We talk a lot in this space about assistance in and around the home, from personal emergency response systems, to home delivered meals, to...?
Other columns have talked about alternative residences such as Assisted Living (AL) or Adult Family Homes (AFH) and so on..we all live somewhere after all.
`Each situation brings its own resources as well as its own challenges. Sometimes when an individual is in an AL, for example, or planning on moving to one, the assumption is everything we used to take care will now be provided by others.
The flip side of that is: "If everything's taken care of by others...will I get lost in the process?"
Some move in with a sense of adventure--something new and different in life. Some move in with a sense of loss, feeling like they've lost ground and now have to be someplace where help is always available. Still others, for whatever reason, feel like they're being forced into an alien environment where they will quietly disappear. Most likely at various times, each of these perceptions may come and go. We're human and seldom remain in the same emotional state day after day, week after week.
Let's talk about you. Assuming prior to moving, you checked out the place, talked to residents, took a couple tours, etc., you made your choice. And now, you remember stories you've heard about people being "warehoused" and isolated. Or maybe one of those 20/20, 60 Minutes type programs about dire deeds in some distant place.
And even though family and friends will be visiting, they won't actually live there with you. Sounds like you'll be.....alone.
So what if something does come up? I get you may not want to rock the boat where you live, but you still are you. The same voice you came in with is still there.
The staff is there to help you, and chances are good that whatever's an issue, they've run into it before.
You also have an advocate. You have someone to walk alongside you independent of your residence, folks who will serve as an intermediary, advocate, or simply someone who listens. They're collectively called Long Term Care Ombudsmen (LTCO).
They're tasked with ensuring your dignity, rights and general well-being, and interactions are confidential. With your input and permission, they will work to resolve any issues that concern you.
If you're looking for this type of assistance, or want to know more about advocacy in our area, contact Judy Dawe at 1 800 828 4883, extension 120. Or you can email her at email@example.com. Judy is the LTCO for Grays Harbor and Pacific County, and she's there to help.
You're in a new place, but as noted earlier, you are still..you. And you have a voice.
Information & Assistance
Long Beach: 642 3634/888 571 6558 Raymond: 942 2177/888 571 6557