By Jim Dueck, Director of Marketing
Palm Village Retirement Community
The stages in our lives often include the time when we need to help an aging parent decide on the transition they will make to ensure that they will be well taken care of in their later years.
A recent conversation with the daughter of a resident at Palm Village Retirement Community gave a realistic point of view of the steps that are taken for the benefit of all of the family.
In this family, the daughter’s stepfather was in need of skilled nursing care several years ago. They started their search in Fresno, where Mom and stepfather lived. The family was very displeased by what they discovered was the standard of care in the facilities they visited. With this experience, the family understood why many families hesitate to find out of the home care for their elderly family members.
The family then visited Palm Village and realized that the elderly gentleman would be well taken care of by a staff that “really cares about the residents.”
The next decision to be made was how to discontinue Mom’s driving from Fresno to Reedley everyday to visit her husband. A mobile home park in Reedley was the answer, but only for about three years, when the stepfather passed away.
During those three years, the daughter and family were responsible for the maintenance of their Mom’s mobile home as well as being sure that she was able to cook and take care of her daily needs. About four months after her stepfather died, the daughter and her four siblings agreed that Mom needed to be approached about moving to a Patio Home at Palm Village.
Although Mom felt she was not ready at age 86, she responded that if the family felt it was time, she did not want to be a burden to them and agreed to make the move.
Even with four siblings, the daughter is the prime caretaker. However she states, “I feel it is a privilege to care for my Mom after all of the years she took care of us.”
All of the concerns the family had about their Mom living alone in a mobile home have now disappeared. Although she was and still is driving, they knew Mom did not socialize with many friends. At Palm Village she is involved in activities daily and “everyone at Palm Village loves her”, her daughter says with obvious pleasure.
The overwhelming task of cooking has been replaced with nutritious meals her “Mom brags about”, prepared in the casual 50’s style diner, Barbara’s. “Mom loves that she can have lunch anytime from 11:30 to 1PM either at the diner or as a to-go meal enjoyed in her home. And all of the formerly worrisome home maintenance is now completed by the Palm Village staff for the Patio Home residents.
Most important to the family, however, is the health care that Mom receives. Although at age 90 she is in very good health, she recently fell and needed hospital care for the subsequent infection and pneumonia. When she was released from the hospital, the family was so grateful that Mom was able to go directly to Palm Village’s skilled nursing for four weeks, where she received excellent care and physical therapy.
When it was time to return to her patio home the physical therapy staff continued to visit her at home to be sure she was doing well. Neighbors often stop by to be sure Mom is okay and they bring her meals from their own homes or from Barbara’s.
When the daughter was asked, what improvements could be made at Palm Village, she hesitated for a long time and then replied, “I can’t think of any. I’ll ask Mom.”
And the final assessment from the daughter is this: “I can relax knowing Mom is well taken care of with everything including a bedside emergency button for response 24 hours a day to a social life she would not have if she remained in the mobile home. I don’t worry about her, even when I am on vacation. Palm Village is a gift to our family and to Mom. She tells us she is well taken care of and lives at a place she enjoys.”