Published on:

The Choice of a Senior Living Community Should be for the Benefit of the Senior, Not His/Her Children

My clients were a fascinating professional couple from South Africa. I say fascinating because they told me stories of how they had hidden Nelson Mandela in their home for 2 weeks while they were living there. The couple hired me to find the right senior living community for them because, unfortunately, the wife had memory issues, and the husband had terminal cancer that was expected to claim his life within a year. Both were ambulatory and extremely intelligent.

They had looked at several places on their own. However, none of the places had an assisted living memory unit, which would be critical for the future since the husband was not expected to live beyond another 12 months or so. When he died, the wife would have no one nearby on a daily basis to help with her memory issues. When I pointed this out to them, they had no idea there was no memory care available at the communities they had been considering. Can you imagine if they had moved to such a community, based on their limited assessment? They hired ADSLA just in time!

My clients’ major criteria for choosing a community was proximity to their two sons, both of whom have disabilities and do not drive. A member of the extended family confided to me that the parents had provided condominiums for their adult sons and, effectively, routine transportation as well, even though both men are capable of using publicly available transportation.

I found what I determined to be an ideal place for my clients, located right in their own neighborhood and full of people they knew, plus professionals from a prominent local university. My clients initially were very excited because the community offered such companionship and was full of wonderful cultural activities. They obviously were not Bingo people.

After all was said and done, however, my clients tried to “reneg” on their decision to move because this local facility was a 20-minute ride for their adult sons. The relative who had told me about the sons not being able to drive further opined that the young men had been “enabled” all their lives, and that when the family had meals together, the sons never came to the couple. Rather, the parents had always picked them up, even though the young men could take public transportation.

My clients called me and told me they decided to go to one of the places they originally looked at because it was around the corner from their “boys.” Yet my clients again asked me for my advice. I responded candidly: “Well, you can do that. But you do NOT have my blessing. It doesn’t have the right level of care, and you are moving there for all the wrong reasons.” My clients’ response was, “The boys can help if something happens to one of us.” I pointed out that, since there was no assisted living memory care in the community, when the senior with cancer died, his wife would be placed in the locked area of the nursing home prematurely. I firmly said, “This is my last word.”

Evidently, my honesty and firmness worked, because the couple’s concerned relative called me and sung my praises for being persuasive. The couple would not be choosing a facility without assisted living memory care.

I share this story in order to emphasize that one goal of ADSLA is to ensure that seniors select the best possible living options based on all available evidence and long-term reasoning. Our expertise and years of data collection on Chicago-area senior living communities enable us to recommend the best possible fit for our clients – without being unduly influenced by family emotions or deeply rooted patterns of behavior. Let us put ADSLA’s insight and professionalism to work for you and the senior(s) you love!

Do you need a second opinion? Let Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors help. 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.

Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors
1497 Shire Circle
Inverness, IL 60067
Phone: 847.934.5303
Cell: 708.415.2934