you miss connecting with them is a chance you may not be able to get back. However, if you are willing to put in some time and effort, you can reconnect and rebuild those relationships before it is too late.

Here are four ways to help you begin the re-connection process:

1. Connect With Tech

You are on your smartphone all the time anyway.  Why not put that time to good use?

If your mom or dad are already Internet-savvy, you can start connecting on social media or utilizing video chats to spend time together even when you are far away from each other. If they live in an assisted living in Atlanta, there may be classes on social media available, too.

If your parents are not yet comfortable with the Internet or mobile devices, just taking the time to teach them how to utilize this technology can be an excellent way to build your relationship. They will appreciate the knowledge you share, and you will have a new way to reach them even during your busiest times.

Who knows? Your mom or dad may soon find Facebook or Video Chats to be their favorite way to keep in touch with the family or long-lost friends.

2. Connect Over the Past

One reason that many people find it hard to connect with their parents and other relatives is that it can be hard to find things to talk about with one another. Sharing stories about the family and the past is an excellent way to build these bonds while creating something that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Spend time together organizing old photos, recreating old family recipes and learning more about the family heritage. Not only will it forge bonds between you and your parents, but you will learn lessons that you can pass on to future generations as well.

It may surprise you, but many times you will be able to get children and other family members involved, too — family history is more exciting than you might think.

3. Go Out Someplace New

Do you always wind up visiting your mom or dad at the house or at their assisted living community in Atlanta — having the same dinners and sharing the same conversations? It might be time to shake things up a bit. Why not take your parents out to the new restaurant in town or out to see a play or a movie? Just getting out of the house and seeing something new can inspire conversation and will make it easier to connect.

When you are enjoying yourselves during your time together, you will all find that rebuilding your relationship is much more fun. If this is impossible, bring the fun to your parents.

Have dinner catered or invite over some entertaining guests. Even bringing a nice dessert and fresh flowers for table décor can turn an ordinary meal into something memorable.

4. Get Others Involved

While you will always want to have special time that is just for you and your parents, it is important to foster the relationships within the entire family, too. Maybe it is time to plan a big family gathering. Holidays, reunions, baby showers, weddings and birthday parties can all be excellent occasions for getting together and spending time with those who are nearest to your heart.

Do not take on all the responsibility yourself. Make the occasion into a family event. When everyone participates, everyone will get more from the occasion.

Your parents will appreciate the opportunity to reconnect not only with you, but with the family as a whole. Plus, after the big day, you will have plenty to talk about and lots of great photos to review!

When you have not been taking the time to connect with your parents for awhile, the first efforts may seem difficult. However, do not give up on the process. Once you get past those first awkward moments, it will quickly turn from being something you need to do into something you want to do.

Soon, you will find that you look forward to every moment you get to spend with your parents — and you will both likely discover new ways you enjoy spending time together, too.

 

What’s the Difference Between Assisted Living and Residential Personal Care Homes?

With many different senior living options available, it can be a little confusing for those who are exploring possibilities for their loved ones. Two options that are easily confused at first glance are assisted living communities and residential care homes.

While every home or community is different, we have broken down the basics of what will generally differentiate residential care homes from assisted living in Atlanta.

 

  • Size: Generally, an assisted living community is one in which each resident has his or her own apartment, usually a studio or one-bedroom. Additionally, there are community areas such as a dining room, meeting rooms, activity areas, and other spaces. In a residential personal care home, space is usually much smaller — around the size of a large home. While both facilities will have different size extremes, an assisted living community is almost always a larger building or even made up of several buildings.
  • Amenities: The community areas and amenities vary from community to community and home to home. Assisted living communities are usually designed with amenities like  business centers, salons, and therapy gyms. Assisted living is often billed as a true community. A residential care home may not have as many in-home amenities; however, the needs of the residents may be met in other ways. Each home will have different methods of handling mealtimes, medicine, and other needs and wants of the residents. Whether in a large community or smaller residential home, delivering pharmacies and visiting medical professionals are often a common amenity.
  • Activities: Despite the common misunderstanding that Assisted Living facilities are for “inhibited” elderly residents, there are usually many activities available both within the facility and offsite to keep residents active. Larger communities typically staff a full-time activities director to plan the schedule and keep residents engaged. A residential care home will usually have a smaller selection of activities, but for a senior who prefers a quieter lifestyle, this can be an excellent choice.
  • Location: Residential care homes are usually located in a standard home within a suburban neighborhood. To the untrained eye, these homes look like any regular house. Assisted living communities are larger and have the need for more parking and perhaps even a loading dock, so they are often found in commercial or mixed use areas. A convenient location can make it easier for friends and family to visit — since there will often be parking available throughout the day.
  • Cost: The costs of any type of senior care will vary depending on the particular senior’s needed level of care, the location of the facility and other factors. However, as a general rule, an assisted living community will normally have a slightly higher per-month charge than a residential care home, due to the additional amenities that are included.
  • Level of Care: Each community and home is set up differently in regards to the level of care.  Larger communities can hold either a personal care home or assisted living license. Assisted living licensed communities allow residents to age in place, providing increased care. A residential care home typically provides a higher staff to resident ratio, which allows staff to be more attentive to the resident’s needs. Care staff are likely trained CNA’s or proxy-caregivers. As care needs increase, residential care homes typically rely on outside home health services for nursing care.
  • Number of Residents: A residential personal care home will nearly always have fewer residents than an assisted living community. Residential care homes are typically licensed for up to 8-12 residents, whereas Assisted Living communities can be licensed for over 100. The residents of a personal care home may develop a closer relationship with their caregivers, since they live intimately with the staff and other residents.
  • Other Considerations: A residential care home is often quieter and more homelike, while an assisted living facility has a community-like feel. If an individual likes privacy, they may prefer having a private room and bathroom in an assisted living community rather than having to share communal areas in a residential care home.

 

At the end of the day, it often comes down to what feels right to the senior who will be living there. It is important to realize that when it comes to senior living options, what works well for one family may not be the right solution for another. That is why taking the time to research every possibility is important.

Instead of relying on outdated information you find online or unreliable information you hear from others, why not work with an expert? The CareChoice team can help you through the process of finding the ideal spot for your mom or dad and even help when it comes time to sit down for that awkward conversation. Best of all, our service is free!

Give us a call at (404) 402-1499 or contact us online at ourcarechoice.com to learn more about senior care and assisted living in Atlanta.

By the Numbers: How Does Senior Housing in Atlanta Compare

Senior care can be a very daunting subject to discuss. Not only is it one that we often hesitate to bring up with our loved ones because we don’t know how to approach it, but the financial matter itself can be overwhelming too. Luckily, finances are something that can be figured out with a bit of research or by working with a professional.

As you begin your research into senior care options, it is important that you remember that costs will vary widely depending on many different factors. However, one of the most significant factors is the location (the area of the country in which the facility is located). As we compare average prices for some of the more common senior care options below, keep in mind that the prices could be quite a bit different if you are not located in the Atlanta metro area.

  • Independent Living Communities – These are also known as retirement communities and designed for seniors age 55 and older. Generally, they offer apartments or cottages for seniors that do not require assistance with daily activities. These communities may or may not offer transportation, group activities and social programs. The costs will vary widely depending on how many amenities are included. Rates will likely start at around 25 percent more than a similar size apartment in the area. The national average for independent living is $2,500. In the Atlanta metro area, you can expect costs to range between $1,000 – $3,000, depending on location and amenities.
  • Assisted Living Communities – Assisted living in Atlanta is a balanced solution for seniors who may need assistance with one or more tasks. Most assisted living communities offer individualized care plans, meals and snacks, activities, visiting medical professionals, and other services. According to a cost of care survey in 2014, the national average is $3,500 per month. Atlanta is known for a lower-than-average cost of living, so you can expect costs to range between $2,500 – $3,500 depending on location, care needs, and amenities. For higher care levels, Assisted Living communities can range upwards of $8,000.
  • Memory Care — Memory Care facilities, often found inside assisted living facilities or as a stand alone community, are designed for seniors who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. While the national average for memory care is $5,000, in the Atlanta area the costs range from approximately $3,000 to more than $7,000 per month depending on the needs of the senior, location of the center, amenities offered and other factors.
  • Residential Care Homes – A residential care home is a residential home licensed by the state for personal care. It normally has fewer residents and a higher caregiver-to-resident ratio than an assisted living facility. The specific care provided varies based on the licensed staff within each home. In general, the prices are on par or slightly under the cost of assisted living facilities with the national average being $3,000. In Atlanta,you can expect costs to range between $1,800 – $3,000 depending on location, care needs, and room size. Often times, residential care homes are a more affordable solution for families.
  • Nursing Homes – Nursing homes, also know as skilled nursing facilities, are the most expensive type of senior care available. However, in many cases when skilled nursing care is required, insurance may pay some or all of the cost. A semi-private room in a nursing home will average over $6,000 per month ($72,000 per year) in the United States. Georgia comes in at slightly less averaging at $65,000 per year. A nursing home provides 24/7 skilled nursing, which is why the rate is so much higher than other facilities.

As you review prices for senior care options, remember that the numbers above are only averages. Each facility will have its own price based on location, level of care and amenities. The best way to find out what you can expect to pay is to get some quotes from actual facilities.

Senior care advisors like CareChoice can help you get quotes from local senior care facilities in the Atlanta area. CareChoice’s family advocates have experience working with local facilities and can offer insight as to which facilities would be the best fit for your needs. After all, when you are making a big decision like this, it only makes sense to have knowledge and experience on your side. Contact CareChoice for help in finding the right care solution within your specific budget by calling (404) 402-1499.

Bridging the Generation Gap Through Storytelling

Storytelling is an art, for sure—but it is also a vital means of information sharing. Stories about our past shape the people we are today. In the past, stories may have been passed down because there were few alternatives for entertainment or education. However, today many things are competing for our attention, and thus, it becomes more important than ever to make sure those stories are shared and remembered.

As stories are shared, it is important that they are kept for future generations. You can document these on an audio recording, on video or even through handwritten notes. No matter what you choose, the power of the internet allows us to store these documents in a way that they are safe from fire, flood or theft—something never possible before. However, the first step is to make sure the stories are shared. To encourage the sharing of stories, it becomes vital to bridge the gap between generations.

The Stories Keep Us Connected

It can be difficult for the older generation to try to have a conversation with the younger generation. Kids today are spending screen time at home—and working on computers at school too, so it only makes sense that their attention spans might be a bit shorter than in generations past. However, once you get started with the sharing of stories, you will often see that this is an important means of connection for both the storyteller—and those who are listening.

If you’re looking for the best ways to connect with your loved ones through storytelling, here are a few tips that will make it easier and help you both get the most from it.

  • Ask Questions to Improve Engagement – Put together a list of questions ahead of time so you can keep the story on track. Perhaps if you want to know grandma and grandpa’s story, you would ask questions about their time in school, grandpa’s days in the service, how they met, what grandma did for a living before she married grandpa, and other guided questions. When you have some specific questions ready, you can keep the story flowing.
  • Think Sound Bites – While detailed stories are a lot of fun, think about wrapping up your lessons in a quick sound bite too. That way you can impart your lesson on the younger generation without all the fuss. The best part about these short sound bites is that they open the door for a more detailed story later. Think about Aesop’s Fables—they have a short lesson that they impart, but they also have a great story when there is time for that too.
  • Consider a Multimedia Approach – While you might not be interested in going all out and creating your own multimedia empire, it is easier than ever to record video and audio for your loved ones. Consider sharing your stories on Youtube; it is possible to make these videos private where only the family can view them. Another idea is to add digital photography to bring your audio recordings to life. A digital approach to storytelling is much more likely to garner attention in a world where everyone is already plugged in and turned on to digital media most of the time anyway. Plus, when you utilize these methods you can save your stories for future generations too.
  • Get Social – Those social media websites that are so popular are a great place to tell your story or tell your family’s story. Why not share some old family photos on Instagram or post some of your favorite family recipes on Facebook? The more family members that are connected on social media, the better. It may surprise you how active your family group can get—and how quickly the stories will begin to flow. Once again, these can be made private so that only the family can view the content.
  • Include Other Content – Stories aren’t the only way to reach your loved ones. Share a classic recipe or bring out those cherished family heirlooms. You have important things to share, and there are many events that occurred in your life (or in the lives of your ancestors) that will be forgotten if you don’t share them. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

The older generation has something amazing to share, and it is up to all of us to make sure that it doesn’t become lost. Storytelling is a classy form of entertainment and these are great methods of sharing information with future generations. Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with the most important people in your life—and create something that will make an impact for generations to come.

 

Assisted Living in Atlanta: 3 Signs You Need A Senior Care Expert

As your parents get older, you may begin to notice that they have trouble with tasks that they once found easy. Perhaps your mom or dad is struggling with medical problems, or you’re starting to notice a dangerous change in their driving habits.

While you want to do everything you can for your parents, your life is hectic, too. It may not always be possible for you to be there as much as you’d like. For some families, it may be time to hire an outside caregiver. Others may find that mom or dad is more comfortable in a senior community that is designed for their unique needs.

One important thing to know is that you don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. A senior care adviser is someone who knows all about the different care options available in your area and who can give you concrete advice on choosing the best care option for your parents. But how do you know when you need to reach out to a senior care expert? Consider these three signs:

You Want to Learn the Difference Between Senior Living Communities, Assisted Living Facilities, and Nursing Homes

You’ve probably driven past these facilities or seen advertisements on television. But do you know the difference between a senior living community, an assisted living facility, and a nursing home? What about a memory care facility? Is in-home care a viable option for your active parents? When it comes to assisted living in Atlanta, as well as other senior living arrangements, there are many different options. When you find yourself curious about these options or unsure what the differences are, it may be time to reach out to an expert.

Mom or Dad is Ready For the Next Step

If you feel that your mom or dad would be better served in an environment that provides care assistance, but you don’t know how to approach the subject, a senior living advisor can be a great solution to help navigate this difficult conversation. On the other hand, it may be that you aren’t the one who wants to make a change; it may be that your mom or dad is asking about options. It can be hard for you to face the fact that your parents need a little help with day-to-day living.

This is one time when it can help to have someone else on your side to look at things from an outsider’s perspective. Since you are so close to your parents, and you have known them so long, it can be harder for you to recognize that the time is right for them to move to a senior living facility. A senior care expert will be able to show you the benefits.

You Need Answers to Your Senior Living Questions

For most of your life, your parents always had the answers. Now, you are the one who is supposed to have it all figured out. If you find that each day leaves you with more questions than answers, perhaps it is time to turn your questions over to someone who has experience with this situation.

Maybe you want to know more about the costs associated with assisted living in Atlanta, the difference between a personal care home license and assisted living license, or maybe you want to learn more about the activities offered at each community. A senior care expert can help you look at the big picture and the small details so you can understand what to expect from the next steps in the process.

No matter what stage you are at in the process of evaluating senior care options, working with a senior care expert just makes sense. Don’t try to do everything yourself — assisted living reviews in Atlanta and other resources can be very misleading. There is a lot of information to sort through and a lot of that information is bad information. You may not find the answers you need for your loved one’s specific care needs.

If you’re currently considering any senior care community, in-home care, assisted living in Atlanta or another option, we encourage you to reach out to us at CareChoice. You can reach us by email through our website or by phone at (404) 402-1499. We will connect you with one of our experienced family advocates and offer complementary guidance.

Our service is all about helping you every step of the way, from learning more about these options to the day your loved one moves in — and beyond. Call us today and you’ll quickly realize that a senior care expert is your best resource for all your senior care questions.