My client was 102 years old and had lived in the same independent living community for more than 12 years. She had moved there with her husband when the community was a homey retirement home. After her husband’s death, she remained there with 2 part-time caregivers who provided total assistance with bathing, dressing, escorts to the dining room via wheelchair, and transporting her on errands. She was alert.
When I went to assess the client, I was greeted by 5 family members who were gathered in her lovely 2 bedroom apartment. As they explained to me, the community had been purchased by another organization that was turning it into a glamorous, high-priced, marble-clad independent living community. As I was listening to them, I noticed a baby grand piano occupying the corner of the room. And at one point during the conversation, the caregiver assisted my client with being seated at the piano. She delighted me by playing a wonder rendition of George M. Cohan’s work, “Give my regards to Broadway.” She could still play despite needing help with other activities of daily living!
The children were explicit about the qualifications of their mother’s new senior living community. As she had about 2 year’s funds remaining to pay privately at a good nursing home, the new community had to be Medicaid-friendly so she could remain there after her personal funds were depleted. It had to be located in one of several designated suburbs. The community also had to be of a certain religious denomination or non-denominational. And, she had to be able to bring the piano.
As I heard the last qualification, my heart sank. She was in between needing a high level of assisted living or low level nursing home care. Due to her financial and physical condition, nursing home care was really the only option. When I explained to her that a nursing home room would not be big enough to take the piano, her eyes welled up with tears and spilled down her face. Even the thought of a new “keyboard” instrument would not placate her. I was determined to find an answer to her request.
After a few mental prayers on my part, I remembered the room layouts of a nursing home that was of the requested religious affiliation. It was an older building, much like the homey atmosphere of her former retirement community. There were several rooms that had small parlors connected to them. They were large enough to house the piano. I quickly made a phone call to the Admissions Director and sent the children over for a tour. Thankfully, they loved it.
Arrangements were made for her move to the nursing home. And I am thankful that I will never be known as “the lady who made me give up my piano!” Happy Holidays!
For all of your senior living needs, contact Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors. Call us at (708) 415-2934 or email us. Please visit our website. Please watch my video to learn how the process works and learn what some clients have to say.