Aging Parents and the Importance of Communication - nationalchurchresidences.blog

Aging Parents and the Importance of Communication

Conversations between an aging parent and their grown child can be frustrating as the parent ages. Roles have reversed and the grown child is now taking the place as the caregiver for their parent. Instead of asking a parent a question such as, “How was your day?” or “Can you give me advice on…”, grown children will ask “Did you take your medicine today?” or “Why would you do that?”

When communicating with aging parents it’s important to remember their life is rapidly changing and they are trying to maintain a sense of independence. It’s difficult for seniors to rely on others for care and to help solve their problems when they maintained control of their own life before.

Here are helpful tips to keep in mind when communicating with aging parents to keep your relationship healthy and to make the most of your time together.

  1. Take time and be respectful. While adult children are caught up in the demands of family, work, and finances, their parents’ lives have slowed down. They have less of a sense of urgency to get things done and may take time to make decisions. It’s not always about being slow or a diminished capacity. This can be frustrating, but remember, parents have a lifetime of experience to draw from and want to make the best decision, instead of the fastest. Be respectful of their slower approach so they won’t think you are trying to control them.
  1. Make time and listen. A quick phone call to check-in or help out with chores is helpful for your parents, however, these aren’t quality moments to build your relationship. Make time to have quality days with your parents, even one-on-one, to talk and listen. Let your parents guide the discussion and listen and ask open-ended questions. You’ll be surprised what you will learn about your parent, their life and present concerns

Aging Parents and the Importance of Communication - nationalchurchresidences.blog

  1. Reminisce about life. Adult children may think they know their parent, but when you take the time to reminisce about life with them you’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn. Ask questions to learn more about the situations they faced, people they met or places they lived or visited. These life stories are important for families to understand and appreciate who they are.
  1. Ask for advice. Parents are used to their children coming to them for advice or help, and it’s tough to no longer be consulted by your grown children as you age. While the type of advice a grown child is looking for may have changed, look for opportunities to ask “What do you think of this Mom?” or “Dad, what’s more important to you?”

While these are simple tips, these will help you understand more about your parent’s past and what they are going through day-to-day as they age.

Long Distance Holidays with Aging Parents - nationalchurchresidences.org

Long Distance Holidays with Aging Parents

Extended families are often scattered and it’s expensive to travel to be together for the holidays. If long distance, work, or other family obligations prevent you from being with your aging parents for the holidays, you can still celebrate the holidays with them. With a little creativity, you can make the holidays special for your parents by using Facetime, Skype, Google Hangout, or another mobile video-conference service.

The next time you visit your parents before the holidays, teach them how to use Facetime or Skype. This is a great way to keep in touch throughout the year, and allow your elderly parents to enjoy different aspects of the holiday season with you. Some holiday moments that you can enjoy together are Christmas concerts for grandchildren or opening gifts together.

For those who have extended family scattered across the country, a virtual holiday party is a great way for everyone to be involved. With Skype or Google Hangout, you can host an audio or video conference with multiple people for free. Prior to the virtual holiday party, make sure there’s a family member responsible for connecting at each location who understands the instructions to join and participate in the conference. During the virtual holiday party, family members can take turns greeting each other and sharing how they’re celebrating at their location. You could even sing a couple of favorite Christmas carols as a group, read the story of Christ’s birth, or pray together.

It’s important to also stay connected after the holidays with elderly family members. You could schedule weekly audio or video calls each week or send weekly email updates with photos. Also, don’t forget the importance of sending handwritten letters with photos. Your aging parents will love sharing these photos with others and placing them around their home.

These are just a few ideas to celebrate with aging loved ones from a distance. Please share additional ideas with others in the comment section below.

Unique health care partnership signed to benefit central Ohio residents

SigningEvent7

(Dr. William Wulf, CEO of Central Ohio Primary Care, and Mark Ricketts, President and CEO of National Church Residences, sign a joint venture to provide primary care physician services for National Church Residences’ central Ohio facilities earlier this month at First Community Village in Upper Arlington.)

COLUMBUS, Ohio ­– The nation’s largest independent primary care group and the nation’s largest non-profit provider of affordable senior housing have officially joined forces to offer a one-of-a-kind health care partnership.

Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians (COPC) signed an agreement earlier this month to provide primary care services in coordination with National Church Residences’ continuum of senior health care services, aimed at helping seniors in Central Ohio avoid unnecessary admissions and readmissions to hospitals or nursing facilities.

“In National Church Residences we have found a partner that puts the patient at the center of every decision,” said Dr. J. William Wulf, M.D., the CEO of COPC. “Over the last three years we have worked together on multiple initiatives and felt that it was time to formalize our relationship in a joint venture.”

The partnership will focus on National Church Residences “Home for Life” program that allows seniors to live healthier lives in their own homes, reducing the need to enter nursing facilities.

“National Church Residences and COPC are jointly making a commitment in central Ohio to help seniors remain at home,” said Mark Ricketts, President and CEO of National Church Residences. “You might even say National Church Residences’ commitment to high quality and reliable ‘At Home Health Care,’ ‘At Home Assistance’ and ‘At Home Hospice Care’ is a senior’s partner at home for life!”

“True population health will require physicians to partner with organizations that can deliver services to the most frail in our care,” Dr. Wulf added. “This will include care for our high risk patients at home and in non-hospital facilities. National Church Residences is an organization focused on providing the level of care needed to improve quality and lower cost.”

In the agreement, National Church Residences will proactively identify at-risk individuals through the organization’s revolutionary Care Guide assessment system to provide person-centered care planning that tracks interventions and outcomes. COPC will provide primary care and other diagnostic services to help manage a patient’s health both before and after the need for higher levels of care.

“This joint venture with COPC is unique and exciting,” said Ricketts. “While many senior living organizations in the United States have offered primary care services on campus, few have taken the step of partnering with primary care physicians serving residents in the community.”

SigningEvent2

(Dr. John Weigand, National Church Residences Chief Medical Officer, Mark Ricketts, National Church Residences President and CEO, and Dr. William Wulf, CEO of Central Ohio Primary Care, celebrate the signing of a joint venture between the two organizations.)

HUD Award to Accelerate Intergenerational Care Center’s Completion

Housing and Urban Development awarded $29.7 million to Columbus for redevelopment of the Near East Side, including the site of the Poindexter Village. Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), a partner in the project, had been one of six finalists for the Choice Neighborhood grant. The announcement of the award was made June 30 in Columbus.

National Church Residences is planning to open the Poindexter Village Intergenerational Care Center in collaboration with CMHA, Columbus Early Learning Centers (CELC), The Ohio State University (OSU), and Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT). The Poindexter Village neighborhood is being redeveloped to create a healthy, financially and environmentally sustainable community where residents have access to safe and affordable housing, quality health care and education, and employment opportunities.

20131122 Fundraising Presentation_Interior Deluxe

The Intergenerational Care Center is a catalytic project for the redevelopment of the Poindexter neighborhood and a source of vital services that addresses the needs of both the frail elderly and vulnerable children and families. The Center is designed to house an adult day and child care center, a university classroom, space for intergenerational and community programming as well as outdoor recreation areas. Approximately 85 children and 140 vulnerable adults will be served annually plus an estimated 100 parents and 300 adult caregivers will receive support services each year. In addition, the Center will incorporate:

• An on-site Intergenerational Program Manager from The Ohio State University to develop and administer focused intergenerational and interdisciplinary initiatives.

DSC_0336

• Health and wellness programming, including primary care for frail adults, children,families, and community members. Offerings would also include courses on caregiving, grief and loss, early childhood interventions for children with special needs and Moms2Be programs designed to help pregnant women to have a healthy pregnancy.

• Interdisciplinary research, academic classes, and training for OSU graduate, professional and undergraduate students. Some of their studies would cover the relationships between age and behaviors in the intergenerational setting.

DSC_0357• Collaborative and purposeful intergenerational programming like the supplemental reading intervention program, “Sit Together and Read” (STAR). STAR is designed to pair interested and able seniors with preschool children for 10 minutes of reading together. Faculty and students from OSU would train the adults on how to use specific read-aloud techniques that integrate a scope and sequence of literacy concepts.

• A new playground for the Intergenerational Care Center was developed by KaBoom! This playground, which includes equipment for both young children and seniors, was created thanks to the efforts of neighborhood and project partner volunteers and the generosity of the playground sponsor, Humana.DSC_0342

The Choice Neighborhood grant will accelerate the total redevelopment of the historic Poindexter Village neighborhood, with $200,000 earmarked for the Intergenerational Care Center. That amount goes along with a total of $645,000 already committed from CMHA, KaBoom!, Bob Evans Farms, Huntington Bank, CareSource Foundation and Ingram-White Castle Foundation.