Senior Matters: Making the adjustment to assisted living

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Making the transition from an independent life to assisted living is not easy for some seniors.

At its best, the adjustment of lifestyle takes time.

Most facilities have staff members who deal with those issues every day.

News 12’s Bill Mitchell gets the inside story, in tonight’s Senior Matters.

Janice Stiles, Daughter of resident, “WELL, at first she was very, very unhappy. But she knew it was necessary…and she could not..she knew she was in a good place because she wanted the care.”

That’s a predictable reaction. The staff at Dominion Senior Living Center of Hixson sees it a lot. But usually the resident adapts after a while, thanks in-part to a carefully laid out program to keep them interested and active.

Mandy Sutton, Life Enrichment Asst., “We really try to address every single part of life, you know, because that’s still very important… even if our residents memories have declined, they still have the benefit and we do too.”

On this particular day, the goal is to get an as people as possible to take part in baking something called a dump cake.

Mandy Sutton, “I think a lot of the ladies here and the gentlemen too, are familiar and comfortable with the kitchen. And I think that’s one of the things that our residents might miss sometime is the ability to cook and to stir things and to create something they can enjoy. Its a real purposeful activity.”

That’s one way to help residents feel comfortable.

Mandy Sutton, “We initiate laughter exercises so we kind of just go through the motions of laughing. What we find is your body doesn’t know the difference between fake laughter and real laughter. And so, we kind of fake it until we make it.”

And some residents are helping others along the way.

Dolores Williams, Resident, “It’s a fun place to be and it’s a place where you have to be really considerate of people who are not very well or organized. You know we have some people who have some problems so you have to learn to be patient.”

Buck Stone, Retired Military, “So far, I like here. I’m new and I think I going to be, enjoy being here.”

This project apparently was a big success.

Categories: Featured, Senior Matters