|By Leah Cayson, The Decatur Daily, Ala.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Despite the knowledge of the health care profession, she said transitioning her mother from
"It's just a lot. Until you start being involved in the process, you just don't know because you don't have a reason to know," Grisham said. "All of a sudden you're faced with a move, selling a house … what do you move and what do you give to family?"
The nation's elderly population, already increasing, is expected to double by 2030, creating a pressing need for new transitional services.
When Grisham started comparing and visiting facilities for her mother, she did not realize how time-consuming it would be.
"I didn't anticipate some of the things we would need," she said.
The needs differ from person to person.
"As it turned out, where my mother is, they have physical therapy and occupational therapy on the property, which has been helpful to us," Grisham said. "It would be wonderful to have the resource of someone saying, 'All of this won't apply to you, but page 2, paragraph 6 is something you need to look at.' "
Grisham said a senior advisor would have been helpful.
"It's confusing for an elderly person to change their surroundings. That was the hardest part for my mother," she said. "We brought as much of her furniture as we could so she was surrounded by familiar things and things that she loved.
"I hadn't expected that to be so difficult to her. One of the available resources is a therapist that can help with their cognitive skills. I didn't know about that until someone told me."
A new service in
Before starting her real estate career in 2006, Vaughan worked at Morning Side Assisted Living in
"I saw families who, when it came time to make decisions, they were stumped with what to do," she said. "Do I need power of attorney? Do I need this and that?"
Vaughan keeps a list of physicians, their specialties and accepted insurance.
"Our job for families is to try to be a resource for them," Brantley said.
Brantley said Vaughan's program will be beneficial to those who need a permanent change of living. She said the topic often comes up in support groups.
Many dementia patients require a change. The most common cause of dementia — Alzheimer's disease — affects more than 5 million Americans.
"One of the first concerns is the family often thinks they need to keep the family member at home," Brantley said. "They often find out the caregiving is more than what they can do. You have to ask yourself, 'What's most appropriate for my loved one?' "
Brantley said the next concern is how to afford assisted living.
According to the 2012
"My mother did not have dementia, but she became very ill, and she was in
Figuring out her mother's finances and living options from 600 miles away was stressful, Brantely said.
"I'm a checklist person. If you give me a checklist, I can do this and this," Brantley said. "It's like planning a wedding, but different. You know the order of things and know you have someone that can help you."
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