In retrospect, the following things helped us through this journey:
- Having the legal documents completed while Rayanna was still herself. This included her Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney and Patient Advocate document. Getting another person as a signatory on her bank accounts was also very important as it allowed someone else to continue to pay the bills.
- Keeping open lines of communication with the Waterford staff. The staff had the ability to see her every day and in situations that we could not always witness for ourselves. Discussing our experiences and comparing them helped us to meet Rayanna’s needs of safety and comfort before those needs became critical. Even while Rayanna was in the Assisted Living wing and then later in Hope Harbor, visiting with the staff members who see the residents on a constant basis, was very important for us to be able to respond to her needs quickly and appropriately.
- Identifying the need for Rayanna to have the socialization and to keep as active as possible. Having Sunset Home Services come in to provide someone to chat with really helped her confusion about the time of day and helped to keep Rayanna’s schedule as consistent as possible. The fewer disruptions in her schedule, the better she reacted.
- Working with the Waterford Staff to help convince Rayanna it was time for her to move to the Assisted Living Center. Rayanna is a very independent woman and did not ever want to be reliant on someone else. Therefore, the idea of moving to an Assisted Living center was very distressing to her. In addition, her mother had to be placed in a nursing home in her final days, so that was the only image she had for ‘Assisted Living.’ She equated Assisted Living with being an invalid. Although the move was still a trial, having the Waterford Staff engaged helped it to go as smoothly as possible.
- Taking to the time to learn about the SAIDO discipline and understand how Hope Harbor could bolster Rayanna’s quality of life was one of the things that helped our family make the decision to move Rayanna in.We also worked with the maintenance staff to arrange the residence so that it was almost a duplicate of the residence she was coming from. They were very accommodating, and we think that it helped with the transition as it kept things as consistent as they could possibly be.