Gordon and Kathryn Epps have helped each of their parents go through PMMA’s PATH program and transition into assisted living. While the path looked slightly different for each family member, it led to the same place: Farmington Presbyterian Manor.
“While mom was going through cancer, dad fell and broke his hip and went into rehab. That’s when we saw the depth of his dementia and knew mom couldn’t take care of him at home. He received wonderful care through the PATH program here and we talked about transitioning him here to stay, but mom and dad wouldn’t have it at that time. So, mom took him home against all medical advice, and that was the day dad found her unresponsive in their living room. She was having a mental breakdown and couldn’t do it anymore. She was soon admitted to the PATH program here, too. Finally, dad realized how unfair he was to mother and became agreeable to assisted living. A two-room suite became available and we got him in here before mom was discharged from PATH,” said Kathryn.
The Epps visited a variety of different senior living communities and asked friends for advice. Farmington Presbyterian Manor felt most like home.
“The most positive reputation in the community is the Presbyterian Manor. Dad felt like it had the most homey atmosphere. Other places seemed sterile and the cost seemed way out of reach for them. But this seemed like a place they could afford, live and feel comfortable. Mom just loved the way it was decorated,” said Kathryn. “It was a very emotional journey. Mom and dad weren’t always agreeable.”
Gordon added, “I think the Presbyterian Manor made it easier with both of them being in the PATH program. We interacted with staff and knew they understood the problems we were dealing with and gave us a sense of assurance. Plus, the fact that this community has a really good continuum of care. Whatever level of needs you have they have an appropriate spot for your loved one.”
Gordon’s mother took less convincing when the time was right to move to Farmington Presbyterian Manor.
“She would talk to my parents and ask how they like it here,” said Kathryn. “Mom would boast about the meals being good and Gordon’s mom would tell us she’d like to go to a place like this.”
Gordon added, “She had a nice home but there was one time she left something cooking on the stove and then she had major abdominal surgery. Based on my experience prior, I knew this was the place I wanted her to come to for rehabilitation. The more we saw how limited mom was with physical problems – she couldn’t take care of herself or feed herself properly – she was more open to that. We were grateful that we had this resource here to get mom through that hump. After she completed the PATH program, we got her into assisted living. It was peace of mind.”
The Epps have advice for others helping their aging parents make the transition to assisted living.
“Really thing about what’s the most important thing for mom and/or dad: safety, getting proper meds, having good meals. What’s best for your parents should be your main focus,” said Gordon.
Kathryn added, “Before they get to a point where they’re needing something, start having honest conversations while your parents still have their minds and are thinking clearly. Plant seeds and bring it up. Talk to people who have been through it or have family members at senior communities in your area.”
To learn more about living at Farmington Presbyterian Manor, call Anne Allen at 573-747-4455 or email [email protected].