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Making Independent Living Possible: Gertrude’s Story

Sometimes moving to an independent as opposed to assisted living community is the best option. That’s the way it was for 85-year-old Gertrude.

Gertrude was living in a nice two-bedroom apartment in a swanky part of town. She lived near several retail and grocery stores. She also lived off a beautiful lake and her apartment building offered an underground garage.

She was doing okay, but her 3 adult children, who all lived out of town, were starting to get concerned. They were worried that Gertrude might not be taking her medications properly and there was no one to make sure that she was doing so. They were also concerned that there was no one to check on her on a regular basis.

That’s when their son, John contacted me. He let me know when he was going to be visiting Omaha. We talked about the things his mother liked to do as well as what her budget looked like, and I proceeded to set up a couple of tours for one Sunday afternoon in June.

After our tours, he and his mother chose a community that was close to her current home. They liked the atmosphere and activities that were offered and the fact that it was very close to many restaurants and shops (just like what she was used to). She would have a full kitchen, yet two meals a day would be included in her monthly rent. Gertrude would also have a heated underground garage. However, she would still have transportation for those days she did not want to drive or there was bad weather. This community also offered a contingency plan with assisted living and memory apartments.

In lieu of moving to assisted living, her family opted for A Place at Home’s Care Coordination Program where our nurse, Denise, could provide medication assistance for Gertrude. Her medications would be kept in a lock box in her independent apartment. Denise could also accompany Gertrude to all of her medical appointments since her children all live out of town.

Today, Gertrude resides in this independent living community and is flourishing from daily activities and having access to so many public areas within the building.

Gertrude’s story is similar to many that I encounter every day. Oftentimes families aren’t sure what all is included in the different types of living communities, and drilling down all the details can be confusing and cumbersome (especially when the family members live out of town). Our Senior Living Alternatives service was designed to make sure families make the best decisions for their loved ones, and part of that service also entails assessing all the needs and how our other A Place at Home services might be useful in allowing the senior to live the best life they can.

Cindy Kohll Persky is the Senior Living Advisor for A Place at Home Omaha. If you or someone you love is ready to find the next place to call home, Cindy would like to help you make that possible.