The call came from a close neighbor. John was 92 and still living in his own home. She had been helping him with little things like grocery shopping, yard work and checking in on him. One day he decided to drive to the store. Unfortunately he hit over 30 things with his car as he drove down the street. That was decision maker, it was time for Fred to move to assisted living where he didn’t need to drive anymore and that had caregivers providing the increasing support he needed.
While John preferred to stay at home, he knew he really needed more help than he was getting and he didn’t have any family to be there for him. He hated imposing on his neighbor but was grateful for her help. The neighbor and I toured several assisted living communities in Washington County looking for the right fit. Looking at the options can be very overwhelming and physically exhausting, especially for a man who is 92. The goal was to narrow down the choices to a couple then bring him back to make the final decision.
It’s important that the senior gets a say in where he or she is going to live. Imagine being independent your whole life and all of a sudden having somebody else make important decisions for you. It’s demoralizing and demeaning. The neighbor chose two communities she thought he would like and the next day we visited both with John. John was happy with both choices and was able to choose one in Beaverton. He wasn’t thrilled to move out of his own home but by being a part of the decision he was better able to accept the move and was happy that he was ultimately the one who decided where he was going to live. John’s doing well in his new home. He learned that long time neighbors also live in that community so he already has friends and the caregivers love him.