“We treat our residents like we’d treat our own mother or grandma.” I recently had the pleasure of visiting Grandma’s House Assisted Living Home in Missoula, Montana. It is a small, friendly assisted living, with a capacity of maximum 6 residents. They are a “Category A” status, meaning the residents must be able to independently do some activities of daily living, even though they require help or cueing to meet some of their needs. There’s a nice home-like atmosphere at Grandma’s House, with a large single table dining room with an open kitchen where the residents can watch and smell the wonderful food baking (like brownies!). French doors open out to a large wheelchair/walker-accessible covered patio on the south side, overlooking the back yard, garnished with large trees. A new 100 yd sidewalk goes around the perimeter of the back yard, providing an opportunity for a walk outside, but within the safety of the fenced yard. The house dog is a friendly Australian cattle dog named Nakota. Linda, the owner, said “Nakota is a therapy dog, because he will sit next to a resident if they’re stressed and he senses they need comforting.” Caregiving staff is onsite 24/7, and comply with a dress code and are first-aid certified. All rooms are wired for cable/internet, and call cords are in each room and bathroom. One bedroom has a new added bathroom. Shopping, motels, and apartments are located within one mile. For maps and contact information about Grandma’s House, look at assistedcarefacilities.net.
Are you still raising and/or supporting your children while also caring for your aging parent, or maybe an elderly aunt or uncle? Then you’re in the Sandwich Generation. This is a portion of our community that is not only spending time, energy, resources, and emotion with the younger family members, but also juggling the needs of the elderly in the family. Many families find it most successful and more economic for the 3 (or 4) generations to live together, like “The Waltons,” eating meals together, helping each other, and having daily interactions. Some families can arrange to live next door to their parents, or designate a part of their home as an apartment, keeping some separation, yet being available to help them when needed, maybe giving them a ride to an appointment, setting up their medications, or bringing meals to them. Each family has different dynamics, and therefore each has different elements of success and failure with the system they develop to meet everyone’s care needs. As time goes on, the children grow up, move out, or move back in, maybe with their own children, and the elderly members become older, frail, requiring more assistance with their activities of daily living. The ones in the Sandwich Generation continue to age, have their own problems and issues, and may reach a point when they feel pressured, squished, stressed, overburdened, and yet may also feel the rewards of the situation, appreciating the “give and take” as the family is co-existing together as a unit, observing what each generation can offer to the others.
Searching for a nursing home, assisted living, or retirement home? We’re here to help you find just the right place for you or your loved one. Here is a complete directory of care facilities across the United States. Click on the STATE, then the CITY, and you’ll see a list of the care homes in that city, including contact information. Click on the individual FACILITY NAME, and you’ll see a google map and more information. If you have an opinion (good or bad!) about a care home you’re familiar with, I invite you to write on this blog. Let’s help everyone to MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION!